Category Archives: Technology

Making of the Secret Sauce: Tricks for Using the Open Web for Supply Market Intelligence

- April 11, 2014 5:20 PM | Categories: Technology

While marketing and strategy groups get budget to use big data tools and high-end premium content subscriptions, most procurement groups are decidedly a little more low budget. They might want a Bloomberg-like cockpit, but they get a web browser. So, let’s work with that, and I will let you in on some dirty little secrets to find really good stuff out on the open web that I’ve learned over the years in procurement research. People will always thank me when I share these easy time-saving techniques with them – so I’m merely doing this no en masse. Yes, there’s a small fee to get into the sausage factory (i.e., this is for Plus members only), but I think you’ll find it’s worth it. Let’s proceed.

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It’s Time for a “Smartphone” Approach to Spend Management

- April 11, 2014 11:36 AM | Categories: Guest Post, Spend Management, Technology

Up until now, our thinking about spend management, and expense management as a subset of that, has been informed by the tools that we’ve had at our disposal, just like our thinking about communication was informed by the tools we had before smartphones. It used to be that we just thought of the phone as a way to talk to people who were not with us physically. If you wanted to text them, you could do that with a pager; if you wanted to email them, you could do that with your computer.

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E-Sourcing Solution Review: MFG.com LiveSource

- April 10, 2014 3:05 PM | Categories: E-Sourcing, Spend Management, Technology

[Editor's note: An earlier version of this post was published on March 24. We have since received updated information regarding MFG.com's new CEO, Bo Hagler, and are republishing this post as a result.] Our long awaited manufacturing e-sourcing analysis is near completion (to be shortly followed by other e-sourcing comparative reviews and rankings). As part of this effort, we will be featuring detailed vendor write-ups in the coming weeks. The first provider we’re tackling is MFG.com LiveSource. We recently spoke with the new majority investors, Fulcrum Equity Partners, who have assured us that they are “looking to grow and invest in LiveSource." We take this as good news, as the solution has much potential in the market. A few members of the MFG.com team have left in recent months, and as of this writing, the company has just recruited a new CEO: Bo Hagler. Mr. Hagler was most recently VP of R&D at QAD, Inc (NASDAQ: QADA and QADB) where he was responsible for supply chain solutions as well as new product introduction – and even if Spend Matters hasn’t had the pleasure of interviewing Mr Hagler yet, his background looks like a good fit for MFG.

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Tech Enabled BPO Buyers More Effective, Supply Chain Execs Plan to Increase Expenditures in Clinical Trial Logistics

- April 7, 2014 12:45 PM | Categories: Afternoon Coffee, Breaking News, Logistics, Procurement, Technology

How tech-enabled BPO buyers have been successful, what expenditures supply chain executives plan to increase and a report on climate change that's being questioned.

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Facebook Buys British Aerospace Company, Opel Leaves China, Taco Bell Sells Breakfast Foods

- March 28, 2014 12:24 PM | Categories: Afternoon Coffee, China, Diversity, Procurement, Technology

Facebook continues its acquisition spree, Taco Bell officially serves breafkast, Opel decides it's not worth it to stay in China, and Apple is going to revamp the Emoji application to make it more diverse.

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Spend Matters 50/50: State of Flux – A Provider to Watch

- March 24, 2014 11:08 AM | Categories: Supplier Management, Technology

As our Spend Matters 50/50 coverage continues, we’re excited to introduce our readers to State of Flux and also State of Flux Technologies. State of Flux is a consultancy and executive staffing/managed services firm that specializes in supplier management. Perhaps best known to non-clients for their annual SRM Survey, State of Flux’s footprint and reach is global (although they’re based in the UK).

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The Next Code of Conduct Challenge: Is Your Supplier’s Software License-Compliant?

- March 20, 2014 11:37 AM | Categories: Technology

Attorneys general across the nation are suing companies selling imported products made by companies overseas that rely on pirated or otherwise unlicensed software (and they’re winning these lawsuits). These are primarily Microsoft products, although CAD products from Autodesk and design software from Adobe are frequently pirated as well. The exposure to any company that sells an LCCS product that competes against a Made in USA product is definitely real. Spend Matters sees legal exposure here for consulting firms, BPO and VMS providers as well – anyone who relies on overseas services delivery that might be supported by questionable software is at risk. Be concerned if you haven’t addressed this with your supply base already – especially if you are competing against a US-based provider who is losing market share to you.

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Rage Frameworks Explored: Redefining Supply Risk as a Spend Matters 50/50 Provider

- March 18, 2014 3:23 PM | Categories: Solution Providers, Technology

Earlier today, we published a quick analysis of Rage Frameworks, a provider in the Spend Matters “50 to Watch” List for 2014. But Rage is no simple beast – nor is our including them in the Spend Matters 50/50 list simply a flag to “watch this provider.” Indeed, Rage has a tremendous amount to teach us about where the intersection of procurement and semantic analysis, predictive analytics, and third-party risk intelligence is headed. In fact, even if you never use Rage, we highly suspect their DNA will end up a part of solutions you ultimately use to model and predict supply risk by making sense of unstructured information sets down the road. Today, we answer a few additional questions about Rage for organizations looking to get smart on supply risk management and next-generation approaches for the application of big data to procurement and supplier management – including the use of all of the unstructured information being generated by the terabyte around us everyday.

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Forget the PowerPoint: B2B Sales are Quickly Migrating to Tablets

The future of business is quickly moving to a tableted future, and in the B2B arena, we are seeing this as well - just not perhaps as fast as in consumer-oriented markets. Tablets are becoming not just an accessory for sales representatives, but rather a vital tool that can be used in imaginative ways to enhance their interactions with procurement professionals. While anecdotally we have seen this trend developing for some time, it has accelerated over the past year in particular as prices for tablets have come down dramatically (well, except for one Cupertino -based company’s offerings), a new study provides interesting insights into how tablets can and are being used effectively - and imaginatively - by the sales forces of B2B companies.

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Exploring SciQuest’s 14.1 Release: Supplier Management Takes Center Stage

At SciQuest NextLevel last week, Pierre Mitchell and I had the chance to sit down with a number of people from the SciQuest product management and marketing team and learn about the latest happenings with the current (14.1) release. The high level of what’s new includes a range of enhancements in the Advanced Sourcing Optimizer (ASO) product (formerly CombineNet) centered not on broader integration with the rest of the SciQuest suite but rather functional build-out. In addition, SciQuest has included a number of new visibility and reporting capabilities with the core eProcurement and Accounts Payable modules as well as the migration off of the previous generation UI. All users are now on the new “Phoenix” UI.

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Webinar: A True Tale of Rapid Sourcing Success with Oracle EBS and Enrich

- March 6, 2014 2:25 AM | Categories: Procurement Commentary, Sourcing, Technology

We’re holding a webinar next Thursday from 1 to 2 PM CDT with George Zullo from NBTY, a large nutrition and retail company. George is the Director of Sourcing & Procurement Continuous Improvement there, and he’ll be joining us to share his success story of rapidly deploying Oracle E-Business Suite Sourcing and Spend Visibility modules in a SaaS format, with assistance from Enrich.

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Who is Scentan Ventures, the Firm Behind Tradeshift’s $75M Round?

- March 5, 2014 2:32 AM | Categories: Commentary, Industry News, Technology

file000102023902 Last week, Tradeshift surprised the market with such a large Series C funding round: $75 million. We’ve gotten numerous questions from readers about who Singapore-based Scentan Ventures is. Few readers in the West seem to have heard of them, so we did some digging and translated various Japanese publications. Confusing the situation somewhat further is the fact that Scentan is based in Singapore, though the exclusive rights that Tradeshift provided to it are for the Japanese market.

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