Category Archives: Technology

Supply Chain Insights: Robotics and Automation – Prepare For Operations, Procurement Disruption

- September 17, 2014 10:30 AM | Categories: Conferences, Technology

Tom Bonkenburg, head of European Operations for St. Onge, a privately held consultancy focused on supply chain strategy and logistics, gave us perhaps the most critical observation in his presentation at the Supply Chain Insights conference – why we haven’t seen more ASIMO-type automation – when he cleverly brought in an aspect of Moore’s Law that is relevant to automation. This “law” states that the price paid for a given level of computing power will be cut in half every two years – which in turn means that we are on the verge of attaining price-competitive robotics (versus humans) very soon. So which industry leaders are making this possible? This Spend Matters Plus research brief explores the potential for robotics- and automation-led disruption to forever change global supply chains and procurement – and why (and what) we should pay attention to today to get smart on the topic.

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Spend Visibility: It’s Best in the Raw

Spend Matters welcomes a guest post from Paul Blake, a sales manager at GEP. Earlier this week, I met with a prospective client to talk about spend visibility, big data. and all that good stuff. With the best of intentions of course, and having applied a very great deal of resource and brain power (and inevitably cold hard cash), this client had built a program of data capture, manipulation, and transformation, based on all sorts of rules and manual interventions all designed to make sense of their global spend patterns. I got the impression that they felt that had created a bit of a monster that they'd yet to get anything really, you know, useful out of.

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Mobile Procurement and the Landscape Entrepreneur

- September 12, 2014 3:30 PM | Categories: Guest Post, Procurement, Technology

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Vroozi.  The right mobile procurement platform can help anyone succeed in growing their business, even those who doubt their capability to help themselves. Travis was one of those lost souls who finished school and had no idea what he wanted to do with his life, let alone what he planned to do next week. Travis didn’t have any desire to take a job working for someone else’s company. Yet, with his personal finances in a serious decline, he looked for a way to go after it alone. Lacking any true trade skills, Travis […]

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Verian: Seizing Opposite Ground From Coupa in the P2P Wars (Company Update, Recommendations)

- September 12, 2014 2:35 AM | Categories: Purchasing, Purchasing Process, Technology

It’s not every day that a tech analyst gets to South Carolina (except those focused on agricultural yield improvements or manufacturing). But last week, after a meeting in Charlotte, I had the chance to drive down to Verian’s headquarters (for the first time) to meet with the management team. It was time well invested, and I thought of an interesting metaphor that helps to better understand the provider while making the trip through back roads and farmland to Verian’s modern headquarters – still considered to be in the Charlotte, North Carolina, metro area. In this Spend Matters PRO analysis, Managing Director Jason Busch provides an update on Verian, including what types of procurement and AP organizations should shortlist this provider, as well as the back roads they have to building out capability that continues to delight and surprise in a manner as impressive as – but truly different than – Coupa.

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WEBINAR this Friday! The Best-of-Breed vs. ERP Debate is Dead

- September 9, 2014 10:29 AM | Categories: Ask the Expert, Best Practice, ERP, Technology

If the debate is dead, what really matters in best-in-class procurement suites? Join Pierre Mitchell (Chief Research Officer, Spend Matters) THIS Friday, 9/12/14, from 11-11:30am Central to find out. Pierre says: "There is an old debate about tightly integrated ERP vendor suites and deep functionality from niche best-of-breed providers. We’ll say it: that debate is dead. ERP vendors (and other providers) now have fragmented application portfolios, while many best-of-breed vendors have integrated suites. Still, ERP isn't going away, and procurement needs to get best-in-class information capabilities that move at the speed of the business – not the IT department." This short-format webinar, sponsored by Ivalua, is open to all procurement practitioners - so register now!

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Exploring Oracle E-Business Suite Advanced Procurement: Adoption Trends and Roadmap (Part 1)

Oracle OpenWorld 2014 is taking place in San Francisco from Sept. 28 to Oct.2. It typically represents one of the best chances of the year for analysts to peer behind the covers of Oracle’s products and informally talk to both customers and Oracle employees at length. It lets us reach outside of our existing research/advisory client base. Earlier this summer, Spend Matters had a collective update from each of the product groups representing the different Oracle brands most focused on the procurement sector – PeopleSoft, Oracle E-Business Suite, and Oracle Procurement Cloud. Over the coming weeks, we’ll be sharing some of the highlights of what we learned.

You will also receive our initial analysis, subject to additional commentary following Oracle OpenWorld. This initial Spend Matters PRO brief, written by Jason Busch, managing director and founder, Pierre Mitchell, managing director and chief research officer, and Thomas Kase, vice president of research, explores the latest happenings with Oracle E-Business Suite Advanced Procurement including Purchasing, Endeca Extensions, Sourcing, iSupplier Portal, Supplier Hub, Supplier Lifecycle Management, Procurement Contracts , Mobile and related product areas. We’ll also touch on the new Oracle Project Procurement application.

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Sourcing in Latin America (with Mexico Focus): A Primer for U.S. and Canada Procurement Organizations

- August 29, 2014 12:32 PM | Categories: Procurement Strategy & Planning, Sourcing, Technology

Earlier today, Jason Busch, Spend Matters’ founder and managing director, and Xavier Olivera, director of Spend Matters Mexico and Latin America, conducted an “Ask the Expert” webinar titled Spend Matters en Español: The State of Procurement in Mexico and Latin America. Given the interest among both practitioners and providers in the U.S. in understanding priorities and how to do business in Mexico and neighboring countries most effectively, we decided to write a quick primer to showcase those items that companies should be considering as they develop their efforts in the region. For U.S. and Canadian organizations, the total cost equation is increasingly adding up for Mexico sourcing – and the ease of doing business is rising as well (aside from new regulations and compliance requirements for e-invoicing, which we will be exploring in more detail in a separate analysis).

Considering rising U.S. interest in nearshore sourcing, the timing could not be more perfect to launch a new site focusing on Latin America procurement and supply chain (Spend Matters will be launching this site in conjunction with Xavier in Sept/Oct 2014). Awareness and interest is at an all-time high among Latin American companies. Mexican organizations, in particular, are prioritizing efforts to get smart on tech solutions including analytics, P2P, and sourcing. This Spend Matters PRO research brief begins to explore top procurement priorities in the region and the state of solution adoption – as well as how to do business effectively with local suppliers and procurement organizations.

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Mobile Procurement and the Everywhere Event Planner (Part 2)

- August 22, 2014 8:02 AM | Categories: Guest Post, Technology

Pen and paper may as well have become the chisel and stone slab in today’s technologically-advanced society. Then again, even stationary desktop computers often present us with more of a hassle than they’re worth when we’re constantly working outside of our home or office. When procuring items on the run, all you really need is your tablet or smartphone. When we last looked in on Vivian, the everywhere event planner, she was thousands of miles away from home at the Marriott in downtown Chicago. Vivian’s company was just inside of two months away from hosting its annual user conference, a two-day event that 120 guests were expected to attend.

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Lower-End Sourcing Tools: When to Just Say No (Part 3)

- August 19, 2014 10:42 AM | Categories: Sourcing, Technology

So far in this series, I have written about both the strengths and some of the limitations of basic sourcing tools – and when organizations should consider using them as opposed working with those that really do specialize in supporting more advanced sourcing organizations and sourcing requirements. Another key area that I’ve observed again and again in my research (including both public and private sector) in the case of more advanced tools is when organizations must have sourcing applications reflect heavy levels of governance and process based on regulatory or other requirements.

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Webinar Replay: Signing the Dotted Line with Digital Signatures

- August 7, 2014 6:12 AM | Categories: Innovation, Supplier Management, Technology

Did you miss last week’s webinar, “Signing the Dotted Line: Digital Signatures ARE that Important”? Fear not because the replay is here! Join Jason Busch (founder and managing director, Spend Matters) as he reinforces the importance of maintaining a 100% digital transaction, even when it comes to something as long-standing and traditional as the signature.

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Beware Ariba’s Patent Treasure Chest: Spot Market and Importable Template

In Spend Matters’ view, Ariba has amassed what appears to be the largest IP portfolio in the procurement technology sector. It is important for competitors and customers to fully understand the diversity and depth of all the process and related patents that Ariba has filed and been granted. In previous installments of this series, we considered a range of patents (see Part 1 and Part 2) that Ariba has also been granted. Today’s Spend Matters Plus research brief by Thomas Kase, VP of research, explores the following Ariba patents: system and method for creating a spot market (spot market procurement – aka tactical sourcing – automated bids and awards); and importable templates (Excel and XML land grab).

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Is Mexico Ready for the New in Procurement?

- August 6, 2014 6:45 AM | Categories: Services and Indirect Spend, Technology

Are companies in Mexico ready to adopt the solutions that the market is offering, or is the market ready to offer solutions that companies need? Lately I have had several conversations with some services providers’ executives, and all of them have asked me the same questions: How do you see the Mexican market for procurement and supply chain solutions? And do you think México is ready to adopt them? My first thought was always yes, of course, Mexico is already adopting them. But then I would start thinking about what the service providers had offered in the last 15 years and how hard it was to position them in Mexican companies.

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