Category Archives: Technology

H&R Block Stakeholders Driving the Technology Platform Bus: Webinar Sept. 13

Coach driving into sunset

Join Pierre Mitchell, chief research officer at Spend Matters, and Todd Dooley, vice president of finance at H&R Block, for a webinar on how to fix the broken traditional technology RFP process. With 300 cross-functional power users representing thousands of broader stakeholders located across 12,000 remote sites, H&R Block knows who should be in the driver's seat for design, technology selection and platform needs. Why Procurement and IT Should NOT Select Procurement Technology is sponsored by Coupa and will take place Tuesday, Sept. 13, at 10 a.m. CDT.

Executive Q&A with Craig Reed, DuPont: To Run Faster, You’d Better Harness that Data

Craig Reed

Spend Matters conducted this interview with Craig Reed, global director for raw materials, energy and packaging at DuPont, during the Global Procurement Tech Summit. We thought practitioners would benefit from reading how a procurement leader at a Fortune 500 firm approaches his work. In this Q&A, Reed discusses the biggest challenges he faces in his role, hurdles to technology adoption and how his procurement group aligns itself with the rest of the business.

Statess (State of Flux): Vendor Snapshot (Part 2) — Product Strengths & Weaknesses

supplier network

There are comparatively few sourcing and supplier management technology providers that specialize in the management of strategic supplier relationships. Statess, a vendor based in the U.K. and wholly owned by State of Flux, a consultancy and services firm, is one of them. What State of Flux originally launched as a relatively simplistic toolset for supplier performance management and (corrective) action planning has grown into a full-fledged supplier relationship management (SRM) solution that ecompasses supplier information management, performance management, risk management, governance and relationship management, corporate social responsibility (CSR), contract management and innovation management.

This Spend Matters PRO vendor snapshot explores Statess’ strengths and weaknesses in the supplier management area, providing facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations decide if they should shortlist the vendor as a potential provider. Part 1 of our analysis comprised a company and detailed solution overview and a SWOT analysis, as well as a summary recommended fit suggestion for what types of organizations should consider Statess. The remaining parts of this multipart series will offer a user selection guide, user interface (UI/UX) analysis, competitive alternatives and evaluation and selection considerations.

SciQuest’s Product and Solution Strategy: A New Leader, A New Philosophy

road

SciQuest’s new Vice President of Product Management and Strategy Deb Woods is not a conventional head of products. While she has a product management background, Woods has also worked in procurement and supply chain as a practitioner and is extremely experienced leading corporate development efforts as well. It’s arguably the perfect combination for what SciQuest needs in the current product leadership role as it finds itself under new (private) ownership with backing for both organic and inorganic investments.

Combine This! An Update on ASO (Part 2): SciQuest Next Level 2016 Dispatch

Global Procurement Tech Summit

While academic research and development for CombineNet dropped off dramatically after its acquisition, SciQuest has continued to make targeted investments in its sourcing optimization solution. These investments have produced continual improvements in several key areas. Yet while we commend these and other recent improvements to the toolset, SciQuest needs to double down on investments to this product line if it wants to remain a leader in the sourcing optimization market.

Procurement Technology: An Updated Manifesto

word manifesto typed on typewriter

What was true 10 years ago in the technology and services markets may not be true any longer. Hence the need for a revised manifesto for procurement technology. Join Jason Busch, founder and head of strategy at Spend Matters, and Henrik Balslev, senior vice president of operations at Scanmarket, on Thursday, Sept. 22, at 8:30 a.m. CDT, for WRONG! Everything You Know About Buying Procurement Technology Has Changed.

Are Catalogs Fleecing Procurement of the Best Deal? 5 Arguments in Favor and Against the P2P Catalog

olly/AdobeStock

This is the second installment of a series in which we are rhetorically going to war against catalogs (kind of like a certain presidential candidate bulldozing over everything and everyone in his path – for the better or the worse, we might add, depending on your perspective!). When we first gave the topic of killing the catalog some thought, we came up with a post in which we ending up sharing the pros and cons of catalog-based procurement today — and some of the options we would wager are coming down the pike. But let us take aim at catalogs in a different way today by positing arguably the most important procurement assumption of all: namely that catalogs are fleecing procurement of the best possible pricing in numerous ways...

Statess (State of Flux): Vendor Snapshot (Part 1) — Background & Solution Overview

Oracle

Unlike e-procurement and electronic invoicing, the market for supplier management technology is inherently complicated for two reasons. First, the range of use cases organizations can apply are broad, and second, the vendors serving the market are diverse, often with significantly different value propositions when compared with each other. There are different ways to segment the supplier management market and we would encourage Spend Matters subscribers to take the time to understand the advantages of using technology to support different initiatives, from accounts payable-based supplier onboarding to enabling supplier diversity programs to strategic supplier development.

One provider that began serving the market focused on strategic supplier development is State of Flux, which positions its applications division as a supplier relationship management (SRM) technology provider. Founded in 2004, State of Flux saw an opportunity from its consulting work to develop a solution focused on strategic SRM that would eventually become known as Statess. What started as a simple tool for performance and (corrective) action planning has grown into a full-fledged SRM solution that offers supplier information management (SIM), performance management, risk management, governance and relationship management, CSR (corporate social responsibility), contract compliance and innovation management.

This Spend Matters PRO vendor snapshot explores Statess’ strengths and weaknesses in the supplier management market, providing facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations decide if they should shortlist the vendor as a potential provider. Part 1 of our analysis provides a company and detailed solution overview and a SWOT analysis, as well as a summary recommended fit suggestion for what types of organizations should consider Statess. The remaining parts of this multipart series will offer a user selection guide, user interface (UI/UX) analysis, competitive alternatives and evaluation and selection considerations.

Combine This! An Update on ASO (Part 1): SciQuest Next Level 2016 Dispatch

apinan/Adobe Stock

We’ve long been fans of sourcing optimization approaches at Spend Matters. A number of years ago, SciQuest acquired the original pioneer in the sector, CombineNet, which had particular expertise in logistics procurement at the time. Since then, SciQuest has invested in two different sourcing product lines: Sourcing Director and Advanced Sourcing Optimizer. This two-part conference dispatch provides an update to ASO.

SciQuest Next Level 2016 Kicks Off: New Attendees, New Ownership and a New Ecosystem

Next Level

Xavier Olivera, Pierre Mitchell and I are down in Nashville this week at SciQuest’s annual Next Level customer conference. This year’s Next Level, the largest one held to date, features a curious mix of attendees from the private sector, higher education and government. It is also host to a mix of exhibitors and sponsors, including a surprising number focused on enabling punch-out catalog models (not to mention Amazon Business, which is also speaking at the event).

Procurement Technology is Changing – What You Need to Know: NEW Webinar Announcement

ChenPG/AdobeStock

Technology is constantly evolving and if your organization is not on top of those changes then it's in danger of being left behind. More specifically, procurement technology requires a new set of approaches that can contradict the traditional ones. Join Jason Busch, founder and head of strategy at Spend Matters, and Henrik Balslev, senior vice president of operations at Scanmarket, on Thursday, Sept. 22 at 8:30 a.m. CDT for WRONG: Everything You Know About Buying Procurement Technology Has Changed.

Majority of Procurement Organizations are at a Basic Level of Maturity, And Why That Needs to Change

phanuwatnandee/AdobeStock

When it comes to the maturity of procurement organizations, it’s Spend Matters' belief the majority are at the foundational, or basic level. It’s not a bad place to be, at least when it comes to starting a true procurement transformation, as Jason Busch, Spend Matters founder and head of strategy, points out in the research paper “Reframing Maturity Models: Empirical Perspectives On Radically Improving Procurement Performance.” Yet these procurement organizations should aim to reach other industry peers that are fully integrating source-to-pay processes with the supply chain, accounts payable, finance and other departments and leveraging advanced technology suites, platforms and networks.