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2017: The Year of Digital Procurement? NEW Webinar Announcement

digital business transformation

Be sure to reserve your spot for this one, because attendance will fill up fast. Digital Procurement in 2017: Jason Busch and Pierre Mitchell's Predictions will feature Spend Matters' top analysts, as well as D'jay Nagalkar, vice president at GEP, on Friday, Dec. 9, at 12 p.m. CST, as they discuss everything digital procurement for the year ahead. What does a CEO want? How will procurement departments be measured? (And how do you stack up?)

HICX: Solution Review & Analysis [Plus+]

supplier network

Companies looking for supplier management solutions have a broad range of choices, ranging from independent solution providers to ERP modules of varying degrees of sophistication and depth. There are numerous challenges that come with identifying the right solutions in the market for an individual procurement organization. These include the fact that consultants and analysts generally have limited experience with the in-the-trenches capabilities of these solutions compared with sourcing and purchase-to-pay suites.

One provider that warrants consideration in the market is HICX, a London-based firm founded in 2004. It is essentially a supply chain master data management (MDM) solution with a configurable workflow that allows an organization to use it as the supplier (and associated product) MDM system. This Spend Matters Plus analysis provides an introduction to the HICX solution for procurement organizations looking to understand whether they should consider adding the provider to their shortlists for consideration and competitive alternatives.

Quantifying ROP (Return on Procurement) – NEW Webinar Announcement!


We all know about return on investment (ROI) and just how complex it can be to identify and measure, but what about "return on procurement," or ROP? It is indeed a tricky proposition and one that is essential to solve. Join Pierre Mitchell, chief research officer at Spend Matters, and Len Prokopets, managing director at KPMG, on Monday, Nov. 14, at 10 a.m. CST, for Quantifying the Return on Procurement: Practical Frameworks and Scorecards. Sign up today!

Middle Market Companies Using Early Pay Finance? Help a Sister (Site) Out!


Our colleague David Gustin, editor of Trade Financing Matters, is undertaking an interesting research project to determine the intersection of middle market companies and certain lending options. Middle market companies truly are the heart and soul of America and 99% of us never heard of them. Many are family owned or private equity backed, and quite a few have foreign ownership as well.  They are not the core client base for large global banks, and in most cases are too big for smaller factors and ABL lenders. How does a company in the middle market navigate the traditional lending world with the new options springing forth due to structural market changes, and the fact that B2B commerce is increasingly becoming digitized, and is combined with data science, new risk and underwriting models? Read more about this – and how you can help – on our sister site, Trade Financing Matters.

Afternoon Coffee: US Services Sector Experiences Weak Growth in May, SEC Investigates Alibaba

The U.S. services sector expanded at a slow rate in May due to less than ideal economic conditions and weak client demand, according to Markit’s Flash Services PMI Business Activity Index. The index registered at 51.2 for the month, down from 52.8 in April. And, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is reportedly investigating Alibaba and has requested information on a logistics firm that works with the e-commerce company.

Afternoon Coffee: France Considers Import Ban on US Shale Gas, Nissan Buys 34% Stake in Mitsubishi

France is considering a ban on U.S. imports of of shale gas due to France’s anti-hydraulic fracturing stance. French Energy Minister Segolene Royal is investigating legal means to place such a ban on shale gas imports. And, Nissan will is buying a 34% controlling stake in Mitsubishi Motors Corp. for $2.18 billion, becoming Mitsubishi's largest shareholder. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news.

MRO as a Service (Part 1): Embedding Procurement as the Value Engine


Maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) is a very important and overlooked business function that is an integral part of the supply chain. It not only keeps critical internal assets running efficiently but is also a gold mine of opportunities to reduce costs of MRO services and inventories of purchased supplies (spare parts and consumables). MRO is heavily reliant on an ecosystem of third parties (large equipment suppliers, local suppliers, distributors, facility services suppliers, etc.) to keep it optimized, and this is why procurement and supply chain groups should manage it as a critical spend category that is part of the core supply chain, not just a plant-specific tactical spending area. The problem, though, is that most procurement organizations simply do not treat MRO strategically. They tend to source “low hanging fruit” spend categories like basic industrial supplies (e.g., safety products, lubricants, solvents, etc.), electrical components, facilities supplies and so on, and then use a hodgepodge of e-procurement and e-catalog tools that they bolt onto their local ERP and maintenance systems. So, what is an organization to do?

Secrets of the Cost Reduction Trade Revealed! Webinar to Improve Your Supplier Relationships


If you're a CPO, CEO, CFO or just in the early stages of your procurement or finance career, it's crucial to know how to create balance when working with suppliers. The benefits equal successful, long-lasting relationships with those suppliers, as well as new strategies for cost containment coming to light. Join us Thursday, Feb. 25, at 12 p.m. CST, as Jason Busch, founder and head of strategy at Spend Matters, and David Golub, senior vice president, e-commerce & government relations at Price Chopper Supermarkets, discuss the above and more in Sourcing Meets Supplier Relationships in Retail and Grocery. Sign up today!

NEW Webinar: When Sourcing Meets Supplier Relationships in Retail and Grocery


It's not just about managing long-term supplier relationships anymore. It's about challenging them to get the most out of those suppliers over the long haul. Join us as we identify the general trends seen in retail and grocery procurement both today and in the future, and what cost containment strategies can be employed to maximize value and stakeholder-buy-in. Balancing the Carrot and Stick in a Hyper Competitive Cost Environment: Sourcing Meets Supplier Relationships in Retail and Grocery will take place Thursday, Feb. 25, at 12 p.m. CST.

Supplier Costs, Risks at Heart of EPA Clean Power Plan Compliance: Q&A

pierre mitchell headshot

I sat down with our own Pierre Mitchell, chief research officer of Spend Matters, a bit ago to chat about how folks in procurement organizations should be thinking about regulatory risk – especially as the final version of the latest federal rule is about to hit the books. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed the Clean Power Plan, the final rule of which is going into effect mid-summer 2015. (See the CliffsNotes of the nuts and bolts of the plan here.) In light of this, Pierre gave us an overview of how procurement should tackle the compliance-cost concerns, as pertains to manufacturers specifically. One of the biggies on the list? Supplier risk and supplier cost analysis. To get the full monty on how procurement can prep for EPA CPP compliance, register for an upcoming video webinar hosted by our sister site, MetalMiner: What EPA's Clean Power Plan Could Cost US Businesses (and What Procurement Can Do About It) – if only for Pierre's wicked-good video interview. Read the full article for an edited version of our conversation.