As we rapidly approach the end of the year, and as the witches and wizards appeared on our streets in October and the nights lengthen, can our three Spend Matters stock-pickers turn their performance around and beat the market over the final months of the year? We’re talking about our portfolio of procurement-related stocks, of course, and whether myself, Jason Busch and Nancy Clinton can beat the overall weighted portfolio that contains all 24 of the firms with a procurement interest. We had a reasonable month of October, with our portfolio following the market and up some 7%, although it is still some 8.5% below where it started on Jan. 1.
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Invoicing and Finance
September was a quiet month overall in terms of our Spend Matters Stock Portfolio and most major global stock markets. The Spend Matters portfolio of all 24 firms lost about half a percent of its initial Jan. 1 value during September. Our portfolio follows the progress of quoted companies that operate in whole or part in what we call the procurement solutions market. We are tracking the performance of these shares on various stock markets from Helsinki to New York via Paris and London. Check out the full post to how these procurement companies performed last month.
Yooz, the subject of this Spend Matters PRO brief, offers a cloud-based solution that automates the A/P process from the time an invoice is captured and incorporated into the solution through the completion of the payment process, fully combining the processes of purchasing and receiving. This offers an opportunity for procurement organizations to improve purchasing and A/P linkages, reducing processing costs and accelerating approval times. In this PRO analysis, we offer an in-depth look at Yooz’s solution and its implementation process as well as how we see the provider expanding in the future.
Back in early 2014, Trade Financing Matters’ David Gustin noticed some major changes in the supply chain finance space. Banking and financing firms were increasingly partnering with various supplier B2B networks at a rapid pace. He pointed to this growing trend in one of our popular Ask the Expert webinars, which originally aired in April 2014, titled, Ask the Expert: B2B Commerce Networks Enter the Supply Chain Finance Space. You can check out the full recording of the webinar in this post and learn the difference between trade credit and trade finance and what exactly supplier networks are, how they operate and more.
Unless you spent all of August on a deserted beach without Wi-Fi, you know the month saw the most dramatic stock market falls since the crash of 2008. It began in China, which has seen a real market bubble develop over the last year or so, with stock prices more than doubling. Fears about an economic slowdown led to significant market falls though June and July. The slowdown also impacted stocks in August, including the companies in the Spend Matters Stock Portfolio. We lost 4 % overall last month, but that doesn't look so bad compared to the real world market crashes.
On this Flashback Friday, we are looking back to another popular Ask the Expert webinar we held back in April on current trends in trade financing. Spend Matters’ Jason Busch and Trade Financing Matters’ David Gustin teamed up in Ask the Expert: The State of Trade Financing Technologies to provide an impressively detailed overview of what’s happening in the trade financing world and how these events are signaling a changing market – all in under 30 minutes. Check out the full recording of the webinar and tell us if you have seen these trends play out during the second half of 2015.
Doing this monthly round-up this year has been a little depressing at times, particularly looking at the performance of the shares chosen by our Spend Matters “expert” team, which includes myself as well as Nancy Clinton, editor of Spend Matters UK/Europe and Public Spend Matters Europe, and Jason Busch, Spend Matters founder and managing director. Remember, we each allocate our own imaginary million dollars across our choice of stocks included in our overall portfolio of 24 firms that have an interest in the procurement solutions market. If you have been keeping up with our portfolio this year, you know we have thus far had a fairly rough go at it. See which companies had a good month and the many others that struggled during July.
You may be getting used to this as the opening comment, but June, yet again, wasn’t a good month for the 3 Spend Matters stock pickers. Jason Busch, Nancy Clinton and I chose our own portfolios at the beginning of the year, and the story up to now has been Nancy out-performing the 2 more experienced, in theory, stock pickers and procurement experts. But this month – disaster for her. Jason and I are neck and neck now for second place, but were also down, but only by some 3% to 4%. That means that Nancy is still just in the lead, having lost a mere 14% of her original stake, whereas Jason and I have seen our portfolios decline by just over 15%. Not impressive.
While a range of solution providers in the purchase-to-pay (P2P) and trade financing areas are offering greater flexibility on pricing models (e.g., supplier-funded vs. buyer-funded, programs-based discount uptake/adoption/transaction fees, etc.), there’s the broader question of how one can think about budgeting and accounting for investment. Of course, such a question is also linked to where a program “sits” in a company. Here, the question of centralization matters. Yet is there a “best” model when it comes to budgeting for e-invoicing, P2P or related initiatives? Spend Matters experience, especially from an overall adoption perspective, suggests that a centralized approach with centralized payment is often the best place to start rather than having individual business units drive the initiative and funding. But whether this model makes sense over time will depend on the structure and capabilities of each organization – not to mention the willingness of a corporate central structure to fund initiatives on an ongoing basis. This Spend Matters PRO takes a look at this issue – read on...
As we are approaching the midpoint of the year, we might want to start looking at just what is happening to the procurement software market, certainly in terms of the quoted companies that represent “our” sector. At the end of May, it is a sorry story for our portfolio of procurement-related stocks, and an even sorrier one for 2 of our 3 intrepid Spend Matters stock pickers. This Spend Matters Plus article provides an update on how the month of May fared for our notional Spend Matters Stock Portfolio of 24 companies quoted on various stock markets and that operate in some extend in the procurement solutions sector. Hint: May didn’t go so well…
Two weeks ago saw a material drop in Tungsten’s stock price (over 20%) – a trend that continued early the following week – only to be reversed after a secondary offering that provided support for the stock (at the time of writing, the stock price had rebounded 25% off of its lows). But the initial downward stock movement almost has seemed detached from the revenue results of the business, which the firm said would beat guidance. However, there is other news in the story – much more news, in fact, which is far more interesting than the high-level numbers, or even the stock drop or appreciation. Moreover, just as Ariba was an important stock to watch as a proxy for the sector – and which we profiled when it was independent during most quarters – so, too, is Tungsten in the supplier network and technology-led trade financing market. In this Spend Matters PRO analysis and research brief, we consider some facts and figures surrounding Tungsten’s results and how we read into them from an overall market perspective spanning e-invoicing, invoice discounting and supplier network capabilities.
This Friday, April 17, Spend Matters Founder and Managing Director Jason Busch will join David Gustin, editor and co-founder of Trade Financing Matters, for The State of Trade Financing Technology, an Ask the Expert webinar, open to Plus and PRO members. The webinar, taking place at 10:30 a.m., will touch on a number of topics – you wont want to miss it.