Spend Matters Premium Content:
Procurement Strategy

Where Zycus Can Improve in the End-to-End Procurement Suite Big Leagues [PRO]

- November 14, 2014 2:31 AM

Earlier this week, we published the first in a two-part series offering perspective and recommendations on what Zycus, a procurement suite vendor, is doing right. But no provider is perfect. And Zycus, which has increasingly larger ambitions to become a leading source-to-pay (S2P) provider (versus “just” spend classification, analytics, sourcing, contract management, supplier management and related areas), has some significant work to do in the purchase-to-pay (P2P) arena if it is to go head-to-head against an increasingly busy, noisy and confusing field of incumbents and upstarts. In this Spend Matters PRO research brief, Managing Director Jason Busch and Chief Research Officer Pierre Mitchell provide a candid take on areas of improvement for Zycus. They will also offer their perspective, as an addendum to this series on Spend Matters Plus, on what types of customers are an ideal fit for Zycus today.

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50 Shades of Pay – Shade 9: The Magic Cube (Analyzing it) [Plus +]

- November 11, 2014 6:23 AM

In Part 1 of this Shade 9 Plus article, we discussed building your “spend cube.” Now that you have done that, the real fun begins: finding savings opportunities! Certainly, finding sourcing savings is where most start. The most popular analysis of course is evaluating spend fragmentation within a category across suppliers at the enterprise level, the regional level, the cost center level, the business unit level and so on. Since there is so much information out in the public domain (and from providers) on various spend reports that you can run off of this spend cube (e.g., including time as another dimension to support multi-period spend trending), we won’t re-invent the wheel, but do want to make a few points...

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50 Shades of Pay – Shade 9: The Magic Cube (Building it) [Plus +]

- November 10, 2014 6:39 AM

In this installment of our 50 Shades of Pay series, we finally dive into some of the gory critical details of building out the “magic cube” of spend visibility. Actually, it’s not that magical, and it can be more than 3 dimensions, but let’s keep it simple for now. The cube provides the data to answer the question, “How much did we spend on what with whom?” What we’re focusing on with this installment in the series is getting the data “on what” by classifying line-item level detail data into a spend category taxonomy.

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50 Shades of Pay: Shade 8 – Analyzing the “Bookends” of Purchases [Plus +]

- October 27, 2014 10:04 AM

In some of the previous installments of this series, we discussed why and how you might want to analyze the processes that generate spending so you can spend better by buying and paying better (we’ll get to sourcing in our next installment). The series started with analyzing payment history and then moved “upstream” to purchase history and associated PO line-item detail. What we glossed over, however, is the "bookends" of the transactional purchasing process, namely the requisitioning and receiving process. Now, you may ask yourself why we are focusing on these sub-processes. I mean, these are just transactional processes, right? None of these are really strategic, right? Well, yes, and no

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Social Media and the CPO [Plus +]

- October 23, 2014 2:32 AM

macbook-air-notebook-technology-1168-825x550 For a recent workshop in London, I prepared a session titled "From Facebook to Supplier Collaboration - how social media is changing procurement.” As well as being one of the more enjoyable topics to research (I got to know far more about vloggers and Haul Girls than I really needed to), it is actually a huge and fascinating topic once you really get into it. And it goes way beyond just keeping your LinkedIn profile up to date, which is about as far as many CPOs and senior professionals get. So in this piece we will get into an overview of the subject and start focusing on the key principles of social media, which then suggests what CPOs, procurement directors or similar should be considering in terms of actually making use of the tools - we'll cover that in Part 2.

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50 Shades of Pay: Shade 4 – Analyzing Total Spend, Payments by Supplier Type [Plus +]

- September 18, 2014 10:27 AM

money in the form of some coins In our previous ‘shades’ (begin with Shade 1 here), we helped describe a foundational capability: to analyze and make visible how much money has been paid to suppliers. We also discussed how to wrangle the supplier master data that feeds the payment data that in turn, feeds the analytics. Now, in this Spend Matters Plus Research brief, Chief Research Officer Pierre Mitchell explores and classifies the types of suppliers with which you've held transactions to analyze your spend – ultimately signaling the shift from spend analysis to supply base analysis.

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Why SAP Should — Or Should Not — Buy Concur [PRO]

- September 3, 2014 4:50 PM

Earlier today Thomas Kase (VP of research) shared some quick comments on the rumors that SAP is thinking about buying Concur. This Spend Matters PRO article is the in-depth analysis. "Say it ain't so" is what first came to mind, not that Concur is either shoeless or cheats. There are of course positive aspects to the acquisition as well. Thomas expands on the pros and cons of such a deal, as part of his advice to Concur's shareholders and customers.

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50 Shades of Pay: Shade 2 – Total Cash Disbursements to Suppliers [Plus +]

- August 25, 2014 2:19 AM

50 Shades of Pay is back! Here is the second "shade" in this Spend Matters Plus series from Chief Research Officer Pierre Mitchell. The intent of getting to level two is to gain a complete picture of total cash disbursements to suppliers. To do this, some obstacles must be overcome. If improving your spend analysis is a topic of interest and you're not a Plus subscriber, contact us to inquire about a free trial.

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Insight for CPOs: How Might CEOs Address Procurement’s Failings? [Plus +]

- August 20, 2014 2:11 AM

In Part 1 of this series, Peter Smith, managing director of Spend Matters UK/Europe, discussed the new Proxima graphic e-book titled "Drowning not waving – how Corporate Virtualization has got business leaders out of their depth... And where the real opportunities lie." Peter believes that the empowerment of the budget holder and business stakeholder, giving them a greater role in the overall procurement process, and the emergence of a consequent stronger commercial capability across the organisation, will be the most significant development in the procurement world over the next 10 years (in terms of strategy and organization at least). That of course will have some major implications for procurement functions and people - but it's a topic for another day. In this Spend Matters Plus research brief, Peter gives four reasons why he is confident in his prediction.

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Beware Ariba’s Patent Treasure Chest (Part 4): Supplier Approval and Activation in a Network [Plus +]

- August 19, 2014 2:23 AM

One of the primary motivations behind SAP buying Ariba was its network approach model. It was theoretically a business model that could deliver scale benefits to participants (and Ariba shareholders) beyond standard software or SaaS applications. There were numerous archetypes for the Ariba Supplier Network. Spend Matters analysis suggests Ariba was a fast follower, copying Commerce One (which had its own stash of patents that was eventually acquired by Perfect Commerce and Novell) and others in building out such a model. Yet Ariba quickly scaled its own IP and approaches in the area of supplier enablement and connectivity. In Part 4 of this Spend Matters Plus series on Ariba’s patent portfolio, VP of Research Thomas Kase considers Ariba’s patent for supplier approval and activation in a supplier network (essentially a one-to-many supplier network approach).

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Insight for CPOs: Proxima Lays Out Procurement’s Failings, But Are the Answers Here? [Plus +]

- August 15, 2014 2:31 AM

Procurement outsourcing specialist Proxima deservedly received a lot of coverage with its Corporate Virtualization study that was published last year. As you may remember, it analysed the accounts of large firms and discovered that on average 70 percent of their revenues were spent with third-party suppliers. That was more than most of us steeped in the industry expected, and compared with just 13 percent going on staff costs. Given those statistics, that raised a whole host of interesting questions about why procurement doesn't have a higher profile. Surely senior executives can see how vital it is for that 70 percent to be spent well? Now Proxima has produced a “graphic e-book” titled “Drowning not waving – how Corporate Virtualization has got business leaders out of their depth... And where the real opportunities lie.”

Spend Matters UK/Europe managing director Peter Smith was CPO for three large organisations covering both private and government sectors before he moved into advisory work and – eventually – running the UK/Europe site. In a new series for Spend Matters Plus, he will be writing regularly about key strategic – but non-technology related - issues of interest to the CPO, procurement director or other senior people in the profession. If you're a CPO but not a Plus subscriber, contact us to inquire about a free trial

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50 Shades of Pay: The Blueprint for the Joy of Spend Analysis [Plus +]

- July 30, 2014 2:25 AM

In yesterday’s announcement of a new Spend Matters Plus series, Fifty Shades of Pay, Pierre Mitchell wrote about the importance of spend analysis in procurement transformation. Now let’s look at making it happen. As spend analysis scenarios become more sophisticated and complex, they draw in broader data sets and use deeper types of analytics. Pierre developed a graphical context diagram, or blueprint if you will, of spend analysis. Not a Plus subscriber yet? Contact us to inquire about a free trial.

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