Spend Matters Premium Content:

The Spend Matters Stock Portfolio — Half Year Round-Up [Plus +]

- July 7, 2014 2:32 AM

We are halfway through 2014, and we're halfway through our Spend Matters stock portfolio challenge. Regular readers will know that we identified a portfolio of 21 companies with a procurement content and interest in order to track their performance and get a sense of where the market for “our” firms was going. Jason Busch and I then chose our own preferred portfolios from those stocks, each using an imaginary $1 million fund. He focused on just eight firms; I spread my risk with 14. So how was June? Relatively uneventful, if I’m honest, compared to some months when we’ve had major price movements.

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SAP and Ariba: Examining Cloud and On-Premise Choices and Product-Line Competition [PRO]

- May 23, 2014 9:59 AM

Even though Ariba is now operating under the procurement line of business at SAP – rather than as an independent company within the SAP umbrella – it still has a lot of influence on sales behavior in the field given the product choices suggested to customers (there’s sometimes more on the available product price sheet than is portrayed). For one, the rumors of the death of SAP SRM are greatly exaggerated – the current roadmap goes out over five years! In this Spend Matters PRO research brief, Chief Research Officer Pierre Mitchell and Managing Director Jason Busch provide an overview of many of the products on the SAP procurement price sheet now (coming from both Ariba and SAP) including spend analysis, sourcing, eProcurement/transactional purchasing, e-invoicing, and supplier management. In the analysis, the two analysts also comment on some of the statements SAP is making to customers about recommended solutions. This is the first in a highly detailed set of briefing papers we will be offering covering the SAP and Ariba product/solution set, roadmap, network strategy, and broader procurement vision, inclusive of direct materials and services procurement enablement.

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Spend Matters Stock Portfolio – A Black April (Especially for Jason Busch) [Plus +]

- May 2, 2014 2:26 AM

Another month has gone by, and I write this on the morning of May Day, a historical English spring festival and of course the international day for celebrating the labour movement, communism, and all things not particularly capitalistic. So it’s ironic perhaps that this is when we’re taking our monthly look at our stock (shares) portfolio of publicly quoted businesses with a significant procurement element. Just as in March, the (imaginary) Spend Matters Stock Portfolio has gone backwards. It lost around 4.5 percent of its value and now stands at just 1.4 percent above where it started on January 1st. After at one point being almost 10 percent up, we’re almost back to square one.

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Making of the Secret Sauce: Tricks for Using the Open Web for Supply Market Intelligence [Plus +]

- April 11, 2014 5:20 PM

While marketing and strategy groups get budget to use big data tools and high-end premium content subscriptions, most procurement groups are decidedly a little more low budget. They might want a Bloomberg-like cockpit, but they get a web browser. So, let’s work with that, and I will let you in on some dirty little secrets to find really good stuff out on the open web that I’ve learned over the years in procurement research. People will always thank me when I share these easy time-saving techniques with them – so I’m merely doing this no en masse. Yes, there’s a small fee to get into the sausage factory (i.e., this is for Plus members only), but I think you’ll find it’s worth it. Let’s proceed.

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Tips on Speaking to a Procurement Audience: Give Up the Slides, Please [Plus +]

- April 10, 2014 2:30 AM

PresentationPlus Whenever I have a big speech to give, I usually spend a few weeks preparing, or at least going through in my head, a planned outline. Like many presenters for whom public speaking did not come naturally to start, I’ve often found myself relying on slides to guide my talk. They’re a type of crutch, if you will. But in recent years, in the rare cases that I’ve been forced to present without PowerPoint, I’ve found the audience was far more engaged – probably something about a lack of 12 point Helvetica fonts and multiple takeaway arrows per slide, I suppose.

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The Holy Trinity that Makes Traxpay Connect Networks with Payments [PRO]

- April 8, 2014 10:45 AM

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA In this research brief, Jason Busch and David Gustin (Managing Director of Trade Financing Matters) explore why a unique need for payment capability fully integrated into the B2B sector is long overdue. Our research suggests a strong need exists to be able to bring all disparate players together, add a real-time payment capability, and have it all make sense for buyers and suppliers in the supply chain. This is where Traxpay comes in by enabling structured (e.g., invoice, purchase order) and unstructured data (e.g., photos, pdfs, etc.) to travel between buyers and sellers to make and reconcile payments in a dynamic fashion. They bring a core banking system (funds sit with the German Bundesbank), a secure B2B transaction model and platform-as-a-service (PaaS) approach to the payments space. [CORRECTION: AN EARLIER VERSION OF THIS SUMMARY LISTED THE AUTHORS INCORRECTLY. DAVID GUSTIN AND JASON BUSCH ARE THE AUTHORS OF THIS BRIEF].

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The Spend Matters Stock Portfolio – April Update [Plus +]

- April 3, 2014 11:17 AM

We're three months into our stock portfolio exercise and for the first time Jason and Peter's joint portfolio has lost a little ground. Despite still being up 6 percent on the year, they're down 3 percent from March. In the individual portfolio race, Peter is now showing a 13.4 percent gain whereas Jason is at 9.6 percent. For now it appears as though Peter's decision to spread his portfolio out among almost double as many firms as Jason was a good move. Who knows what these April showers will bring, though.

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Benchmarking the Procurement Benchmarkers – An Insider’s Guide (Part 1) [PRO]

- March 18, 2014 3:30 PM

Here at Spend Matters, we’ve been on a bit of a Procurement Performance Measurement kick lately. We started with a three-part series on A.T. Kearney’s ROSMA metric, and then we did a three-part series on improving procurement scorecards, which was then followed up by a deep dive on Implementation Considerations in Quantifying and Tracking Hard Cost Savings. One of the things that we mentioned a few times was the importance of linking external benchmarks into a procurement scorecard – and that we would follow up with a piece on procurement benchmarking firms. And so here we are. Before jumping into procurement benchmarking solutions in the market, it is critical to highlight the perhaps obvious statement to that you should know why you are benchmarking before you start looking for providers.

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The Spend Matters Stock Portfolio – March Update [Plus +]

- March 7, 2014 2:14 AM

We are now two months into our stock portfolio exercise. If you remember, we have created an imaginary portfolio of 21 procurement-related stocks that we're tracking, to see how they perform individually and as a portfolio against the market. And as a personal challenge, Jason Busch and I have decided on our own portfolios in which we have invested a virtual million pounds. Jason chose just eight of these 21 firms; I spread my risk more broadly and put “money” into 14 firms. So how are we doing so far? And who's winning? Hint: the procurement-focused portfolios have been comfortably beating the market.

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Manipulation of Specifications: A Clever Way to Enable Procurement Corruption [Plus +]

- February 27, 2014 6:16 AM

Don't interpret this the wrong way, but corruption and fraud in the procurement and supply chain context has long been an interest of mine. It might go back to something very interesting I saw in my first year in the procurement profession, where a supplier and some internal colleagues combined in what would have been a highly original deception, had it worked. More recently speaking, a few years ago I did some work with an excellent organisation called Transparency International (TI). It is a non-governmental global organisation that campaigns against corruption and for openness and good government. It is probably best known for its corruption index, where every country in the world is rated on that particular subject.

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This Morning! 5 Priorities for Procurement Leaders in 2014 Webinar [Plus +]

- January 23, 2014 6:01 AM

Spend Matters UK/Europe's Peter Smith is the presenter for this week's Ask the Expert webinar, taking place today at 10am Central. He'll discuss key priority areas for procurement practitioners (and those who sell to them), so come prepared with questions and discussion points. Plus/PRO members, it's not too late to register!

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7 Cultural Habits of Highly Innovative Procurement Organizations (Part 1) [Plus +]

- January 22, 2014 2:10 AM

A neighbor and close friend of mine works for a well-known design company, and he and I have spent some time discussing what makes the company successful. He is a highly creative individual, but he emphasized to me that there are some “structural” aspects to the success of his firm. The topic of innovation is very popular in more advanced procurement organizations, so I thought I would take seven of the value statements made at this design company and apply them to the procurement setting based on what I’ve seen at other organizations. This is the first in a two-part article on establishing a culture of innovation. Here are the first three principles.

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