For the first time, FedEx sets the bar, but will UPS follow? Since 1998, UPS has been playing "leader," setting yearly shipping rates, with FedEx left to play the "follower" role. My, how the tables have turned. Doug Caldwell from AFMS Logistics takes us through the current landscape, detailing the context behind FedEx's move, its new rates – and how USPS is getting hotter on the ground game.more ▸
The Spend Matters Network introduces the first of what (we hope) will become a weekly “best of” roundup - a list of our favorite and most important posts published on our sites this past week. These are the stories that garnered the most attention from our readers or those we deemed worthy for another special mention. From news on recent merger and acquisitions and procurement partnerships on our Spend Matters U.S. and U.K. sites to the latest on China’s aluminum industry at our MetalMiner site - read on to learn what the top stories of the week were.more ▸
Today's Spend Matters PRO research brief covers the cool company that you probably haven’t even heard of, Riskmethods, which delivers risk management that is dynamic, in near real-time, and even forward-looking. It even has a fun user interface. Their solution loads all your suppliers and their locations, shipping lanes, etc., as well as your own company’s locations (as many and as much detail as you see relevant) whether offices, manufacturing, or distribution sites. At the end of the exercise you have your world map with a lot of dots and connecting lines like the one above. The types of tracked factors are pulled in from various publicly available and/or premium content sources and populates your personalized supply chain world view.
Today (August 14) we have invited Riskmethods to a webinar where we will discuss what can be done to understand supply chain exposure to pandemics (the current Ebola issue is obviously front of mind), as well as other risks that are more of a personal nature (crime, violence, geo-disasters like tsunamis) – please join us! What can you do about this issue and similar events that might disrupt your supply chain and/or put your employees and suppliers at risk?more ▸
Selectica and Iasta – Mapping the Future of Procurement, Contract Management, and Customer Engagement [PRO]
Selectica and Iasta have their homework cut out on pulling off the basics of post-merger integration activities. But beyond what they must do, what is the absolute potential of a combined offering if they succeed in going far behind the basics? It’s significant – very significant – and could mark a fundamental shift in how procurement organizations work with suppliers by creating greater trust between parties, counter-parties, and even third parties working together to achieve a common outcome – whether that involves the manufacturing of a part or component, the building of a new facility as part of a capital investment, or a licensing agreement for embedding intellectual property in products. In this Spend Matters PRO research brief, Managing Director Jason Busch and Chief Research Officer Pierre Mitchell explore the potential of bringing procurement and contracting closer together, as well as explore some of the potential ideas that Selectica and Iasta have shared as part of a combined vision.more ▸
As supply networks are becoming more complex, componentized, outsourced, and global (as well as faster, riskier, and more regulated), the capability of managing supply (i.e., “Supply Management” to manage a network of supply) is promoted from a siloed set of functional process to an integrated strategic one. So, if you want to “orchestrate” it, whether you provide products, services (including information services), or both, you need to collaborate fluidly in a multi-tier and multi-level fashion that orchestrates both the process silos and the information silos. For lack of a better term, think of this as Supply Management 2.0. It basically expands the vision from a traditional procurement-led sourcing process, typically managed via ERP and/or stand-alone procurement applications, to a cross-functional and cross-enterprise “platform” for orchestration of all critical supply resources in the supply network (materials, capacity, logistics, capital, etc.) across the supply tiers. In this Spend Matters PRO research brief, Chief Research Officer Pierre Mitchell argues that it’s time to flip the traditional paradigm of supply management from not just a new faceplate on the traditional purchasing function, but also from the sourcing component of the “sourcing and procurement” moniker that many practitioners use. Having strategic procurement be merely about sourcing as a serial step in an end-to-end lifecycle is a mistake. Not a Spend Matters PRO subscriber yet? Contact us to ask about a 30-day free trial.more ▸
We've long thought that Amazon, with its AmazonSupply, will eventually own the small and medium sized business (SMB) market for eProcurement – a space that is littered with the purchasing bones of many a vendor that has tried to enter. For years, Ariba failed to successfully pursue the market, among others. Today, Coupa, Verian, Wax Digital, Puridom, Proactis, and a few others have all had some traction with SMBs in purchase-to-pay (P2P). But generally speaking, this market is untapped from a centralized, automated technology buying perspective. Amazon knows this – and we think it’s why they’re currently looking to hire someone with a “cXML, OCI and e-procurement” background to “manage e-procurement integration projects with customers and supplier networks” (more on this in a minute). As soon as Amazon builds out a Platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offering and app marketplace to integrate to AWS, it will become way more interesting than just a re-skinned Amazon (i.e., the aforementioned AmazonSupply). In this Spend Matters PRO analysis, Managing Director Jason Busch and Chief Research Officer Pierre Mitchell provide their candid perspective on Amazon’s potential in the eProcurement and P2P market, in part based on evidence they’re already seeing in Amazon’s business already.more ▸
In a previous blog post, I re-introduced the notion of mass customization in the supply chain and discussed the impact on the supply base and then procurement itself – including a redesign of the needed resources (i.e., services and IT systems) underneath. In this post, I will dive a little deeper into the various mechanics of this and some real-life examples. There are a number of drivers of mass customization, and these include a “culture of me,” glocalization, and mobile platforms. Read on for the explanations of these drivers, as well as for what all this means to procurement.more ▸
The topics of supply chain risk and supplier management are perennial favorites at Spend Matters. But the truly nifty thing about technology in the supply risk area compared with other procurement and supply chain technologies is that there is massive innovation occurring behind the scenes – as well as incremental and clever progress. Recently, we informally circulated ideas around the office regarding technology vendors that show where supply chain and supplier risk management is headed. Below we list 10 providers that we recommend companies talk to in order to expand their understanding of risk management today and where it is likely to go tomorrow. In this first installment, we will cover SAP, Cortera, Sourcemap, Seal, and Lavante.more ▸
Spend Matters PRO Only - Premium Research Download
Our recent contribution to Fluor's Material Market Bulletin on cloud computing, procurement, and supply chain management. We didn't expect the end result to be an entire book chapter on the subject, now called Supply Chain in the Cloud. It's so rich in content and expertise that we decided to turn it into a research download for Spend Matters Plus/PRO members as a primer on what procurement organizations should know about putting mission-critical procurement applications into the cloud.
Supply Chains in the Cloud: Tipping Points, Integration Challenges, Complexity, and Selection Advice [PRO]
This is the third and final installment in our series covering supply chains in the cloud. Pierre Mitchell and Jason Busch discuss everything from where they think the tipping point is for procurement applications in the cloud to dealing with integration issues - ending with what everyone really wants to know: what's the NUMBER ONE selection criteria for cloud applications?more ▸
- Software as a Service (SaaS) or cloud offering brings the operational IT benefits of lower cost, greater reliability, improved accessibility, better scalability and agility. What benefits to the procurement process are typically associated with cloud applications?
- What drives companies to move mission-critical supply chain-related applications to the cloud?
- What does Spend Matters see that’s creating the most reluctance in companies or individuals in migrating to cloud applications?
- As individuals, we do banking and investments and enter our credit card numbers to make purchases online. Some even freely share personal information with social media tools. Is there any procurement information that you believe is not appropriate for being stored in a cloud application? If so, can you characterize that information?
Earlier this year, one of the most thoughtful procurement practitioners we know, Fluor’s Mike Oswalt, asked if Pierre Mitchell and I could contribute to their Material Market Bulletin on cloud computing, procurement, and supply chain management. Knowing Mike, we couldn’t resist. But what we didn’t expect at the time was essentially an entire book chapter on the subject, now called Supply Chain in the Cloud. And it’s good. So good, in fact, that we’re going to feature the piece in three-part Spend Matters PRO series as a primer on what procurement organizations should know about putting mission critical application in the crowd. We’ll begin today with a practitioner’s view and summary, courtesy of Mike Oswalt.more ▸