Ask Spend Matters Content

Ask Spend Matters: Should You be Asking for Prices in the Supplier Prequalification Process?

finance

A North America-based reader from a professional services company recently wrote in with a question about asking for prices in the supplier prequalification process. She noted that procurement organizations in the public sector tend to ask for prices in the RFI process and then again in the formal RFQ process, whereas in the private sector they typically ask for prices in the RFI process only when they need to explore the market, saving price requests for the RFQ. Why does the public sector need an RFI with prices and then an RFQ, likely with the same prices? It seems inefficient to this reader, who wonders if there are some advantages to this approach that she is missing

Professional Development in Procurement: Rationale and Strategies

One reader who wrote in to Ask Spend Matters last year posed an interesting question that fell outside of our editorial team’s wheelhouse: “What are the most pressing professional development needs for sourcing and procurement professionals today and for the next five years?” While we’ve fielded many of the procurement strategy and technology-focused questions we received, we thought our friends at MRA Global Sourcing would be perfectly suited to provide a compelling answer to the above. Read their response below!

With shifting market conditions, technological advancement and other factors, the procurement function is changing rapidly. If supply management professionals and their companies don’t keep pace, they’ll be at a serious disadvantage. As procurement evolves, so do attitudes toward professional development, and the way workers build their knowledge base. Let’s examine the state of professional development, and what’s on the horizon.

It’s 2018: What New Questions Do You Have About Procurement?

As Spend Matters analysts, editors and readers went on much-deserved vacations over the winter holidays, Ask Spend Matters went on a short hiatus, too. But as everyone settles back into their offices, hopefully more relaxed and refreshed, we at Spend Matters are eager to see where Ask Spend Matters goes this year. And so consider this our 2018 call for reader questions: What have you always wondered about procurement or supply chain but have been afraid to ask? What do you want to know more about?

Ask Spend Matters: Is a Group Purchasing Organization (GPO) Right for Me?

A reader recently wrote in with a question about how to find group purchasing organizations (GPOs) or purchasing consortia. This individual is a U.S.-based sourcing manager at Heidelberg, a multinational company that provides equipment and services for the print media industry. The reader told us that his company is thinking about bidding out for copiers next year, and he became interested in looking into GPOs after hearing about them at a local ISM meeting. However, a casual internet search for GPOs yielded no shortage of results.

‘Ask Spend Matters’ Lightning Round: Marketing Spend, Public Procurement and Finding a Contractor

As we work behind the scenes to turn Ask Spend Matters into a more regular feature, we thought we’d chip away at a few of the reader questions we’ve been sitting on. As managing editor Taras Berezowsky promised last month those who have submitted a question but not heard back, we haven’t forgotten about you! Today’s lightning round edition, if you will, tackles three specific questions on the value versus price debate in marketing spend, where federal agencies find their suppliers and how to find a young person to prepare those boring databases.

Have You Asked Spend Matters a Question and Not Heard Back? Don’t Worry — We’re Working on It!

For those of you who have submitted a question to our Ask Spend Matters program but haven’t heard from us, we wanted to let you know that even though we’re in the dog days of summer, we haven’t forgotten about your questions. In fact, we’ve taken a close look at all the questions submitted since we launched the program in early July. Our editorial team has grappled with which questions to pursue and investigate, and several have already been reported and published! Check them out within.

Building Supply Market Intelligence: Which Data Sources are the Best?

Often, it’s all about how quickly one can digest something. No, I’m not talking about Joey Chestnut’s eating-champ prowess. I’m talking about market intelligence. In a procurement professional’s day-to-day, that sentiment has certainly become more widespread than ever. In fact, with time at a premium, the majority of procurement pros — from junior buyers all the way up to CPOs — are faced with this issue every day. However, it can pay dividends to approach supply market intelligence in a strategic way.

Big Data in Public Procurement: Strategic Enabler or Leaker of Inconvenient Truths?

The term big data is not new in the lexicon of business jargon. After years of hearing how big data analytics will transform the enterprise by producing brilliant insights from reams of unstructured information, procurement observers are understandably skeptical about the promises big data’s marketers have made. It was no surprise to us, then, that for one of the first questions we received in our new series Ask Spend Matters, an anonymous asker hoped to find some evidence behind big data’s claims.

ICYMI: What Have You Always Wondered About Procurement (But Were Afraid to Ask)?

The Spend Matters editors have been busy working through reader questions these past two weeks. Our recent submissions run the gamut from how to implement supplier relationship management to what professional skills will be most in demand in the supply chain and procurement field to, er, prank questions from our own colleagues. You might be thinking, “But hang on! What’s all this? Can I submit a question? Is this a new feature?” Yes and yes! In case you missed it (this is peak vacation time, after all), earlier this month we launched Ask Spend Matters, where you tell us what procurement questions to investigate, and we report out the answer in the form of an article.

What’s the Cost of Having a Long Supply Tail, and How Do You Determine the ‘Right’ Supply Base?

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We recently put up an interactive Ask Spend Matters box so that you, our readers, can tell us about the topics you want us to investigate. One of the first questions that came in was about tail spend: “What is the cost of having a long supply tail, and how are organizations determining the ‘right’ supply base (number and percentage) as relates to spend?” As Spend Matters Chief Research Officer Pierre Mitchell put it, "This is a great question, but it’s a bit tricky to answer.” Read on to hear his reply!

Announcing “Ask Spend Matters!”

What have you always wondered about procurement — but were afraid to ask? The editors at Spend Matters have never stopped wondering about what procurement means for all of us and how it is defined as a profession — but going down rabbit holes is only fun until you run out of air. Enter Ask Spend Matters, a new series where you, the reader, tell us what to investigate and report about procurement. How do you submit your question? The process is simple.