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Connect Procurement’s “S-Curve” to that of the Business

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Conrad Smith, senior director of global procurement at Adobe. 

Every procurement department needs to “right-size” itself. Although it’s natural to set our vision on a “world-class” procurement department, it’s far more important to clearly understand the stage and needs of the business we support. From startup through growth and into stabilization, the business needs us to deliver value and support directly aligned with its key business goals.

Why Partial Automation Will Be a Smart Tool — Not a Replacement — For the AP Clerk

e-invoicing

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Laurent Charpentier, chief innovation officer at Yooz North America.

Accounts payable (AP) clerks at leading companies are already seeing machine-learning programs automate and streamline their daily work, flagging suspicious invoices, reducing cycle time and saving their organizations money. Artificial intelligence is boosting efficiency and making life easier for thousands of AP professionals today. But many of these professionals are undoubtedly wondering if sophisticated software might one day put them out of a job.

Supply Chain Flexibility: Does Your Design Pass the Proactive Test?

Global Risk Management Solutions

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Eric Robinson, senior project engineer at Kenco Group.

When your supply chain encounters a roadblock, how does it respond? Does one problem spiral into another, leaving you without visibility into the causes? If so, your supply chain design is reactive. Instead of showing and slowing the roadblock as soon as possible, your design left you wide open. As an overseer of your supply chain, you want to do whatever you can to arm it against slip-ups. You need to play the offensive to ensure your design (and your team members) are fully prepared for bumps in the road.

Strategies Every Procurement Professional Should Know to Reduce Inventory Levels and Cost

warehouse

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Ana Sofia Gómez, a manager at GEP.

In an organization, the challenge for optimizing costs goes beyond getting the best prices in the market through the procurement function. The challenge also involves implementing strategies, or acquiring added values and services that allow the organization to improve their process administration and get benefits from those improvements. With manufacturing companies, one area of opportunity is inventory management.

Traditional or Nurturing? 2 Methods for Recruiting Procurement Professionals

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Zelim Suleymanov, chief executive of PrECA.

It is not easy to find a top-class procurement professional. On the one hand, purchases require best practices expertise, and on the other hand, they need unconventional thinking and a creative approach. Highlights and challenges of up-to-date recruiting techniques with a focus on procurement can be found in a number of resources. Among them is procurement talent management and related issues described by Charles Dominick of the Next Level Purchasing Association.

I would suggest two possible headhunting models that can be used either individually or in combination when recruiting employees. They are what I call traditional and nurturing methods.

How to Smooth Manufacturer-Supplier Relationships Through AP Automation

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Howie Hahn, senior sales engineer at Esker.

Success in manufacturing depends on the mutually beneficial relationships between manufacturers and suppliers. Each party relies on the other to live up to its obligations, if either expects to move towards long-term success and growth. But business, like life, doesn’t always go as planned. Even relationships based on trust and mutual benefit can get rocky.

The key is to make sure that the inevitable bumps in the road don’t morph into ill feelings, mistrust or, worse, lawsuits. One tool that can help ensure that manufacturers and suppliers maintain smooth relationships is accounts payable (AP) automation.

The Benefits of Treating Your Suppliers Like Partners

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from James Gellert, chief executive of RapidRatings.

Suppliers and buyers haven’t always had the best relationship beyond the transaction. Historically, the relationship was focused on getting the lowest price and reliable delivery. While this made sense on paper, it inevitably created a zero-sum game, as suppliers were often seen as expendable. Suppliers knew they could be replaced at any time and therefore had little interest in being flexible or working in the purchaser’s best interest.

While many companies have since rethought this Draconian approach and have been successful in creating overall value beyond the transaction, those companies that have truly realized the benefits of treating suppliers like partners are able to transform themselves into a more focused, nimble and cost-effective global competitor.

America Needs a Bigger Closet

warehouse

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post by H. Cole Hassay, economist at IHS Markit.

Americans need more space to store their goods, according to warehouse construction data. Warehouse construction rose in 2016 by 8%, coming off three years of double-digit growth as consumers continue to demand more storage space. Rising demand, along with historically low interest rates, prompted this construction explosion. Though the Federal Reserve has signaled interest rates will be rising in the near term, warehouse construction should remain positive, though less dramatic, as demand persists.

Sweet Year for Sugar in 2016

sugar

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Avneet Deol, market analyst at Mintec.

Earlier in 2016, prices for the sugar No. 11 contract on ICE US, the world benchmark for raw sugar trading, looked set to end the year at the highest level in over four years. However, prices subsequently fell in Q4 2016, reaching six-month lows by mid-December. In this article, we look at what factors impacted the sugar market last year and why prices turned around toward the end of 2016.

Bad Data Management Means Lost Business: 3 Tips for Suppliers

data

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Martyn Davies, director of product management at Rocket Software.

The biggest manufacturing brands in the world demand rigorous data workflow processes between them and their suppliers — and it’s easy to see why. There is no doubt that supply chains will only continue to become more complex, and increase the level of risk, especially when they are geographically dispersed. Global companies need to implement robust processes to ensure that data is managed, processed and protected to the highest standard when it is exchanged and shared with others.

Global Contracting: 3 Factors to Understand Before Involving Developed and Developing Geographies

change of control clauses

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Iyappan C., senior research analyst, FM/CRE Services at Beroe.

One of the clear trends in the current business world is that global organizations are increasing their operational presence in developing geographies and, as a consequence, procurement teams are forced to seek and attain benefits from integrated supply contracts including these geographies. If they can attain such integration, it will consolidate the organization's’ overall supply bases more efficiently.

Procurement Meets the Jetsons

robot

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Chris Haydon, chief strategy officer for SAP Ariba.

Fifty years ago, George Jetson and his cartoon family painted a vision for the future that technologists have been chasing ever since. And it is closer to becoming a reality than you might think.