Guest Posts Content

Cobalt and the Sustainability of Electric Vehicles

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Nick Peksa, opportunities director at Mintec.

Recently I have been reading a number of case studies based on some of the world’s leading sustainable and socially responsible firms, ranging from Unilever’s work in Brazil and Danone’s work in India to Vodafone and their mobile payment systems in Kenya. One of the other favorite firms for academic research is Tesla, with its “greener than thou” philosophy. Delving a little deeper into the mechanics of batteries, however, the word “cobalt” rang a number of alarm bells.

How to Incorporate Diversity and Inclusion Practices Into Contingent Labor Programs

supplier diversity

Many organizations struggle with how to incorporate D&I practices within their contingent workforce. In response to concerns regarding co-employment, buying organizations tend to keep non-employees at arm’s length. But given the increasing number of contingent workers in the workforce mix, as well as the central role they are playing in more organizations, one could argue that a different approach should be considered in acknowledgement of the changing dynamics.

Market Speculation Puts Soybean Oil Prices on Roller Coaster Ride

GMO

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Jonathan Stokes, market analyst at Mintec.

We, as analysts, steer the market more than we like to think. A prediction or forecast one way or another can be a significant factor in driving commodity pricing. During the summer, the USDA did exactly this, surprising markets when they forecast higher US soybean production, despite adverse weather conditions throughout the crop development period. So when market prices of soybean and soybean oil shot up at the beginning of October due to the downward revisions of USDA production estimates, what went wrong?

Easing the Pain of Hotel Booking and Travel Spend Management

services sector

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post by Julian Kulkarni, vice president of marketing at Roomex.

The lodging offered by your preferred supplier is 20% cheaper and you have never had any reason to doubt the quality of its service. But a senior sales executive insists that you book lodging at a swanky hotel that’s closer to a key account – otherwise the hot deal he is negotiating might be at risk. Trouble is, the more expensive hotel may not comply with your strict T&E policy. You just don’t know and you are having trouble getting answers. So, what do you do? It’s a classic procurement manager’s dilemma. You’d like to be flexible and make an exception, but if you are not careful, an exception can become the norm, and costs (both direct and indirect) spiral out of control.

Commodity Price Risk Management: For the Many, Not the Few

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Tom Lawrence, director at Flow&Ebb. 

Commodity markets affect us all. Wild swings in commodity prices affect how much we pay for groceries, how much we pay for aluminum cans for our organic soda, how much we pay for electricity. Yet traditionally only large businesses had the budgets to pay for, and enough clout to embed, commodity price risk management into their supply management strategy.

Staffing Supplier-Buyer Relationships: What It Takes to Make It Work

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Michelle Cox, founder of Believe In You Coaching and Consulting and former senior manager, external staffing and vendor relations at U.S. Cellular.

With more than 11,000 staffing firms that exist in the U.S as of 2016 and more than 28,000 offices, buyers’ options when choosing a staffing supplier to support their organization may seem endless. For years the age-old question from staffing suppliers was, “How do I get in the door at XYZ buyer or managed service provider (MSP)?” During a panel I sat on for my previous organization, I answered this very question and my response was simple: We need to create a relationship, and relationships don’t happen overnight, nor do they exist without effort.

Game Theory: Changing the Way You Think About Commodities

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Nick Peksa, opportunities director at Mintec.

In 2014, we published an article on chaos theory, and as a continuation of this, I thought it would be interesting to introduce the concept of game theory and how you can use it to support your commodity price decisions. Game theory brings together the concept of competition and cooperation in business.

Nothing New Under the Sun: Taking an Advanced Approach to Supplier Diversity

supplier diversity

Growing up I remember hearing two phrases constantly: “There is nothing new under the sun” and “Numbers never lie.” Both statements I have found to be half-truths. Try telling dinosaurs, phone booths or the former milkman that nothing ever changes. People, things, ideas — all evolve. The time has come for supplier diversity to evolve, as well.

Taking Control of Your Unmanaged Indirect Spend

AnyData Solutions

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Scott Dever, vice president of member development at Corporate United.

Targeting areas of unmanaged indirect spend is a key way procurement leaders can deliver value and maximize savings, and ultimately extend their reach and influence. Traditionally, this unmanaged spend has challenged procurement for a number of reasons. Decentralized decision-making and fragmented buying creates a lack of visibility into spending, supplier proliferation and limited opportunities to support competitive sourcing. But increasing spend under management enables teams to realize many worthwhile benefits, including incremental cost savings, supply base consolidation and reduced risk.

The Damage to Oranges, Lumber and Cotton Caused by the Hurricanes

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Jara Zicha and Verity Michie, market analysts at Mintec.

At the end of August, the Atlantic regions suffered devastating effects from Hurricane Irma that lasted for two weeks. It hit islands in the Caribbean and parts of the southern U.S. states, including Florida. But how did this affect commodity prices?

Managing Employee Spend Strategically

BuyerQuest

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Guy La Corte, general manager, Americas, at Concur.

Employees have access to and are spending more of your company’s money across more spend categories using more payment methods than ever before. And for finance and procurement managers, it’s increasingly challenging to track spending in a world where employees are paying supplier invoices directly with company checks; booking and managing travel directly on their mobile devices; using their corporate, ghost, virtual, corporate or even personal cards for just about everything; and vendors are marketing directly to them with upgrades and offers. This employee-initiated spend has become the largest unmanaged spend category in almost every company’s financial program.

Supply Chain and Procurement: Risk Management Strategy

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Maria Cecília Siqueira, of GEP.

Risk management has been discussed exhaustedly in every business forum in the last couple years. Yet in day-to-day operations, it may still be linked to its origins as a paper process restrained to the legal and compliance departments. Per EY studies, 82% of institutional investors would pay a premium price for effective risk management. Nevertheless, it would be safe to say that today risk management faces the “risk of apathy” with business managers.