Guest Posts Content

Procurement as a Blind Beginner

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Conor Weir, graduate team member at eir, and Anthony Ryan, head of procurement operations at eir.

At eir we have an exciting two-year graduate program with two defined business streams: one stream for graduates of all disciplines who are looking to build a career in business, and a second stream for finance/accounting graduates looking to complete a relevant finance or accounting qualification and pursue a career in finance. Graduates are funneled through procurement, with most of them having only a vague idea of what procurement does. The procurement team at eir has developed a tactical buyer quick stream approach to indoctrinating the graduates into a meaningful procurement role. The following story is from a recently successful participant with very impressive quantifiable contributions delivered. This is a compelling story that not only validates the eir graduate program but also provides a glimpse into the interesting and challenging world of procurement.

How Can Procurement Help in Making a Sport Franchise Profitable?

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Deepesh Jethwani, consultant at GEP.

If you had a genie in a magic lamp and you were allowed three wishes, what would they be? For me, owning a professional sports team or franchise would be right on top of that list. I have been following cricket, football and tennis since my childhood, and the prospect of owning Manchester United, Mumbai Indians or Indian Aces is exciting enough to dream about. Have you also wondered about the cost of owning a professional sports team? This blog is an attempt to identify those costs and to understand how a professional sports franchise can limit costs wherever possible.

How to Get Poached for Private Equity Procurement

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Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Nick Lazzara and Naseem Malik, of MRA Global Sourcing.

Generally speaking, private equity firms buy companies and look to rapidly improve their performance by making them lean, efficient and cost-effective before selling. No group does these things better than modern procurement teams. As a result, one of the first orders of business following the acquisition of a new portfolio company is ensuring the procurement function is staffed with “A players.” And there are specific profiles that best suit these newly formed or revamped groups, PE industry leaders have told us.

Spring Time Sees Ammonia Prices Grow

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Verity Michie, market analyst at Mintec.

U.S. ammonia prices have been on a downward trend since the beginning of 2015, reaching a seven-year low in November 2016. So why have ammonia prices suddenly started rising? In order to answer this question, we will need to look at the reasons behind the two-year-long decline.

Cocoa Market Braces for Largest Surplus in 6 Years

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

In the run up to Easter last year, a survey conducted by the National Retail Federation estimated that Americans spend around $2.4 billion on candy, and this year is looking to be no different, with 87% of parents preparing an Easter basket for their children. So in terms of impact for chocolate sales (mainly eggs), Easter is more important than both Halloween and Valentine’s Day. Given the time of year and news that cocoa bean prices have plummeted in recent months, we decided to take look at the reasons for this.

Picture Your Procurement Strategy as a Pyramid

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

A few years ago, a consultant introduced me to a strategy tool that changed the way I do business. The strategy we developed became the “business hierarchy of procurement needs." You may already be familiar with psychologist Abraham Maslow’s traditional hierarchy of needs. In Maslow’s model, basic health and physical safety comprise the essential day-to-day building blocks at the base of the pyramid — and the fulfillment of those needs creates the stability necessary for the understanding and fulfillment of “higher” needs, such as belonging and self-esteem, all the way up to self-actualization at the pyramid’s peak.

Why It’s Important for Logistic Category Managers to Be the Gateway to Emerging Disruptive Technologies in the Marketplace

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Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Rodrigo Sánchez, consultant in strategy and operations management at GEP.

Procurement strategies aim to identify the service providers that can offer the products and services an organization requires at the most competitive prices. At the same time, they also need to meet the requirements established by the different departments across the company. Logistics, however, defines the strategy that will allow companies to move raw materials into manufacturing plants and distribute its finished goods across its supply chain. And all of this aims to be cost efficient. So how is it possible for procurement to identify additional opportunities for logistics, since it does not own the logistics strategy?

Dispatches from Cuba (Part 2): On Transactions and the Cuban Supply Chain

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Ginny Smith presents live science shows to schools, science festivals and other groups, and is also an author, journalist, radio and film presenter. As well as science, travel is another love, and as a neuroscientist by training, she is interested in the psychology of negotiation, which she discussed in her previous article about her recent trip to Cuba. In Part 2, she looks at queuing psychology, and touches on Cuban supply chain issues, too!

It wasn’t just navigating taxis that was a challenge in Cuba — shopping was a fascinating experience, as well. While it is often said that the English form the best queues in the world, I would disagree — the Cuban system is far better. When entering somewhere like a bank, you may think there is no queue at all, just one person at each desk and a number of others hanging around, sitting on sofas, chatting.

Predictive Procurement Gets Real

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Dr. Marcell Vollmer, chief digital officer at SAP Ariba.

The physical and digital worlds have officially collided. In the old days, we’d get the morning paper delivered to our doorsteps and read it on the way to work while drinking the coffee we made upon waking up. Today, the news we care about is automatically delivered to our mobile devices and we scan it while enjoying the beverage that we ordered via mobile app to have ready and waiting for us when we arrive. We used to attend events after work to expand our professional networks. Now we link to our peers — and their peers — around the world online in real time.

Apple Juice Prices Squeezed in the U.S.

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Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Jara Zicha, market analyst at Mintec.

President Donald Trump is still talking about imposing high tariffs on imports from China, even with all of the presidential campaigning behind him. While this is yet to be followed by something more definite, government officials and workers from several industries, including manufacturing, technology and farming, are either voicing their excitement or worry. Importers in the U.S. apple juice industry are likely to be some of those with concerns, as they mainly import apple juice concentrate (AJC) from China.

Why Are Clients Moving Away From MSPs to Internally Managed Programs (IMPs) to Optimize Contingent Labor?

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Terri Gallagher, president and CEO of Gallagher and Consultants, and Brandon Moreno, president of EverHive.

Times are changing and clients are becoming more sophisticated and educated regarding options to manage and optimize their contingent workforce. The managed services provider (MSP) model, which started 20 years ago as the “go-to” for contingent workforce management, is losing relevancy and the voice of the customer is confirming they want changes. Today, clients want a strategic business partner, true vendor neutrality, effective benchmarking and reporting, best practices and expanded supply chain options with digital platforms. They want to go beyond the current MSP “command and control” of cost control, process and visibility.

4 Reasons Why Supplier Scorecards Don’t Work

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Andy Kohm, CEO and founder of VendOp.

When I think of supplier scorecards, I think of having to be prodded, reminded and occasionally begged to carve out a large chunk of my time to fill out question after question on suppliers I’ve used since who knows when. I cringe when I see the first email comes in knowing that more are to follow. In theory, scorecards are perfectly sound tools to measure the effectiveness of key business relationships. But in reality, they’re hideous instruments for the collection of insight into supplier relationships. Let’s examine why.