Last week, I attended Taulia’s Annual Customer Conference (Taulia Connect) in downtown San Francisco (see previous coverage from the event at the end of this post). I’m actually saving the best for last in terms of discounting and supplier adoption metrics that Taulia shared – check back next week on Spend Matters PRO for our analysis of enablement and adoption data from more than 3,800 suppliers. But in the interim, I thought it would be worth sharing a few company trends of note that we’ve not covered yet.more ▸
In our last installment of this “50 Shades” series on spend analysis, we alluded to the concept of the “transaction factory.” Basically, we’re talking about managing transactional documents like POs, receipts, invoices, and payments with the same rigor that products are managed as they flow through a world-class production facility. For right now, we’ll address the “invoice factory” and “payment factory” since we’re talking about A/P-based spend analysis (for now). Spend Matters' Chief Research Officer Pierre Mitchell continues his 50 Shades PLUS series, this time touching on "Shade 5."more ▸
Earlier today, Traxpay announced it had raised $15 million from a set of financial and strategic investors, including Commerzbank. In the coming weeks on Spend Matters, we’ll be featuring a detailed interview I recently had with Traxpay CEO John Bruggeman. Traxpay is a truly fascinating, yet early stage vendor-focused on the dynamic payments space. It is not a competitor to the Ariba/SAP, Basware, Tungsten and Taulia type providers of the world, but rather a potential partner. It is, however, a serious threat to banks potentially to card companies as well.more ▸
Accenture Spend Trends Report: MRO Category Intelligence – Not One Category, Not One Opportunity (Part 2)
In the first part of our update on MRO (maintenance, repair and operations) sourcing trends, we highlighted a number of our own observations as well as those that Accenture made in its recent Q2 . As our analysis continues, we turn our attention, courtesy of Accenture, to the area of supplier innovation and material substitution and how to access it. Accenture suggests there is no substitute for face time when it comes to learning from MRO suppliers. Specifically, attending supplier conferences is an important place to learn.more ▸
In our previous ‘shades’ (begin with Shade 1 here), we helped describe a foundational capability: to analyze and make visible how much money has been paid to suppliers. We also discussed how to wrangle the supplier master data that feeds the payment data that in turn, feeds the analytics. Now, in this Spend Matters Plus Research brief, Chief Research Officer Pierre Mitchell explores and classifies the types of suppliers with which you've held transactions to analyze your spend – ultimately signaling the shift from spend analysis to supply base analysis.more ▸
An Oracle ERP Procurement Update will take place this Thursday, September 18 at 10 a.m. CDT. Chief procurement officers, practitioners and Plus/PRO members are encouraged to join us for this pop-up webinar that will explore the current state of ERP procurement and what to expect from Oracle’s procurement product lines. Register today!more ▸
Public Spend Matters Europe: Spend Matters Talks to Peter Smith on Importance of New EU Site (Part 1)
The Spend Matters Network recently launched its third European website Public Spend Matters Europe, which is dedicated to bringing you the latest news and information on government procurement throughout the continent.
The Spend Matters UK/Europe website has been up for four years, and despite its name, it has focused on procurement - and often public procurement - largely in the United Kingdom. What will set the new Public Spend Matters Europe website apart, however, is its more broader European focus, covering the continent from Ireland to Finland, from Portugal to Greece.more ▸
The bigger the organization, the more political the decision-making process is – a maxim all too familiar to most of us. Sourcing, by definition, will step on numerous toes as it navigates the shark infested organizational waters toward better total cost and value outcomes. Internal silos and fiefdoms will have to be cracked open in order to create the best results.
Along the way, as we have all seen, many worthwhile initiatives fail for the lack of adoption sword – the unimplemented savings – as the industry euphemism goes for the negotiated savings that the sourcing team created, but the business users passive-aggressively ignored. Even worse, relationships, both internal and external, take a turn for the worse as toes are crushed under a well intended, but perhaps awkwardly placed, sourcing boot. Some stakeholders run for the mattresses and start sniping you. Others approach the procurement challenge as a no-knock, no-survivors SWAT team effort, doing more harm than good; equally destructive of long-term trust with stakeholders and suppliers.more ▸
My old employer The Hackett Group sent me the results of their latest annual study on working capital performance (a downloadable version of the study can be found here). Hackett’s subsidiary REL Consultancy (or “REL” for short) annually extracts, adjusts, and reports on the working capital performance (and overall financial performance) of the top 1,000 publicly traded firms in the United States. For context, the average firm turnover is $11 billion in revenues and median turnover is $4 billion.
REL runs its business primarily based on a singular assumption and value proposition: Reduce your Days Working Capital (DWC) because less working capital is better for the business. Cash that is “liberated” from balance sheets can be used for stock buybacks, R&D, M&A, etc. Improving working capital is a no brainer, right? Unfortunately, this story is just that: a nice story.more ▸
Yesterday, Tungsten announced its acquisition of DocuSphere, a niche provider of accounts payable automation and integration technology that largely flew under the radar of most finance and procurement organizations in the sector (its entire 2013 revenue was less than some of the larger accounts payable automation deals that have been completed in recent years). e can largely conclude that the acquisition was done for two reasons: first, to extend Tungsten’s product capability outside of e-invoicing and supplier connectivity, and second, to bring additional volume onto the Tungsten network.more ▸
Zara, that darling of the fashion world with the most innovative speed-to-market business model, invented the concept of “fast fashion.” The company has received heaps of praise for its innovations that have allowed it to reach more than $20 billion in revenue (see here, here, and here). And, let’s face it, the clothing chain has a lot to offer, particularly if one craves the latest looks. I have shopped there many times. But I can’t say that I will again because of a recent “blunder.”more ▸
In the 120 years that Labor Day has been a federal holiday, it has morphed from a day celebrating the blue-collar working class to a handy if inaccurate marker of the end of summer. As for Spend Matters, instead of the usual programming, here is a run-down of significant news relating to labor from this year.more ▸