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The Digital Transformation of Services Sourcing: What It Is and Why It Matters

gig economy

Remember when you could only book a flight by calling a travel agent? Or do a banking transaction by visiting the nearest branch? Buy insurance only through an agent? Shop for a new house only by reading the local newspaper classifieds, or search for a plumber or doctor only in the Yellow Pages?

The way consumers buy services now has been massively digitized, with the enormous benefits of great selection, convenience and value for all of us. Yet most business-to-business services are bought today in the same way they were bought 20 years ago. That still largely depends on a phone call between a business stakeholder who has a need and someone they trust to broker the work. That someone is often a senior executive in a large firm, who then rallies a team to prepare a proposal that will be presented to the buyer in person.

But change is coming.

CRO-to-CRO Video Series: Episode 2 Explores the Evolving Role of Procurement

Procurement has come a long way from the 1980s, when it was simply a transactional function, up until today, when talk of artificial intelligence, blockchain, RPA, process mining and rapid self-service are all the rage.

Recently, Pierre Mitchell, chief research officer of Spend Matters, had a chance to sit down with his old friend and former colleague Michel Janssen, chief research guru of Everest Group, a research and management consulting firm based in Dallas, Texas.

In this second episode of their video series, watch as both CROs explore how the role of procurement has changed over the years, from buying at the lowest price, to total cost of ownership, to ever more complex layers of risk mitigation & value creation — and what it all has to do with "Minority Report."

After SIG’s Spring Executive Summit, I Think Procurement is Officially Cool Now

One day you wake up and realize that you’re nearly 10 years into a procurement career (which you never expected, considering your English literature degree) and you’ve never been to a SIG conference. That changed this week as I headed down to Amelia Island, Florida, for the Spring Executive Summit. And I learned a few things that Spend Matters readers should know.

From Watch to Know in 2019: State of Flux Focuses on User Experience in SRM

Each year, some companies on Spend Matters’ 50 Providers to Know list and the list of 50 to Watch honorees here in the Spend Matters Almanac push themselves beyond simply a standout performance. They earn the recognition that they are not only bringing innovation into procurement organizations but also leading the charge to change the way we do business for the better. These are the providers who shifted from Watch to Know in 2019, like State of Flux.

To learn more about these providers, we reached out to a few such cases in our 2019 50/50 lists, asking how they’ve changed over the years and what differentiates them from the competition. Today’s Q&A features State of Flux Chairman Alan Day.

ISM 2019 Houston Conference: Highlights and Musings (Part 1)

A small Spend Matters team descended on ISM 2019 conference this year in Houston (next year is in Boston, where I live!) and I wanted to share some thoughts on the event and a few of the great sessions there.

CRO-to-CRO Video Series: 2 Veteran Chief Research Officers Dig into Digital Procurement Transformation

What happens when two chief research officers of two esteemed research firms sit down together for a video series chat? The viewer is in for a treat — an insightful series of video discussions on digital procurement transformation and the state of procurement overall. Recently, our own Pierre Mitchell, chief research officer of Spend Matters, had a chance to sit down with his old friend and former colleague Michel Janssen, chief research guru of Everest Group, a research and management consulting firm based in Dallas, Texas.

Procurement Technology, Digitization Can Blunt Economic Headwinds, GEP Report Says

Although global GDP grew a healthy 3.1% in 2018, the year finished with a rocky fourth quarter. Against this backdrop, GEP has released its 2019 Procurement and Supply Chain Management Outlook, which predicts a tough business climate ahead, but one that can be addressed with advances in procurement technology.

‘50 Providers to Know’ and ‘50 Providers to Watch’ for 2019

The 2019 lists for Spend Matters’ 50 Providers to Know and the 50 Providers to Watch have been published!

Each year we recognize 100 vendors in the industry as part of two lists: the best-in-class companies you need to know about and the up-and-comers, the growing firms you should keep your eye on.

The 50 to Know and Watch lists take shape after our analysts assess the capabilities for an array of companies. The assessments rely heavily on Spend Matters’ SolutionMap, our benchmarking tool that uses 350-plus RFI questions to rank solution providers for each of 12 market sectors — like E-Procurement, Source-to-Pay, Spend & Procurement Analytics, and three contingent workforce areas. This gives our analysts an independent view of the market, and then they rigorously discuss the top 50 companies to put on each list.

How to Get Independent Professionals into Your Company’s Contingent Workforce Plan

In a look at the contingent workforce, MBO Partners' “Client of Choice Report 2019” explores the changing needs and expectations of the independent professionals and what corporations are doing to attract and retain the best talent in this emerging labor market.

Big Costs in Small Parcels: A Webinar on Navigating Shipping Spend, Improving Contracts and Saving Money

For many companies, shipping small parcels to customers is a hefty, unavoidable cost. So what are buyers to do? Imagine the difference if you could uncover the specifics of your small parcel freight needs, then negotiate with small parcel freight suppliers to ensure better, more consistent pricing.

Spend Matters recently participated in a webinar  with experts from NPI Financial and Spend Management Experts that provided detailed information about what’s happening in the shipping industry. “Small parcel is way more complicated than you think,” Spend Matters' Pierre Mitchell said. “Organizations do have a sense that they’re not very good at being able to manage at this level of complexity.”

The Killer Procurement Technology Application: Stupid Simple

Like a lot of my colleagues on the analyst team at Azul Partners, I’m prone to overcomplicate things rather than take the easy way out. Big, hairy, audacious concepts (and technologies) fascinate me far more than what I’ve come to call the “Stupid Simple” ones. But it is this latter group that has far greater appeal in the mass markets and, from a technology purchasing and adoption standpoint, the Stupid Simples tend to be the rocket ships from an initial growth perspective. What do Stupid Simple concepts and companies have in common? I’ve created a running list.

Why ERP Does Not Suck Anymore for Procurement Technology*

It’s time to truly write off the ERP past with two of the top ERP providers.

SAP Ariba has doubled-down not only on core capability packaged approaches to accelerate adoption — and in the case of SAP Ariba, performs at the top of many of the SolutionMap functional rankings — but also next generation technology. For example, artificial intelligence to guide users down specific paths. Moreover, SAP Ariba is one of the top performing procurement technology suite vendors overall in SolutionMap.

And Oracle, with its investments in Cloud/Fusion, provides one of the best Deep-persona Procure-to-Pay (E-Procurement + Invoice-to-Pay) functional solutions in the market based on the latest SolutionMap benchmark — at least for companies also migrating their Oracle back-end to Cloud financials. Its platform-level investments in AI, blockchain and other areas are real — and are showing up in use cases that cascade across supply chain, finance and purchasing. The solution has capabilities for geeks and pragmatists alike.