Tagged Content: L1

30 Under 30 Program Nomination Period Extended, Spend Matters Talks to Former Nominator

- September 1, 2015 8:16 AM | Categories: Industry News, Procurement

ThomasNet ThomasNet and the Institute for Supply Management recently announced they were extending the deadline to nominate young procurement professionals for the 30 Under 30 Rising Supply Chain Stars Recognition Program. To gain a better understanding of what the nomination process for the 30 Under 30 Program looks like, Spend Matters talked to David A. Allen, functional excellence lead for contracting and procurement at Shell, who nominated a candidate during the inaugural 30 Under 30 program.

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Convicted Murderer Drives for Uber: Is ‘Misidentification’ Risk Heightened in a World of Platforms and Independent Workers?

WIP While the use of work intermediation platforms (WIPs) and independent workers may be starting to look attractive even to procurement practitioners, there are risks. The most well-known and recently publicized of these is the risk of “misclassification.” However, a lesser-known and potentially greater risk may be “misidentification” risk – being mistaken about who a person actually is and what their real background is.

This risk of misidentification was highlighted in a recent report that an Uber driver in Los Angeles was actually a convicted murderer. In this case, the convict used a fake identity to pass the company’s background check, which in most cases is performed by one of a multitude of third-party providers. However, the failure to validate the identity of the person in the first place reveals the potentially fatal breakdown in the identity verification process.

But this article isn’t about just Uber. Hundreds of such cases for employees and contractors likely occur every year without all the media scrutiny. Still, the number of occurrences could certainly be reduced through better focus, rigor and technology, such as electronic fingerprints.

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Spend Matters View: Realizing Accenture’s Future Supplier Network Vision (Part 1)

category management Building on my earlier post introducing supplier networks and platform-as-a-service (PaaS), which was inspired by some of the thinking in Accenture’s paper, Procurement’s Next Frontier – The Future Will Give Rise to an Organization of One, when considering supplier networks of tomorrow, I can think of dozens of future network-based applications that will supplement, augment or replace existing procurement and supplier tech applications.

Here are 6 ideas for what’s possible with future PaaS-driven network applications.

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A Look at the Distribution of Global Payments to Different Countries Across an Online Freelancer Marketplace Platform

wages Many are aware there are a number globally spanning online freelancer marketplaces, most notably Freelancer.com, Guru.com and now Upwork, the merged platforms Elance and oDesk. These platforms allow people almost anywhere to engage a freelancer, almost anywhere, to perform work and get paid for it – all virtually.

In this article we offer a picture of how that work is distributed across the globe, thanks to analysis and visualizations conducted by the Connectivity, Inclusion and Inequality Group, a multidisciplinary group of researchers based at the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford. Their results and visualization were published in 2 articles, “Is oDesk a global marketplace? Visualizing the geographies of digital work” and “Uneven Geographies of Digital Wages.”

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What Happened to FMS in the Past Year? A Request For FMS Providers to Share Their Stories

WIP In a recent post, “Freelancer Management Systems: The Origin and Destiny of a Species,” we established that the freelance management system (FMS), as a concept, is not much more than a year old. We also tried to define what an FMS actually is – in short, a digital platform for enterprises to manage the independent workers that perform work for them.

A number of solution providers have defined at least parts of their businesses as FMS. But strangely, for the most part, there has been an eerie silence about the progression of these solution platforms. More importantly, there has been a complete silence and absence of announcements about deals getting done with clients.

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Accenture Acquires EnergyQuote JHA – ‘A No Brainer’

- August 21, 2015 8:13 AM | Categories: Industry News, M&A

Accenture Accenture announced Tuesday it completed its acquisition of energy management and procurement services provider EnergyQuote JHA. The deal with the London-based provider, originally announced in late July, will give Accenture a boost to its existing energy procurement offerings.

EnergyQuote JHA has customers in more than 22 European countries – an asset Accenture said will help improve its own influence throughout the continent – and offers specific services such as energy risk management, energy contract management, portfolio management and utility billing validation.

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Coupa Reports Best Quarter Ever – No Surprises Here

coupa Coupa recently announced its Q2 2015 financial report, which shows the provider is still on the path of gaining market share and had its 26th consecutive quarter of subscription revenue growth. Its customers also continue to experience positive results – as of June, the provider’s customer base had accumulated $5 billion in calculated savings. We can’t say we’re surprised by these positive Q2 financial results – Coupa has been very clever in delivering the message of “savings,” which remains the most wanted word in procurement, at least from a business requirement perspective. Yes, procurement needs to deliver value beyond cost savings, but for Coupa installed base customers who are slightly earlier in their spend management journey compared with the typical Fortune 500 firm, cost savings is usually king.

Still, while it is certainly one thing to promise savings, it’s quite another entirely to deliver it both for procurement organizations and for solution providers, and Coupa is smart to align its strategy to that of its customers. Coupa CEO Rob Bernshteyn said in the company’s press release on the report: “We are committed to revolutionizing the spend management space by bringing to market solutions that employees and suppliers actually use, which is the only proven way for our enterprise customers to bring previously unmanaged spend under control and achieve millions of dollars in savings.”

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The Supplier Network of Tomorrow: Accenture and Spend Matters on the Future of Procurement Technology

- August 19, 2015 8:25 AM | Categories: Innovation, Procurement, Supply Networks, Technology

network What will the future of category management look like? Accenture has a strong opinion on the topic, and shares it in their recently published brief, Procurement’s Next Frontier – The Future Will Give Rise to an Organization of One, when introducing the concept of the “virtual category room.”

The notion of extending category management into a digital age is a complex one, especially considering many organizations are still barely crawling in building out category management teams outside of only a few top areas of spend. Yet the technology to support a new type of category management thinking and capability is not that far away. In fact, much of it is already here – it just needs piecing together.

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Spend Matters View: Analyzing the Concept of Accenture’s Virtual Category Room

virtual category room In introducing the concept of the “virtual supplier room” in its recent forward looking paper, Procurement’s Next Frontier – The Future Will Give Rise to an Organization of One, Accenture draws a line in the sand that category management will still be an important part of procurement in the future.

The notion of having one place to truly manage a category rather than just execute the various functions associated with sourcing, contracting and procurement goes so far beyond how category management works in practice today, where the vast majority of activity happens in multiple business applications, loosely or non-coupled applications in Excel or in reading PDFs centered on supply market intelligence. The idea of a true category workbench as Accenture envisions will require integrated technology that is useful enough for those who leverage it to want to work in a common space.

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The Virtual Category Room: Accenture and the Future of Procurement Technology

- August 17, 2015 8:29 AM | Categories: Category Management, Sourcing, Technology

category management What will the future of category management look like? Accenture has a strong opinion on the topic, and shares it in its recently published brief, “Procurement’s Next Frontier – The Future Will Give Rise to an Organization of One,” when introducing the concept of the “virtual category room.”

The notion of extending category management into a digital age is a complex one, especially considering many organizations are still barely crawling in building out category management teams outside of only a few top areas of spend. Yet the technology to support a new type of category management thinking and capability is not that far away. In fact, much of it is already here – it just needs piecing together.

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A New Large Company Trend in Contingent Workforce – Using Ordinary People

contingent workforce By now, you would have to be living on another planet to not be aware of Uber’s business model, which relies on ordinary individuals and their cars to provide ride services to people who need rides. You’ve probably also heard about TaskRabbit, the online marketplace that connects users to people who will do odd tasks like run errands for you. These are platforms that largely connect ordinary people with other ordinary people to have some service performed.

But what you might not be aware of is the trend of large businesses – all across the planet – to leverage ordinary people as contingent workers to fulfill certain limited tasks or services. By ordinary people, we don’t mean freelancers pursuing a specific professional skilled trade but rather those who lend a range of skills casually, often “on-demand.”

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Zirtual – The Sad, Seedy Saga Continues

e-invoicing Earlier this week, Zirtual, a virtual assistant platform based in Las Vegas, announced it was unexpectedly shutting down. Management later announced that the company had been “acquired” by Startups.co, a “start-up launch platform.” It was also announced that the company would resume operations and would be attempting to hire back some its former employees. According to management, this string of careening events was the result of a funding deal that fell through at the last minute and the company having “grown too fast,” burning through its reserves of cash. Here's what we think of the latest news from an industry analyst standpoint and as a former Zirtual customer.

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