Tagged Content: L1

Marking Labor Day with a Summary of Labor-Related News from 2014

- September 1, 2014 9:42 AM | Categories: Commentary

Bratislava 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.

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Comments from Readers: Air Canada’s Friends and Foes

- August 29, 2014 10:30 AM | Categories: Commentary

plane A week ago, Spend Matters' Jason Busch wrote a rant about Air Canada Rouge after traveling on the airline’s discount service on his way back from Italy. He later shared some pictures from his flight, which showed gum stuck to the plane’s carpeted floor, a messy lavatory, and grime, food particles, and even hairs (eww) in nooks and crannies of the plane. Needless to say, this post garnered a lot of comments from our readers - some thanking Jason for the warning, others defending Air Canada. Here’s a review of the feedback we received in this edition of our Comments from Readers column. Read on to see what people had to say.

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Do Marketing Services Buyers Have the Best Jobs?

earbuds If I had to choose a spend category to be responsible for, what might that be? Well, I recently met someone who has what might just be my dream procurement job. Richard Kirstein runs Resilient Music, based in London. It is a small advisory and (in a sense) procurement outsourcing firm that advises and helps their clients buy music rights. So when you see a TV advert, or some fancy YouTube viral video campaign for a trendy fashion or drinks brand, and there is some music playing in the background, someone has purchased the rights to use that music.

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A Review of Air Canada Rouge – Just Say No for Business and Personal Travel

- August 22, 2014 2:20 AM | Categories: Friday Rant, Travel

air canada rouge I think I’ve found the bottom of the barrel of Star Alliance. While it may be painted “Rouge” on the outside, Air Canada’s new discount service made my family red with anger on the inside. Earlier this month, we took a family vacation to Europe returned from Rome to the U.S. through Canada. The routing that made the most sense – and what first seemed like a great deal in cashing in Citi points – involved an airline-within-an-airline that I had never heard of: Air Canada Rouge. Air Canada Rouge is supposedly a discount airline, but the prices were similar for the transatlantic routes to standard airlines.

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Best of Public Spend Forum: Jonathan Messinger’s Picks

file3691289757042 Closing out "Best Of" Week are the following posts from Public Spend Forum, our sister site focusing on public sector procurement. I asked Jonathan Messinger to pick a few posts from the past six months to showcase, and he did, but not without including a classic from last year. I am speaking of The Seven Most Overused Words in Procurement. Read on to see what the other picks are.

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Purchases: Of Teenagers and Teslas

- August 8, 2014 10:42 AM | Categories: Commentary, Innovation

800px-Roadster_2.5_windmills_trimmed My half brother, a smart teenager who is already taller than me and usually emerges victorious when competing on the foosball table, happens to be an aspiring engineer who can also hold his own as a researcher and writer. Like many aspiring engineers in his generation, he reveres Elon Musk as the modern Albert Einstein, Henry Ford, and Thomas Edison all wrapped up in one. As a kid myself (at heart), I can understand this respect and obsession. Musk is up to some truly amazing things. But the way in which kids like him look at a car like Tesla and say “game over” makes me feel older and wiser than I should.

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Lower-End Sourcing Tools: Accentuating the Positive

- August 5, 2014 9:04 AM | Categories: Procurement Commentary, Solution Providers, Sourcing

Construction worker In a new series of posts considering the commoditization of the basics – and why this can seem like a good or bad thing depending on perspective – I hope to share both sides of the argument concerning the bifurcation of the e-sourcing, commodity management, and related technology markets into truly simplistic and more highly advanced tools (and not much in between), with both groups of providers supporting efforts with varying success in helping procurement organizations source and manage risk more effectively. Today, I’ll start with accentuating the positive of lower-end tools.

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Spend Analysis Musings: Excel Add-In Solvers, Freemium Offerings, and App Marketplaces

- August 4, 2014 2:25 AM | Categories: Solution Providers, Spend Analysis

The Thinker I asked myself: Why isn’t Tableau, Qlik, et al providing some type of environment where third parties (consultants, MSPs/BPOs, content/intelligence providers, small ISV’s, etc.) could build cloud-based spend/supply analytics suites (for more on supply analytics, see here) on top of these high-flying “analytic PaaS” providers? So, I was extremely pleased, and amused, when I stumbled upon the demo site of Qlik, where they in fact had four separate product demonstrations for procurement-centric spend analysis; AP-focused spend analysis in an SAP environment; expense management; and materials management in an SAP environment.

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New Research: Can Facial Width Lead to Negotiation Success?

- August 1, 2014 6:43 AM | Categories: Commentary

Client The correlation between physical appearance and outcomes is a controversial but fascinating subject, so it should come as no surprise that the latest entry into this realm of research caught the attention of the Wall Street Journal. Reporter Melissa Korn wrote a column with the attention-grabbing headline “Men With Wide Faces Are Better Negotiators.” Does this mean you can rethink that diet or getting that small medical procedure a friend had in Mexico? David Wyld interprets the study's findings.

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Approaching Data Security: IT Procurement in the Time of World War Zero

- July 31, 2014 2:53 AM | Categories: Commentary, Industry News, Innovation, Technology

Lock Organizations need to realize a simple truth. Today, there is simply no distinction between an organization’s IT strategy and its overall strategy. And as we have seen, when an organization experiences a major IT embarrassment, there are larger, strategic ramifications that must be dealt with, often with very expensive and long-lasting consequences. Protecting customer data is a requisite for retaining the trust and loyalty of customers. And as the Target case has proven in recent traffic numbers for the retail giant, shoppers will be slow to come back to spend both on your website and in your stores after a major data breach.

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50 Shades of Pay: Spend Analysis’s Many Profitable Pleasures

50 Shades of Pay

You know spend analysis. So basic. So primal. Wham, bam, spend cube, thank you ma’am – you’re done, right?

Not so fast. Spend analysis is not a quickie event on your long-term procurement transformation. It is an evolving competency, one in which as you become more skilled with it, you can bring so many different forms of [business] satisfaction to many stakeholders. In fact, there are so many incremental levels of value that can be developed here that I challenged myself to write a 50-part series on what such a journey might entail. I will also be using a consistent graphical model to show different aspects of such increasingly detailed capabilities to help illustrate the techniques. It’s not the Kama Sutra or anything, but it will be helpful. But before I launch into the series, a bit of a preamble is first in order. Why is spend analysis such a deceptively alluring topic that I’ll be looking under the covers with you? There are many reasons.

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The White House and SupplierPay: From the Basics to the Behind the Scenes

- July 29, 2014 2:38 AM | Categories: Public Sector, Supplier Management, Supply Chain

800px-White_House_Washington Right around the time that the Spend Matters analyst tasked with covering the intersection of purchase-to-pay, order-to-cash, trade financing, and payments left the country for a few weeks, President Obama and his team had the nerve to fast-track what is perhaps the most important thing to happen to procurement in decades in terms of government guidance. Earlier this month, the White House unveiled SupplierPay, a corporate program designed to get cash flowing more effectively throughout the supply chain. It's not a technology or mandate. Rather, it is a non-binding private/public partnership to encourage industry to improve the speed with which actual dollars move from big companies to small.

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