L2 Content

And Now in Risk Management: Trump Tweets

Ford. Macy’s. General Motors. Lockheed Martin. Carrier. Rexnord.

What do these companies have in common? Well, one thing is that each has been rebuked on Twitter by President-elect Donald Trump, mostly for using foreign-made materials or having operations overseas or “moving to Mexico.”

It’s 2017, and We Have Predictions!

This week in metals we looked at where we think some major markets will go in this new year.

James May of Steel-Insight says finished steel flat products will see more demand and, hence, bigger price increases this year. There’ll be more HRC capacity and U.S. Steel might even reopen one of the blast furnaces at its Granite City, Ill., facility, too. And how to best deal with price volatility? Guest Correspondent Jonas Divine shared his personal story with Spend Matters.

Defining Disruption and Innovation: A Cranky Editor’s Critical Take


Working at the nexus of enterprise technology and procurement strategy, we see the words “disruption” and “innovation” a lot here at Spend Matters. So often, in fact, that every time I come across either of these words, whether in a press release or marketing copy, the letters begin to blur together and a strange ringing noise fills my ears. Maybe that’s an exaggeration. But I do know that the increased appearance of disruption and innovation in my daily reading has caused me to question whether some writers pick those words for their specific definitions or just to liven up a sentence with an adjective that surely means only good things.

New Year, New Series: Stories from Real Procurement Professionals

It’s a new year, and it’s time for some new post series here on Spend Matters!

While the editorial team has been bandying around quite a few ideas – which, as they get fully baked out, we will reveal to you – one series that we are kicking off today is one of personal narrative essays from procurement practitioners.

WIPs, Crowds and a Renaissance: Our Top Contingent Workforce and Services Posts of 2016

Looking back on the last year, one theme is abundantly clear: The talent and staffing supply chain is becoming increasingly digital. Whether freelancers, traditional staffing agencies or elite professional services firms, leaders in the contingent workforce ecosystem dove headfirst into the online world.

That leaves procurement with an ultimatum: Adapt to the digital evolution or get left behind.

But the rise of digital is nothing to fear. Our resident expert Andrew Karpie, who heads up services and labor procurement research here at Spend Matters, has been on top of this trend all year. Take a moment to reflect on some of his top posts from 2016.

OPEC, What Have Ye Done? Plastics Outlook for Early 2017 Sees Price Rises

We recently heard from a sourcing professional at a notable mid-size manufacturing firm here in the U.S. that a run-up in China prices for certain industrial commodities has piqued their interest — if not their balance sheets. As far as some key non-metals commodities go, certain drivers will loom larger than others as 2016 comes to an end and Q1 2017 gets under way in less than two weeks. Let’s take a look at the plastics market and how natural gas relates to it.

Here are 5 Key Benefits to Accounts Payable (AP) Automation, or: Can We Be Done With People Already?

“Can we just be done with people, already?”

The automation issue resonates within countless organizations across the globe — and if it doesn’t yet, it should — but AP organizations could especially benefit from automating and digitizing their processes. When it comes to finance and accounting, 47% of AP professionals consider manual data entry and inefficient processes their biggest challenge. But how should my AP organization even begin to automate and digitize? Easy — start thinking of it like riding a bicycle. Read on to find out how.

Coupa’s Q3 Results: Revenue & Customer Growth, Cash and Professional Services

procurement solutions stocks

Coupa’s Q3 2017 financial results came out earlier this month. There are numerous sell-side and buy-side analysts who have taken a finer-toothed comb to the cloud vendor’s results, but here are a few of the highlights – and some quick Spend Matters commentary on them – targeting the topics of revenue/customer growth, cash and professional services (with more to follow from our team later in the week) from an industry analyst perspective versus a financial one.

Porter and Procurement Technology Suites: Exploring New Entrants/Barriers to Entry


The procurement suite technology market today looks very different than it did a decade ago. As we continue our analysis and observations of the sector based on Porter’s five forces framework (see our initial posts on the topics here, here and here), we come to the third of Porter’s forces in our analysis: new entrants/barriers to entry.

Porter’s Five Forces and Procurement Technology Suites: Customers/Buyers


Applying a Porter five forces framework to a given industry, sector or company is like baking. It will be a recipe that results in succes. Or failure. There’s not much in between. And it can be surprisingly tricky to get right, especially if you’re prone to trying to improvise the various ingredients or measurements. I recently authored a five forces framework exploring procurement technology suites based on Porter’s model. Let’s see today how effective the exercise was in representing the market by exploring customer and buyer power from a Porter context.

Procurement Technology’s Future


This is Part 3 in a three-part series exploring a brief history of procurement technology and how expectations and solutions have evolved — incredibly rapidly, we might add — to meet a changing set of procurement expectations and requirements. Today’s installment looks at where procurement technology is headed.

When I Grow Up, I Want to be a Gig Worker

sharing economy

A recent trip to the Harold Washington Library, in downtown Chicago, forced me to confront a conflict between the contingent workforce dogma Spend Matters preaches and my own skepticism about the modern job market. What followed was a momentary crisis, in which I had to scrutinize the advice we give to procurement groups and more fully demystify the contingent workforce and the gig economy.