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4 Ways Law Firms Can Evolve Their Procurement Strategies Beyond Savings

forced labor

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Clay Fox, senior director at HBR Consulting.

New technology and regulations, increased client scrutiny into risk management protocols and interest in supplier diversity programs, along with expectations around improving law firm operations and internal controls, have all spurred recent changes in law firms’ procurement functions, making one thing clear: procurement’s value can no longer be judged by savings alone. As we navigate the early months of 2018, law firms looking to set themselves apart in the market need to think well beyond the status quo. By focusing on four key areas in 2018, procurement can prove that its value extends far beyond savings.

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What is Market Intelligence, and is it Relevant to Procurement?

Torchlite

As procurement takes on increased strategic importance within companies, purchasing professionals are being asked to do even more with their limited time. This is especially true when sourcing direct materials, which requires keen attention to many changing economic factors outside of the organization. To make the best decisions possible without falling behind, procurement must ensure it has access to and effectively uses supply market intelligence. To help practitioners understand why, this three-part series first outlines the key pillars of market intelligence, explaining why companies seek out this capability. It then explores why market intelligence matters to procurement, and concludes with an analysis of why businesses should seek help from a third-party provider to build out a market intelligence program.

Payables Automation Provider Tipalti Raises $30 Million in Series C Round

funding

Tipalti raised $30 million in its Series C financing round last week, bringing the global payables automation solution provider’s total funding to more than $50 million, according to the press release. Zeev Ventures, which focuses on investments on small businesses, led the round. This is the venture capital firm’s first investment in the P2P market, notes David Gustin, lead analyst and founder of Trade Financing Matters. Oren Zeev, the founding partner of Zeev Ventures, is also the co-founder of Tipalti, playing what Forbes has called a hybrid founder-investor role.

How to Minimize Exposure Risk in a Global Food Supply Chain

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Megan Ray Nichols, a freelance writer covering STEM topics.

We all live in a global society now — a reality that includes, to a greater extent each year, our entire world’s food supply chains. If you and your business represent some of the critical pieces in this vast and interconnected ecosystem, you need to know you’re doing everything possible to insulate yourself, your product and, perhaps most critically of all, your end users from all types of risk that may introduce themselves along the way.

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Why Mid-Size Companies Need On-Demand Solutions to Conquer Tail Spend

Procurement has firmly entered the tail spend era, and with necessary tools now available to tackle this persistent purchasing problem, supply organizations are finally consolidating costs, cracking down on unauthorized spend and clawing back lost time to deliver real value to their businesses. At least, that’s what the picture is starting to look like at large manufacturers and corporates. Within the typical mid-size firm, however, addressing tail spend still eludes many procurement organizations. The issue is less a challenge of capability than finding a solution that fits their unique business needs.

Professional Development in Procurement: Rationale and Strategies

One reader who wrote in to Ask Spend Matters last year posed an interesting question that fell outside of our editorial team’s wheelhouse: “What are the most pressing professional development needs for sourcing and procurement professionals today and for the next five years?” While we’ve fielded many of the procurement strategy and technology-focused questions we received, we thought our friends at MRA Global Sourcing would be perfectly suited to provide a compelling answer to the above. Read their response below!

With shifting market conditions, technological advancement and other factors, the procurement function is changing rapidly. If supply management professionals and their companies don’t keep pace, they’ll be at a serious disadvantage. As procurement evolves, so do attitudes toward professional development, and the way workers build their knowledge base. Let’s examine the state of professional development, and what’s on the horizon.

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Italy and the Real-Time VAT Control Big Bang

Electronic invoicing is on the decline — and rapidly so. No, I don’t mean companies have started exchanging fewer invoices in electronic format. I mean that the domain that we have in the past 15 years called “e-invoicing” is converging with the broader VAT compliance domain. Together, the two are morphing into what might be called “VAT compliance v2.0.”

Preparedness for Data-Driven Procurement Lags Among Manufacturers, New Study Finds

The term “digital transformation” — whether applied to procurement or another field — is bandied around frequently, but as far as the average company is concerned, that transformation is still not in the near future. In a survey of more than 100 senior executives, LevaData found that although nearly all of them agree that data-driven procurement is critical to value creation, cost reduction and efficiency, only half think that their own procurement teams are ready to make use of predictive tools.

Data to Dollars: How Data Monetization Drives Business Transformation

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Pedro Arellano, vice president, product strategy at Birst, an Infor company.

Your department, and entire company, produces vast amounts of data every day. Early on, you may have harnessed enterprise data to improve internal operations and achieve new efficiencies. Perhaps your company has embarked upon a digital transformation journey driven by data. But there is a new opportunity that will distinguish the leading companies from the laggards: monetizing your organization’s data by developing and delivering commercial data products.

What the Super Bowl Can Teach About Risk Management

Pause for a moment to consider how adept the NFL has proven itself at proactively addressing logistics and risk management. Whether we’re talking facilities, security, transportation or emergency services, there’s obviously a lot more behind the curtain than we know about. Suffice it to say that little imagination is required to accept that the NFL sets an interesting, if not teachable, example — not just in terms of how to pull off a mega-event but how to react to most anything that could possibly go wrong. It expects problems and is prepared for them.

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Private Equity Procurement Optimization: Spend Visibility is Foundational for Accelerated EBITDA Improvement

Procurement optimization has become one of the most important EBITDA improvement levers for private equity firms and their operating partners. With investment valuations on the rise, private equity firms are increasingly relying on implementing operational efficiencies to quickly accelerate savings and maximize profits — and focusing in on procurement is becoming the “go-to” strategy. In addition, extended hold times of portfolio companies and lower management fees due to less capital being deployed on a regular basis has led to PE firms to ask their operating partners to do more with less.

Word of Mouth May Dominate Legal Services Procurement, But Practitioners Want Better Options

When it comes to legal services procurement, a contradiction emerges in what businesses want and what they do. Although in-house lawyers at companies across the globe value sector breadth and expertise most in a search for law firms, the majority still make their choices based on personal connections rather than a neutral assessment of skill and fit, according to Global Trends in Hiring Outside Counsel: Exploring the Need for a Better Way to Identify and Appoint Law Firms, a new report commissioned by Globality.