In a recent discussion I had with Basware, we talked about the firm’s recently announced partnership with Scanmarket. Although the provider’s comments referenced the customer benefits of its newly minted S2P capability, the people I spoke to never backed off talking about the firm’s ability to drive 100% spend coverage. It caught my attention, because in a S2P context it’s smart, especially when considering how ripe the savings opportunities are for spend categories that have never before been covered/managed/competitively sourced.
Improve Your Category Management Performance: Report and Webinar From Future Purchasing and Spend Matters
The Future Purchasing Category Management survey and report is now in its third edition, and has established itself as the definitive piece of research work in its field. Future Purchasing, as a consulting firm specializing in “CatMan,” bring its own insights to the results. That means the final report is far from just being a presentation of the data from the several hundred survey respondents, representing organizations from many different sectors and countries.
Technological innovation is the theme of Ardent Partners’ latest annual CPO Rising report, which the research and advisory firm recently released. Andrew Bartolini, Ardent Partners’ chief research officer (and a one-time Spend Matters contributor), has been writing and updating the report for 12 years. This year’s report shows shifts in CPOs’ priorities and strategies — with a clear consensus on the importance of technology adoption.
Many procurement practitioners know the basic components and capabilities of an e-sourcing solution. Yet getting users to fully adopt e-sourcing still remains a perennial challenge in procurement organizations large and small. Many organizations are using their e-sourcing platform on only 25% of applicable events, according to one CIPS study. How can this be, when the technology and purported benefits are anything but new? For several reasons, the provider community at large has failed procurement when it comes to designing sourcing solutions. Here are three reasons why they’ve gone astray — and how to fix it.
How important is technology to procurement? In a word: quite. And it’s not as if there aren’t enough to keep tabs on, running the gamut from cloud, B2B connectivity, user-designed solutions, analytics and artificial intelligence/machine learning — many of which are already influencing today’s cutting-edge offerings. To help practitioners wrap their heads around it all, the Spend Matters Analyst Team has penned a new report, "E-Procurement and Invoice-to-Pay Disruption: 'Best' and 'Next' Technologies," that shares summary insights into the technology, product and functional levels of “best” practices today and tomorrow’s “next” practices for procure-to-pay (P2P) solutions.
Let’s face it. No child ever says, "I want to be a purchasing manager when I grow up.” Honestly, the term procurement itself draws blank stares from kids — and even adults. The best I can do is tell people that I try to help companies “buy better.” They usually nod politely, and even murmur an “uh-huh” if I give some B2C consumer analogies of how people try to shop online for supplies, home services, mortgages, travel and so on. So, perhaps the solution isn’t to try to sell kids vocationally on procurement at all but rather introduce the area of the broader supply chain.
Where is Manufacturing Procurement Technology Headed? An Interview with Keith Baranowski, Global Vice President and GM, Direct Materials Sourcing, SAP Ariba
Our sister site MetalMiner recently started a series of interviews with a range of experts at technology vendors. This interview features Keith Baranowski, global vice president and GM, Direct Materials Sourcing, SAP Ariba, which works with leading manufacturers such as Ford, Microsoft and Johnson & Johnson.
What happens when a 120-year-old Danish wind energy company entrusts its contracts to a then three-year-old American solution provider? The companies in question are Vestas, which traces its lineage back to 1898, and SirionLabs, a contract management provider that goes all the way back to 2012. Last year, Jason Busch analyzed SirionLabs’ solution for Spend Matters PRO, and he concluded that the vendor would be a good fit for companies with “multi-year strategic supplier relationships encompassing complex services and solutions,” for whom “insufficient supplier governance is leading to lost savings and value creation opportunities.” This certainly sounds like Vestas’ situation before 2015, when the company implemented Sirion.
Salaries for supply management professionals grew strongly in 2016, an indication that the tightening labor market is pushing companies to compete for top procurement talent, according to the Institute for Supply Management’s 2017 salary survey. The average compensation in 2016 for survey respondents was $115,440, an increase of 5% compared with a year earlier ($109,961). Median compensation in 2016 increased 3.2% to $96,000, versus $93,000 in 2015.
Why have procurement technology vendors initiated a “direct procurement” renaissance, and what changes within manufacturers have started to make this possible? This line of questioning forms the backbone of a new interview series over on our sister site MetalMiner, in which Spend Matters Founder Jason Busch questions multiple experts at technology vendors on these and related topics.
Unless you’ve been stuck in a cave, sheltered from procurement and supply chain industry news for the last three weeks, you may have noticed Spend Matters’ rollout of the Procure-to-Pay SolutionMap — comparative rankings of technology vendors offering e-procurement, invoice-to-pay and procure-to-pay suite solutions. To help quick-guide you through the SolutionMap, we’re offering you a couple Choose Your Own Adventure-style options.
The final Q&A in this series is with Abhishek Dahiya, a supply chain program manager and chief of staff for global materials at Dell. Dahiya studied computer science as an undergraduate, before pursuing an MBA with a concentration in supply chain management. He started out at Dell as a procurement intern and has two pieces of advice for interns who want to impress. Read on for what those are, as well as for Dahiya’s thoughts on the disruptive potential of predictive analytics and what supply chain professionals can learn from the popular Netflix show “Game of Thrones.”