Sourcing in Latin America (with Mexico Focus): A Primer for U.S. and Canada Procurement Organizations
Earlier today, Jason Busch, Spend Matters’ founder and managing director, and Xavier Olivera, director of Spend Matters Mexico and Latin America, conducted an “Ask the Expert” webinar titled Spend Matters en Español: The State of Procurement in Mexico and Latin America. Given the interest among both practitioners and providers in the U.S. in understanding priorities and how to do business in Mexico and neighboring countries most effectively, we decided to write a quick primer to showcase those items that companies should be considering as they develop their efforts in the region. For U.S. and Canadian organizations, the total cost equation is increasingly adding up for Mexico sourcing – and the ease of doing business is rising as well (aside from new regulations and compliance requirements for e-invoicing, which we will be exploring in more detail in a separate analysis).
Considering rising U.S. interest in nearshore sourcing, the timing could not be more perfect to launch a new site focusing on Latin America procurement and supply chain (Spend Matters will be launching this site in conjunction with Xavier in Sept/Oct 2014). Awareness and interest is at an all-time high among Latin American companies. Mexican organizations, in particular, are prioritizing efforts to get smart on tech solutions including analytics, P2P, and sourcing. This Spend Matters PRO research brief begins to explore top procurement priorities in the region and the state of solution adoption – as well as how to do business effectively with local suppliers and procurement organizations.more ▸
Define Keelvar. Nope, it is not an Australian animal. Nor a tool used in advanced woodworking. Rather, it is a European company (headquartered in Ireland with an office in London) with a really clever approach to comparing and analyzing supplier responses – qualitative and quantitative.
This firm deserves a look whether you are just sending a survey to a group of suppliers (incumbent, hot prospects, cold calls, or mere phonebook leads) and you need to somehow assess their responses in a way that is better than a chaotic pass-the-spreadsheet around fashion, or if you go deep in analyzing the detailed breakdown of items, shipping lanes etc., while considering award impact on your existing suppliers (might not be wise to change spend and quantity too rapidly), as well as what you can do to drive more participation from local suppliers, reduce capital tied up in goods in transit etc.
Notice that I’ve avoided the O-word: optimization. This can and will scare many off. But it’s really nothing different than what you already do – likely much of it in your head if you’re an experienced buyer, and the category and items are relatively uncomplicated. In this Spend Matters PRO analysis, Thomas Kase, vice president, research, takes a closer look at Keelvar and how procurement organizations can begin to apply more advanced sourcing approaches to basic markets.more ▸
Earlier this month,
This two-part Spend Matters PRO brief provides a succinct competitive and market analysis of Beeline’s acquisition of OnForce. Authored by Jason Busch, managing director and founder of Spend Matters, and Thomas Kase, vice president, research, the series begins today by exploring the potential for companies to adopt FMS solutions. The second installment will explore how the acquisition may change the competitive landscape for other procurement and VMS providers and accelerate potential interest within Fieldglass and SAP about advancing their own entrance into this area – either through acquisition or organic development (both of which could also eventually take advantage of the capabilities of SuccessFactors). It also discusses how Oracle continues to “sit out” of the current services procurement marketplace evolution, offering only basic internal solutions tied to eProcurement capability within its existing product lines – and how and when Oracle customers should consider augmenting what they may already have purchased as standard procurement extensions.more ▸
You may have noticed some Spanish posts on Spend Matters lately, and this week's Ask the Expert webinar on Friday, 8/29/14 from 10-10:30am Central will feature Jason Busch and our new contributor Xavier Oliver. Besides giving an intro to the Spend Matters Spanish team (and why we think a local language site is necessary), they'll also give an overview on the state of procurement in Mexico and Latin America (e-invoicing requirements, anyone?) as well as Mexican procurement and supply chain priorities. They'll end with a Q&A that will cover doing business with Mexican suppliers, expectations, the procurement culture, etc. Plus and PRO members, click through to join us.more ▸
In Part 6 of this Spend Matters Plus series on Ariba's patent portfolio, Thomas Kase (VP of research) looks at a patent that, interestingly enough, a former Procuri colleague of his (David Woods, a talented data base analyst with an insatiable appetite for coffee) has his name on. Note that this particular patent predates Ariba. It came from Procuri and from a different platform and development environment than what Ariba uses. So it’s not indicative of Ariba’s current solution or technical prowess, and David, the creator, has since moved on to other opportunities. The patent has to do with dynamic data access and storage. Read on for the layman's explanation of what the patent covers and its impact.more ▸
50 Shades of Pay is back! Here is the second "shade" in this Spend Matters Plus series from Chief Research Officer Pierre Mitchell. The intent of getting to level two is to gain a complete picture of total cash disbursements to suppliers. To do this, some obstacles must be overcome. If improving your spend analysis is a topic of interest and you're not a Plus subscriber, contact us to inquire about a free trial.more ▸
It has been a busy year for Proactis, the source-to-pay software provider based in Wetherby, a town in the fine northern English county of Yorkshire. Of all the firms in our European procurement solution provider market, Proactis has been the busiest from an acquisition point of view – certainly compared to company size. The firm has basically doubled in size (revenue) as well as moving in new strategic directions via three acquisitions in this calendar year. In this Spend Matters Plus research brief, Peter Smith (managing director of the UK/Europe site) provides a recap on those transactions, as well as takes a quick look at their half-year figures released in a trading update on August 12th, ahead of the full results announcement.more ▸
Has Ariba built a solid brick wall of IP gold or is it all just so much legal papier-mâché to scare us off? Huff and puff – will it hold? If so, will it be used to drive other solution providers into the wall? Back in May 2012, when the acquisition took place, we didn’t think SAP bought Ariba for their technology. Well, we still don’t think so, and we went on record stating that it was really for their network approach – it obviously can’t hurt if you can find a model to propel yourself to SaaS multiplier heights.
In Part 5 of this multi-part Spend Matters Plus series on Ariba’s patent portfolio, Thomas Kase (VP of research) will look at one of Ariba’s most recent patents, one that was awarded just two weeks ago. This patent covers a way to use structured content from another site (i.e. a supplier of something) in another solution (e.g. e-procurement solution – something with a supplier network perhaps) to avoid stale content.more ▸
In Part 1 of this series, Peter Smith, managing director of Spend Matters UK/Europe, discussed the new Proxima graphic e-book titled "Drowning not waving – how Corporate Virtualization has got business leaders out of their depth... And where the real opportunities lie." Peter believes that the empowerment of the budget holder and business stakeholder, giving them a greater role in the overall procurement process, and the emergence of a consequent stronger commercial capability across the organisation, will be the most significant development in the procurement world over the next 10 years (in terms of strategy and organization at least). That of course will have some major implications for procurement functions and people - but it's a topic for another day. In this Spend Matters Plus research brief, Peter gives four reasons why he is confident in his prediction.more ▸
One of the primary motivations behind SAP buying Ariba was its network approach model. It was theoretically a business model that could deliver scale benefits to participants (and Ariba shareholders) beyond standard software or SaaS applications. There were numerous archetypes for the Ariba Supplier Network. Spend Matters analysis suggests Ariba was a fast follower, copying Commerce One (which had its own stash of patents that was eventually acquired by Perfect Commerce and Novell) and others in building out such a model. Yet Ariba quickly scaled its own IP and approaches in the area of supplier enablement and connectivity. In Part 4 of this Spend Matters Plus series on Ariba’s patent portfolio, VP of Research Thomas Kase considers Ariba’s patent for supplier approval and activation in a supplier network (essentially a one-to-many supplier network approach).more ▸
In our discussions with Beeline and their customers earlier this summer, we learned about and explored a number of emerging priorities in global services procurement. A number of these customer requirements are already being partially or fully supported by Beeline and other leading VMS providers – other requirements are still on the roadmap or in their early days on the product release schedule. In the first installment in this series, we considered the increased scrutiny that companies are giving to specific geographies where they will or will not host technology, as well as related access permission issues. In the second installment of this Spend Matters PRO series, Jason Busch, Spend Matters founder and managing director, and Thomas Kase, VP of research, turn their attention to the following areas of emerging interest in global services procurement efforts: deeper technical integration between VMS and others systems; security in a mobile world; emerging audited processes and control mechanisms; regional requirements; and cultural observations.more ▸
Procurement outsourcing specialist Proxima deservedly received a lot of coverage with its Corporate Virtualization study that was published last year. As you may remember, it analysed the accounts of large firms and discovered that on average 70 percent of their revenues were spent with third-party suppliers. That was more than most of us steeped in the industry expected, and compared with just 13 percent going on staff costs. Given those statistics, that raised a whole host of interesting questions about why procurement doesn't have a higher profile. Surely senior executives can see how vital it is for that 70 percent to be spent well? Now Proxima has produced a “graphic e-book” titled “Drowning not waving – how Corporate Virtualization has got business leaders out of their depth... And where the real opportunities lie.”
Spend Matters UK/Europe managing director Peter Smith was CPO for three large organisations covering both private and government sectors before he moved into advisory work and – eventually – running the UK/Europe site. In a new series for Spend Matters Plus, he will be writing regularly about key strategic – but non-technology related - issues of interest to the CPO, procurement director or other senior people in the profession. If you're a CPO but not a Plus subscriber, contact us to inquire about a free trialmore ▸