Plus Content

Tying up T&E Loose Ends: T&E Meets Risk Management (Part 3) [Plus+]

In previous installments of this Plus series, we discussed the amount of risk companies face when deploying workers around the globe and what precautions the company and its workers must take. In Part 1, we specifically talked about duty of care provisions, and in Part 2 we continued his analysis of corporate travel risks. Today, we complete the series by offering a number of recommendations companies should take regarding T&E management.

How to Use Planning and Budgeting to Transform Procurement — and the Enterprise [Plus+]

As summer turns to fall, that time of the year that so many enterprises enjoy and look forward to is here: the annual planning and budgeting process for next year. Yes, I’m kidding. This process ranks only a few notches above root canal for most budget owners. Yet if you had to look at the single most powerful best practice within procurement, especially for indirect procurement, it would be procurement’s involvement in the planning and budgeting process to improve the effectiveness of this process for stakeholders and for procurement.

To restate this: The best way to increase spend influence and to translate it into economic benefits is to increase the quality of spend influence. Getting a seat at the table can be challenging, but this table is a perfect entry point, and it also allows procurement to set its own table and bring stakeholders to it. The beauty of planning and budgeting is that it requires some incremental capabilities that are critical for procurement and, more important, for the business. This includes analytics, benchmarking, policy setting and continuous improvement (most of it enabled by strong technology, of course) even beyond this annual process.

Such early engagement also creates a moment of truth where procurement and finance either come together to unlock this value or where they are left to their own devices. In this analysis, I will highlight the hard dollars surrounding this broader practice and how progressive organizations are creating this critical joint capability, as well as give some pragmatic advice regarding how to implement this benevolent and transformational multiheaded beast.

Identifying And Responding to Risks Faced By A Global Workforce: T&E Meets Risk Management (Part 2) [Plus+]

What do companies need to be aware of when managing corporate travel and a global workforce? Spend Matters VP of Research Thomas Kase, who has experience working abroad and is our main source for T&E management, started this PRO series discussing the amount of risk a company faces when deploying workers around the globe, how much money a company should allocated to risk mitigation and what is required under duty of care provisions. You can check it out here. Here, in Part 2, Thomas continues this analysis of travel risks and corporate obligations.

Understanding “Duty of Care” When Managing Corporate Travel: T&E Meets Risk Management (Part 1) [Plus+]

travel

Vendors hawking T&E software that spans travel booking and expense management claim that it is not just about policy compliance, but that it is also about the risk management benefits of actually seeing where employees (or contractors) are and, in the event of an emergency, being able to provide support as quickly as possible. Enabling this level of visibility and guidance is not just good business practice; there is also a legal angle to it, which varies country by country (e.g., the menacing sounding “corporate manslaughter law” in the U.K.). But in certain cases, T&E software companies (e.g., Concur) might engage in a bit of fear mongering as a sales tactic, as well. The stick prompts many to action more effectively than any amount of carrot.

The risks exist, of course, and in this Spend Matters Plus brief we provide a primer on managing travel and the global corporate workforce, including the requirements and limits of duty of care provisions, as well as what procurement needs to know and how far it should consider going both as good business practice and under the law. 

How to Attack Marketing Spend (Part 5) [Plus+]

One of the most important elements of tackling marketing spend is executive buy-in, which requires aligning the vision of the CMO, CPO and CFO. In fact, don't do anything until you force this to happen. Above all, ensure that your CPO is well briefed, and don’t let this person destroy your credibility by going into meetings with the CMO with the usual procurement speak. Take the time to get your CPO genuinely interested in the topic as a means of furthering his own interests and even career. For example, in a CPG or retail company, all executives can further their interests by knowing more about marketing. In general, some might call this attaining “stakeholder buy-in,” since there may be stakeholders who are critical decision makers but are not C-level. You get the idea.

How to Attack Marketing Spend (Part 4) [Plus+]

marketing

Today we continue our exploration of best practices and strategies for attacking marketing spend with the importance of training; a return to the potential benefits of decoupling creative from production; and the necessity of cultural sensitivity to bridge the gap between marketing and procurement teams. Missed the previous installments of this series? Check out Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 before reading on!

How to Attack Marketing Spend (Part 3) [Plus+]

Torchlite

Our first takeaway: focus on media value. Media is often the largest spend in the marketing budget, and the real challenge is to not look at how to reduce the price point of media buys, but how to develop methodologies to measure the value of media specific to the strategic requirements of the brand and business. As we’ll soon explore in more detail, technology and analytics beyond generic spend analysis is key to understanding media value.

How to Attack Marketing Spend (Part 2) [Plus+]

The next topic we must address in considering the basics of attacking marketing spend is potentially the most sacred of all: agency selection. In considering how best to engage in this area, it is important to consider the costs of both sides going through the process. For agencies, the costs to manage and respond to an RFP can be quite high. Some agencies estimate their total cost at around $200,000 per RFP — on average!

Granted, the bulk of this expense comes in the form of soft costs. But the undertaking is considerable, and carefully vetted among agencies. This point is important to emphasize: agencies are quite picky about the clients and projects they bid on. We hope the following example, based on how one West Coast-based agency approaches RFPs, provides insight into the best means of engaging the right set of firms.

How to Attack Marketing Spend (Part 1) [Plus+]

Torchlite

Like MRO, packaging and logistics, the marketing category straddles the boundary between direct and indirect spend. And we all know (or so marketing folks claim) that it has a substantial impact on sales — allegedly, at least. The direct commercial impact is notoriously difficult to assess, although the new breed of analytics-driven spend analysis tools targeted specifically at marketing spend (e.g., cross-channel, competitive insights, etc.) and campaign performance can help. But put these in the agency parking lot for a minute. We’ll get into them later in this analysis and series.

For now, let’s focus on the marketing category as one among many — what makes it unique, what makes it similar and what are important trends.

Navigating The Path From Tactical Procurement Analytics to Strategic Supply Analytics [Plus+]

spend visiblity

Spend visibility is foundational to any procurement transformation because to better manage supply, you have to manage spend. Spend is what you pay and supply is what you get, and to manage spend you have to see it. Yet too many procurement organizations work hard to put basic spend analytics in place but don't have a broader vision, strategy and roadmap for strategic supply analytics (i.e., the analytic capabilities to support strategic supply management). We use the term “supply analytics” instead of “procurement analytics” to reflect procurement’s increasing role in managing broader supply outcomes than just its own performance – especially in direct procurement. This Spend Matters PRO article is designed to provide you such a roadmap. It is not a step-by-step, one-size-fits-all approach because every firm will have a different experience. It is, however, a map that can guide you through plotting out your supply analytics journey.

IT Talent and Services Sourcing: Innovation in a Challenging Environment (Part 2) [Plus+]

IT

In this two-part series, we examine the state of technology-based sourcing, specifically in the IT workforce/services category. In Part 1, we looked into environmental factors that are driving innovation and other elements that are motivating openness to new approaches. In Part 2, we investigate different kinds of innovative sourcing solutions within the IT category and explore the emergence of an alternative supply chain or work/services sourcing ecosystem. We also provide recommendations for organizations to nurture and build alternative sourcing models and programs alongside existing IT services procurement channels. Providers reviewed in this brief include Hired, Toptal, Upwork and Kaggle.

IT Talent and Services Sourcing: Innovation in a Challenging Environment (Part 1) [Plus+]

Technology-based innovation in workforce and services sourcing has been a major focus here at Spend Matters over the past years. And though we have tracked the trend of increasing work platform specialization (platforms serving up anything from data scientists to marketing content deliverables to food service workers), we have not really zeroed in on sourcing innovation in any specific workforce or services category.

In this two-part Spend Matters Plus brief, we take a look at what’s happening in the IT workforce/services category. In part 1, we look into environmental factors that are driving innovation and other elements motivating openness to new approaches. In part 2, we examine some examples of different kinds of innovative sourcing solutions in the category.