Process and Best Practice Content

The C-Level View of Procurement, From Russia With Love


Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Zelimkhan Suleymanov, CEO of PrECA, a Russian procurement outsourcing and spend optimization company.

I have frequently discussed procurement optimization issues with CEOs and CFOs, typically of Russian or multinational companies with turnovers of between 200-300 million USD, operating within the retail, FMCG or the manufacturing industry. Below, I have put together my top four most common stereotypes held by top-level management in Russia on the procurement function and its role in a company.

ICYMI: What Does Polymorphism Have to Do with Procurement? Everything!


In case you missed it (ICYMI) last week, Spend Matters’ Pierre Mitchell introduced procurement to the world of polymorphism – or polymorphism to the world of procurement, pick your pleasure. This term, which hasn’t necessarily been connected to procurement until now, is about how an object can take on multiple forms or behave differently depending on what context the object is operating in. Find out just how polymorphism should be applied to procurement.

Survey Shows Value of Procurement Early Involvement


Spend Matters and the Institute for Supply Management recently teamed up to find out how well procurement and finance organizations work together. Specifically, one of the goals of the survey was to see the differences in savings when procurement was involved earlier in the supply negotiation and contract process versus when procurement was brought in later – maybe too late – in the process. The survey garnered more than 250 validated responses, and the responses showed a 2% savings difference between early involvement and late involvement. Over on our Chief Procurement Officer website, Spend Matters Chief Research Officer Pierre Mitchell dives into more detail on this finding in the article What’s the ROI of Earlier Spend Influence? Big.

Lessons From the Bagel Man to Tackle Procurement Fraud

Spend Matters welcomes this guest article by Somdipto Ghosh, Product Marketing, Zycus. In the year 1984, Paul F. decided to make a radical career transition from heading a public research group to selling bagels at corporate offices. He devised a unique “honor system” where he would leave bagels and a cash basket in company cafeterias in the morning and return in the evening to collect the payments. His business flourished and soon he was selling 700 dozen bagels a week to 140 companies. Over the course of many years in business, he documented and analyzed the fraudulent activities of his clients and leveraged his background in research to find unique irregularities.

Strategic Irrelevance: The Real Cost of Getting Lost in the Weeds

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Jim Kandilas, CPA, EVP and founder of The Shelby Group. Strategic relevance is a concern of all shared services providers in today’s enterprise. We know what we do in procurement is important. But all too often, we overlook the root causes of perceptions held by stakeholders who don’t regard procurement as a strategic partner. In today’s environment, perception is a reality that all procurement professionals need to better understand, diagnose and manage. Here, I’ll explore some of the symptoms and consequences of operating in an environment where procurement is not regarded as a strategic enabler of business outcomes.

Achieving Bottom Line Success – Techniques Of Top-Performing Accounts Payable Organizations

Spend Matters welcomes this guest article by Helen Tueffel, senior vice president of APEX Analytix. Throughout my years of working in the procure-to-pay industry, I’ve repeatedly heard comments like: “Our CEO wants us to reduce costs…again, but I can’t imagine how.” Or, “We’ve implemented a purchasing card program and expect to get some benefits from lowering our labor costs through our shared services strategy, but I’m not sure where to go next.” So much of an accounts payable (A/P) professional’s success is tied to efficiency and cost reduction. The most successful disbursement organizations are complementing gains in efficiency with initiatives that add tangible value. I provide 5 techniques that have worked financial marvels for many of the companies with which I’ve worked. Whether implementing one or all, your bottom line will be positioned to grow.

Driving Sustained Value in Procurement Outsourcing Services

Spend Matters welcomes this guest article by Kenneth J Hamilton, associate director of New Growth Platforms at Cognizant. To be successful in a procurement outsourcing (PO) relationship and to sustain that success over a period of time, both the PO provider and client buyer need to be committed to some very simple and clearly communicated – yet many times overlooked – objectives and rules of engagement. But the PO blueprint is changing, and this article looks at where the market is now and where it is going in the future.

For Procurement, is it the Process or the Tool That’s Broken?

Spend Matters welcomes this guest article by Anu Gardiner, head of procurement at DocuSign. I was in a meeting with one of our senior executives and we were discussing some recent complaints on the internal social site about our procurement process. Just like I had done in response to the complaints, I shared that we had recommended the right tool to solve the problem but that the initiative could not be prioritized at the time due to more pressing needs at the company. And then came the question: Is it the process or the tool that’s broken? This is a question I have been pondering for some time...

6 Steps to Integrated Supplier Risk Management

Spend Matters welcomes this guest article by Len Prokopets and Byron Tatsumi of KPMG. Supplier risk management is not a new concept. We often can’t help but consider supplier risk as we read the news, invest money in a company’s stock, eagerly await the release of the next generation of mobile device or even just purchase groceries. Most companies see supplier risk management as a key priority and many have initiated programs to address it. However, supplier risk programs, as well as various other operations improvements such as ERP implementations, supply chain and process improvement and business intelligence efforts have had limited impact on supplier risk. We share 6 steps to use in addressing the challenges associated with integrating a supplier risk management program.

The Independent Workforce “Big Picture” – Services Procurement Professionals Take Note

spend visibility

Independent contractor engagement solution provider MBO Partners recently released initial findings and infographic from its annual research, which add up to a “big picture” that services procurement and contingent workforce professionals cannot ignore. There is no doubt that business use of contingent workforce has been rising in past years (clearly a long-term trend reflected in agency temp and SOW “spend under management” data). But the MBO data points out that there is a growing population of highly skilled, high-cost workers who prefer to engage businesses directly, not through staffing suppliers, but as independent non-employees. And these workers represent talent that is often difficult to find and is crucial to strategic initiatives and overall business competitiveness and performance. What is the implication of these findings? Read on...

Work Market Expands To Third-Party Services Providers — Why You Should Care

MBO Partners

Work Market Inc., a leading work intermediation platform (WIP) that helps companies find, manage and pay their freelance and independent contractor workforces, announced this week new capabilities that would essentially extend the scope of what it calls its freelancer management system (FMS) to not only engage independent workers directly but also to engage them via other third-party services providers. The announcement appears to apply to the IT field services segment of Work Market’s business, which addresses technology original equipment manufacturers' (OEMs) need to dynamically engage and dispatch field service technicians to address end-customer service requirements. Rather than maintain its own captive field forces across broad geographic territories, some OEMs have turned to Work Market and its talent pools and marketplace of contractors as an efficient way to respond to end-customer service needs.

Procurement Lessons From a Surprising Source: the 1980s

supply chain talent gap

Big hair, leg warmers, heavy metal, John Hughes films – these are all things that immediately come to mind when we think of the 1980s. But what else did that decade bring? According to Pierre Mitchell, the ‘80s brought about a business transformation to total quality management. Pierre expanded upon this thought in a recent article published on our Chief Procurement Officer website: What Procurement Can Learn From Quality Management in the 1980s (Besides Bad Hair).