Sourcing and Categories Content

Independent Workforce and Online Platforms —  What’s a Services Procurement Practitioner to Do?

In 2019, services procurement practitioners in mid- to large-sized enterprises most likely have some awareness of — or even some level of interest in — independent contract workforce (ICW) and online work/service platforms (e.g., online freelancer marketplaces, contest/challenge crowd platforms, digital direct sourcing solutions). But for the most part, the new opportunities presented by platforms to source and engage ICWs are viewed as having an uncertain ROI, not being ready for prime time — or worse. Andrew Karpie, Spend Matters' research director of services and labor procurement, says it's worth your time and has some advice.

Commodities Roundup: Auto Sales, Construction Spending and the Palladium-Platinum Spread

Toyota supply chain

For the buyers and category managers out there, especially those of you deep in the weeds of buying and managing commodities, here’s a quick rundown of news and thoughts from particular commodity markets. This week: U.S. auto sales, U.S. construction spending, rare earths, steel prices.

Procurement Software Provider Xeeva Gets Another Patent to ‘Enrich’ Spend Data

contingent workforce

Xeeva, a provider of procurement and sourcing software, received another patent related to data management that uses artificial intelligence, the Michigan-based company said in a recent announcement. “The patent incorporates functionality for rapidly enriching data records to improve both quality and consistency,” the announcement said. With the increased digitalization of all businesses and the added use of connected  devices like the internet of things (IoT), more data is produced than ever, and businesses are having to find solutions that can make sense of it all.

Commodities Roundup: Steel Production, Vale’s Dam Breach and Metals Tariffs

For the buyers and category managers out there, especially those of you deep in the weeds of buying and managing commodities, here’s a quick rundown of news and thoughts in particular commodity markets. This week: Global crude steel production, Vale mining dam fails, metals tariffs.

Sponsored Article

Achieving a Personalized Buying Experience for Businesses

Today’s technology enables fine-grained customization and personalization. When applied correctly, personalization can lead to a better customer experience and higher sales or engagement. If applied poorly, it can detract from the user experience, causing frustration and possibly missed sales. In this article, we’ll walk through some of the personalization that can be enabled when using Amazon Business, helping to make it easier to find the right products and better control rogue spending.

If you’re not familiar with it, Amazon Business makes it easy for business customers to find and buy from hundreds of thousands of sellers and helps sellers reach millions of registered business customers around the world. Similar to Amazon.com, buyers search for products from millions of available items. For businesses, personalization helps make the buying experience fast and efficient. From relevant search results to customized messaging, buyers can find the items they need, and know upfront if they are approved for company purchase.

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For Hospitals Only (Part 3): How Prodigo Helps Pave Procurement’s Path to Clinical Integration

data

The hospital market in the U.S. is undergoing a significant transformation at all levels. Rapidly consolidating markets, declining revenues and a fundamentally new reimbursement paradigm that links provider payments to improved performance are the current headliners. The latter is a value-based form of reimbursement that holds healthcare providers accountable for both the cost and quality of the care they provide. It’s a data-driven payment system that will reward the best-performing providers and penalize those that don’t measure up. Almost by definition, it’s a system where data accuracy and transparency have become the essential currency for improved decision making.

Traditional silos are giving way to cross functional collaborations, as the clinically integrated supply chain compels it.

In this final installment of our three-part series on Prodigo Solutions, we not only address how the company is helping to solve healthcare’s data standards challenge, but how it has successfully positioned itself to directly support the industry’s drive to clinically integrate its supply chains.

On Scanmarket sale, co-founder Ole Nielsen says goal was ‘staying true to our mission’

contingent workforce

After Scanmarket announced last week that it had sold its e-sourcing business to an equity partner, co-founder Ole Nielsen spoke with Spend Matters UK/Europe Editor Nancy Clinton.

In a Q&A, Nielsen touches on the 1999 origins of the company (making one of the first online B2B marketplaces), he delves into the reasons behind the sale and displays the personal attention to detail that has made the sourcing provider known for its ease of use.

“We were more concerned with staying true to our mission of getting the right fit,” he says. “That’s why we chose to partner with Verdane; they were like-minded in our business plan and direction of the company.”

Scanmarket Sells the Strategic Sourcing Vendor to Verdane

Global Risk Management Solutions (GRMS)

Scanmarket, a strategic e-sourcing provider, announced it has sold a 90% stake in its source-to-contract (S2C) company to private equity firm Verdane. The founders of Scanmarket, CEO Betina Nygaard and CCO Ole Nielsen, will retain a 10% share and continue to lead development at the Denmark-based software firm, according to the announcement. Spend Matters lead analyst Michael Lamoureux said the company has “a lot of potential, and a track record to back it up.”

Commodities Roundup: EU Steel Quotas, a Mid-January Review and More Brexit Drama

Brexit

For the buyers and category managers out there, especially those of you deep in the weeds of buying and managing commodities, here’s a quick rundown of news and thoughts from particular commodity markets. From price movements to policy decisions, we scour the landscape for what matters. This week: EU imposes steel quotas, mid-January review of metal prices, a new auto alliance and the Brexit deal goes bust, giving way to more uncertainty.

Freelancers and Fintech — Follow the Money

Companies’ use of freelancers has become a hot topic of discussion as well as a source of considerable confusion among contingent workforce professionals and other human capital personnel in procurement and HR over the past several years.

It is a chaotic discourse. But there does seem to be something of a consensus that the number of individuals performing some type of at least “part-time” freelance or short gig-work has been materially increasing.

While there has been discussion of various potential drivers of this trend (e.g., business cycle, technology, personal income sufficiency, etc.), less attention has been paid to the state of ICW payments and financial services as a potential driver of ICW supply-side growth. And this is the case, despite that multiple surveys of workers have shown that payments is one of the top problems (along with development of new business and securing health insurance) that is gating ready-and-willing workers’ propensity to engage in part-time or full-time independent contract work.

But despite the lagging attention in the industry, market forces have been at work on solving the problem of payment and financial limitations that may be constraining the growth of part- and full-time independent work being performed. Developments in this particular area have become visible over the last year, as we will discuss in this article.

A Look at Barclaycard’s Virtual Card for Coupa’s Business Spend Management Platform

Small Business Credit

Last year, Coupa unveiled its vision for business spend management (BSM), and it added products throughout the year. One of those was a virtual credit card with international reach that’s from Barclaycard, a Coupa partner. We recently caught up with Barclaycard to get a look at the offering and find out more about the deal. In an interview, Barclaycard's Rob Tuckwell walked us through the partnership and talked about how the card works. Spend Matters UK/Europe recently caught up with Barclaycard to get a look at the offering and find out more about the deal. In an interview, Barclaycard Rob Tuckwell walked us through the partnership and talked about how the card works.

Tuckwell, the director of partnerships & B2B at Barclaycard Commercial Payments, said the first thing to know is that this service shouldn’t be confused with P-cards, the physical cards used for procurement purchasing. He said Coupa is using virtual cards that generate a one-time credit card number that’s specific to the purchase order, not a person — allowing greater control and reconciliation benefits.

“This is a much more efficient way of dealing with high-volume, low-value, and one-off suppliers,” he said.