technology Content

Q&A With Graham Wright: The Tools IBM Procurement Is Using and Why

tech

In Part 1 of our interview chat with Graham Wright, IBM’s vice president of global procurement and IBM procurement services, we had just gotten down to brass tacks on what he considers to be the hallmarks of procurement transformation for organizations today. (ICYMI, catch up on Part 1 here.) Wright was also — for once — back at home in the U.K., which is not a regular occurrence lately. However, upon a minor run-in with a hotel room doorway, he’s had to take it a bit easy. Luckily we caught up with him post-recovery. Here’s the second part of our conversation.

How AI Will Help Procurement Advance Analytics Beyond Basic Spend Analysis

Leading procurement organizations today don’t just measure what they spent. They push their definition of spend analytics to encompass their total value contribution to the business, taking advantage of both conventional and newly accessible data sources to enable true supply analytics. How have they done this? While strong leadership and evolving best practices have played an important role, the simple answer is that analytics technology has finally advanced to the point where it can enable a supply analytics strategy. Key to this evolution is the rise of artificial intelligence within the enterprise.

Contract Management is Finally Taking Center Stage

Many procurement executives have told me their tales of change management and innovation to elevate the procurement function, from adopting spend analytics and category management to tackling indirect, services and long tail spend — all innovations enabled by technology previously not available to procurement professionals. That got me thinking, "What’s next?" To me, the most glaring oversight in a procurement organization has been the lack of strategic contract management.

Sustaining Value From Oracle Procurement: After the First Wave

In an earlier installment in this series on getting value from Oracle procurement applications, we explored where to focus on if you want to move fast with Oracle technology. Contrary to what many might believe, it is now possible to get Oracle technology to move at whatever speed you need it to — at least in select areas. But once you get past the “first wave” of savings and value generation from Oracle procurement technology, where should you turn next? That’s the topic we’ll explore in this article in more detail, as well the implementation and deployment nuances that Oracle — by nature of being Oracle — creates relative to its peers.

Getting Value From Oracle Procurement Applications Fast

Within the procurement technology arena, Oracle is not as well known as many of its peers with similar market share. There are numerous reasons for this, but in starting with the obvious, we would note that Oracle has so many product lines (and so many procurement products) that any individual application or suite of combined modules is likely to get lost in the brand shuffle (i.e., there is no SAP Ariba of Oracle). When thinking of these products, many procurement practitioners will likely conjure up a now somewhat dated perception that getting value from Oracle technology solutions takes time — sometimes lots of time. But there is no longer a need to “wait” for Oracle procurement value.

Driving Compliance in Healthcare: Where Good Pitching Still Seems to Beat Great Hitting

Since the beginning of time (it seems), industry-focused supply chain management application vendors have rushed to fill ERP solution gaps. The market’s early-to-mid-stage technology adopters have invested in these “best in breed” solutions and realized the value, accepting certain workarounds, often related to data integration. Despite the staggeringly complex and ongoing problems of core hospital enterprise management, the ERP vendors are already moving into additional application spaces, as their healthcare customers, based on their efforts, are finally getting connected.

Blockchain is the Future of X (Insert Anything from Visa Applications to Real Estate)

If you can’t think of a good headline for your blockchain article, there’s always this trusty formula: “Blockchain is the future of ______.” And you can fill in the blank with whatever the article’s about, whether it’s seafood supply chains or cannabis, as chances are your article is extolling blockchain technology and how it will transform some particular field. But where is blockchain — basically an open, distributed ledger that has been likened to Google Docs — actually being implemented? Despite what it may seem like, blockchain isn’t all hype. Here is a roundup of real-life cases where blockchain is being implemented or under serious consideration, starting with the U.S. federal government.

Why Partial Automation Will Be a Smart Tool — Not a Replacement — For the AP Clerk

e-invoicing

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Laurent Charpentier, chief innovation officer at Yooz North America.

Accounts payable (AP) clerks at leading companies are already seeing machine-learning programs automate and streamline their daily work, flagging suspicious invoices, reducing cycle time and saving their organizations money. Artificial intelligence is boosting efficiency and making life easier for thousands of AP professionals today. But many of these professionals are undoubtedly wondering if sophisticated software might one day put them out of a job.

On the Amazon Robotics Challenge, Warehouse Automation and Expired Oatmega Bars

Recently I was on the phone with a Target customer service supervisor, explaining that for the third time in a row, the Oatmega nutrition bars I ordered online had arrived past their expiration dates. If you haven’t heard of Oatmega bars, their nutritional content is thoroughly impressive, and the taste is pretty good, too (after all, it took three shipments of expired bars for me to stop buying them). But there’s one catch: The bars become progressively harder to bite into as the expiration date approaches. And so I was explaining all of this to the supervisor, who blamed it on the warehouses’ robots.

Amazon’s Move into Healthcare: Managing Tail Spend or Redefining its Last Mile?

healthcare

Everyone is consumed with Amazon’s widely reported “move” into healthcare. But what does that mean? While the prevailing wisdom suggests that Amazon has an opportunity to displace the group purchasing organizations (GPOs) and major distributors that dominate care provider supply chains, even if that’s true, is that Amazon’s endgame — managing healthcare’s tail spend?

Real-Time Procurement Data for Total Purchasing Control: A 3-Part Webinar Series



Out with the old and in with the new, and for procurement, real-time data is the leading edge of what organizations like the LDS Church are doing to achieve total purchasing control and ensure compliance with suppliers. This recorded three-part webinar series from Aquiire and Spend Matters digs deep on the B2B procurement shopping list to unearth real savings for your company. Transforming Procurement in Real-Time is now available for download here.

3 Reasons the Cognitive Era is Not Yet Upon Us — But it Will Be Soon

Forget digital. The 2020s will be powered by super intelligent, human-like applications that all but replace their creators. This is the dawn of the cognitive era. At least, that’s what the software market has been saying for the past year or so. But given that most organizations, particularly those in a B2B or supply chain context, have barely come around to adopting even plain old “digital” strategies, cognitive’s penetration in the enterprise is, perhaps, a bit oversold. To understand why, here are three examples of how we're still laying the groundwork for the transition from digital to cognitive — and what to expect when it really starts.