Declaration of the New Purchasing: A Buying Manifesto

Our colleagues at Spend Matters US produce regular papers that are always informative and insightful. They often focus on technology to a significant extent, but a recent example is interesting to anyone in procurement, technologist or not, and everyone whether based in the US, Europe or anywhere. The title is Declaration of the New Purchasing: A Buying Manifesto, and the paper was jointly researched and produced by Spend Matters (with Jason Busch in the lead) and Vroozi, one of the new breed of procurement software providers (see more here). We briefly mentioned this when it was launched, and in manifesto […]

CSR, Sustainability and SRM – A Powerful Partnership (part 2)


In Part 1, Lance Younger, CEO and Nils Vandewinkel, Analyst of Statess, and Alis Sindbjerg Hemmingsen, Responsible Procurement, highlighted the business imperative and opportunity for the integration of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Sustainability and Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) to address supply chain issues and performance. In part 2, they explain how CSR and SRM can be combined. The 2014 global SRM research, undertaken by State of Flux, with more than 500 companies, shows that over 55 percent of the organisations state that supporting sustainability and CSR is an important business driver for SRM. How To Combine CSR And SRM The key to a successful […]

Opportunities Await Within the Amazon Business Marketplace [PRO]


In our previous Spend Matters main site coverage of Amazon Business and Part 1 of our Spend Matters PRO analysis, we dove into some of the details of Amazon’s re-vamped foray into B2B e-commerce, particularly regarding the user experience and Amazon’s selection and pricing features. In this next edition, we’ll dive into some of the marketplace solution functionality and some opportunities to close the key gaps. In the next installment, we’ll also analyze some of key opportunities we see for Amazon to improve its B2B solution for larger firms – and even form smaller ones, too! Many associate the term “solution” only with software applications, and while Amazon Business is initially basically a re-skinned version of, we expect to see more e-procurement-like functionality embedded in it to serve the needs of smaller firms where a large percentage of their spending could come from a provider like Amazon. For larger firms, the story is, of course, different as we’ll explain...

Spend Matters 50/50: ISM – A Provider to Know in 2015

We announced here and here our two (not ranked) lists: Spend Matters 50 To Know and 50 To Watch firms for 2015/2016. In the first case, this is our view of the 50 solution provider type organisations in the procurement industry that every senior procurement leader should be aware of and understand. The 50 To Watch are the up-and-coming firms  - those with interesting and relatively new solutions for our market. The 50 To Know are the key organisations in our industry that procurement executives need to have on their radar. Having announced the lists, our US colleagues are now featuring each of the […]

A Procurement View of Agencies and the Buy/Sell Dynamics of Marketing Services

We’ve featured various articles with a procurement slant over the years from The Drum website, aimed at the marketing community. It’s a really good website, with the occasional article about the intersection of procurement and marketing, but certainly should be on the regular reading list for anyone involved in that spend category. Indeed, it has some material that is just generally interesting – I enjoyed (and was educated by) this article on recent tech announcements, for instance. But back to procurement – their latest coverage last month was an edited version (available here)  of an illuminating speech given at the […]

New Minister Matt Hancock – there’s “more to do” on UK Government Procurement

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We continue our analysis of the new UK government as we try and work out what it might mean for Crown Commercial Services (CCS) and public procurement in general. Matt Hancock, the new Minister for Procurement (as it were), and Francis Maude’s successor, made his first major speech on May 22 to the Institute for Government, with the topic of civil service reform. He made some interesting points generally, including these highlights. He wants staff to have “freedom to fail” – to encourage civil servants to take risks (now where have we heard that before?). There was some good staff […]

ZeroChaos: Threatening the MSP Status Quo (Part 3) [PRO]

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As Spend Matters PRO concludes its initial detailed coverage of ZeroChaos, a solutions provider with a refreshing procurement-centric attitude that is shaking up the MSP status quo, we offer initial impressions of the provider’s own vendor management system (VMS) technology including support for statement of work (SOW), independent contractors/freelancer and talent pools. We also feature impressions of what we learned from talking to ZeroChaos customers. It's been a while since we last wrote about ZeroChaos, but here we dive back into analyzing and providing insight on the company's technology and the experience it offers.

Contractual Risk Assessment And its Role in Corporate Risk Management [Plus +]


Over the past decade, supplier management solutions have evolved dramatically. Many started by serving as basic tools to meet data gathering needs for both procurement- and accounts Payable-led supplier onboarding to becoming effective instruments supporting sourcing initiatives. More recently, these solutions have even started to turn risk management initiatives from a lagging rear-view mirror exercise to a forward-looking assessment process that helps corporations stay on top of their third-party risk exposure. But what is next for these solutions? At Spend Matters, we think it is a fairly low-hanging fruit to more actively bring in contractual data into your SLM or third party management solutions. This is precisely what Hiperos is aiming to accomplish. The provider’s latest release is taking aim for the first time at this area, joining a set of related – although not yet directly competitive – capabilities from Apttus, Seal and others.

Exploring Work Market: Market Context, Customer Experience and Recommendations [PRO]


Today we conclude our analysis of Work Market by examining both the customer experience (from a user perspective) and final recommendations for those companies considering a freelancer management system (FMS) either alongside or separate from a vendor management system (VMS). In recent discussions with Work Market and other services procurement customers, we have been hearing some consistent patterns. It seems companies are hiring more non-affiliated freelancers and independent consultants, and the decision to use an “out-tasking” service or marketplace versus a mode that allows greater control and compliance from a FMS standpoint – for onsite ICs or otherwise – is often based on the category and strategic importance of the activity. Additionally, traditional e-procurement, VMS and MSP solutions are typically not up to the task or purpose-built for the effort. But the question remains: Will Work Market (independently or in a competitive environment) be a key provider to fill the void?

Bringing Innovation and Flexibility to Category Management – Category Management 2.0 (Part 3) [PRO]


This third and final installment of an exclusive preview of a forthcoming research series sponsored by BravoSolution that we created for our Spend Matters PRO subscribers. Consider it the “chef’s choice” tasting bite that the chef (that would be me) sends out in advance of the full multi-course experience. We hope you enjoyed it. Please contact me if you have any questions on the topic – and be on the lookout for the full version of the pending series. In Part 1 of this 3-part Spend Matters PRO series, we introduced Category Management 2.0 as “The lifecycle management of spend/supply categories that meaningfully impact enterprise performance” and why it’s superior to category sourcing processes locked inside of an n-step sourcing process. In Part 2, we also began discussing some approaches to take your category management processes to the next level. In this installment, we’ll continue the discussion and wrap up with a few closing thoughts.

Field Nation Acquisition of Field Solutions: What It Means for WIP, FMS Markets [PRO]


Earlier today Field Nation announced it was acquiring Field Solutions for an undisclosed sum. The transaction represents the most recent M&A activity to hit the freelancer management system (FMS) and work intermediation platform (WIP) markets, related sectors still in their relative infancy. Even though, as one proxy, we estimate the combined size of Field Nation and Field Solution on an annualized volume/revenue basis is well below what most Fortune 100 companies spend on IT each year, there is an undeniable trend in the IT area (as well as marketing/creative services, media and related segments) toward hiring a larger numbers of freelancers or independent contractors that will only accelerate on a global basis. This Spend Matters PRO analysis provides both context and additional analysis exploring the combination of Field Nation and Field Solution and discusses expected market and consolidation trends in the various sub-sectors of the services procurement market – and what it all means for procurement and HR organizations alike. We ask, "What does the acquisition tell us about the emergence of 'platforms' in the contingent workforce supply chain?" Read the full article for more.