Down the Procurement Pub with the MCA, Coupa, Cabinet Office and King Charles

Terry Mackay

Here we have a very dark picture of Terry Mackay, who has worked at very senior level in procurement and supply chain in a number of consulting firms and is also an international basketball player (in veteran’s tournaments). We had a beer this week in the Crosse Keys in Gracechurch Street, central London. It is a Wetherspoons in an old banking hall and it is HUGE! May be the biggest single-room pub I’ve ever been in … with 18 different cask ales too. The good news is I'm getting a new phone next week (and hence new camera ) so […]

Online Ads – Robots, Fraud and Ineffectiveness Increase


Many billions (in whatever currency you care to consider) are spent every year in the on-line advertising sector. But the questions about the effectiveness of this spend, and the associated issues around fraud, just won’t go away. The Register website reports: “Fraud checker Meetrics measures the “viewability” of online ads. If an advertisement isn’t viewable, one of several things may have happened, none of which are good. It may have appeared offscreen or in an inactive browser window. Or a botnet may have clocked up the required number of clicks. The ad intermediary pockets the cash although the advertiser has […]

Shiftgig: WIP of the Week [PRO]


Today, we present Shiftgig as our WIP of the Week. Shiftgig, founded in 2012, is a work intermediation platform that brings together service businesses and qualified local, hourly workers who can fill shifts. The company has gone through some stages of refining its business model, reaching its current model in June 2014 and entering a phase of acceleration. In this brief, we provide an overview of Shiftgig’s business, platform and services and offer some thoughts on what a supplier model like Shiftgig implies for services procurement.

Public Spend Matters Europe – Highlights from This Week


Here's our Friday rundown of  highlights from our site dedicated to exciting and fascinating matters connected with European public sector procurement - Public Spend Matters Europe.  As usual, before you think about switching off, it's worth remembering that around Europe, we are talking about well over a trillion Euros of money from taxpayers and citizens being spent by government and public sector bodies of some sort. Worth doing well, you might consider. If you find anything interesting please do click through to the full article: EC Proposes Revised Tool for Open Access to Public Procurement Markets In a bid to open up international […]

SpendLead Update and Procurement in Difficult Times


SpendLead, as we have mentioned previously, is a tool that enables buyers and sellers to link up in a targeted, efficient and effective manner. Buyers and supplier register (free) and describe the spend categories that they are interested in supplying or buying. Buyers then receive short messages informing them when suppliers have a new item of interest available in terms of new product information, a case study, webinar or similar. Buyers can then choose whether to get more details about the item. Since the initial launch last October, Fabrice Saporito (pictured here) and his team have developed a range of […]

Real World Procurement – Putting Suppliers at the Centre of your Organisation


Our Real World Procurement series of workshops, supported by BravoSolution, is back for 2016, with a set of topics that really gets to the heart of what matters in procurement. The sessions are delivered by Guy Allen – ex CPO of Santander and Fujitsu – and me, and we will be covering these topics this year. Putting Suppliers at the Centre of your Organisation               (24th February) Driving Value from your Sourcing Process                                  (13th April) The Good, Bad, and Ugly of S2P Implementation                      (25th May) Next Generation Supplier Management                                        (14th September) Nurturing Procurement Talent […]

VMS and E-Procurement: Bridging the Indirect and Services Procurement Gap (Part 1) [PRO]

Sergey Nivens/Adobe Stock

For the last few decades, technology applications have developed and taken root in both services procurement and non-services procurement (or “spend management” if you prefer). We can generally segment these applications into two areas: vendor management systems (VMS) and e-procurement solutions. Somewhat remarkably, it appears that these two fundamental categories of spend, which are increasingly converging (especially with the digital disruptions happening right now), have remained in separate silos as far as packaged technology applications are concerned. In fact, there have been separate solution provider companies in each silo, with basically no overlap at all. Of course, you might argue that SAP’s assemblage of SAP ERP, Ariba, Fieldglass, SuccessFactors and Concur make for an end-to-end “solution” in terms of functionality checkboxes, but obviously it’s not a single integrated application suite to manage the end-to-end services spectrum. This is basically the “myth of the integrated ERP procurement solution” argument we’ve made before, but applied to services spend. In this multi-part Spend Matters PRO brief, we explore the following questions: (1) What are the differences between VMS and e-procurement solutions? (2)What might we expect going forward with respect to (a) solution convergence and (b) solution provider consolidations? and (3) If you have both of these application types, what strategies should you consider to leverage your existing investments but also take advantage of this convergence?

Spend Matters 50/50: CIPS – 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 […]

Why Services Firms are Finally Developing Successful Procurement Technology Applications — and Why You Should Sometimes Consider Them [PRO]

big data

For well over a decade, consultancies, business process outsourcing (BPO) firms, managed services providers (MSPs) and other services firms in the procurement ecosystem have tried to develop procurement technology solutions that can stand on their own. Just about all of these early efforts were either failures or just never could be properly sustained and supported as standalone software products (i.e., something beyond a captive internal tool like spend analysis used as part of service engagements or pre-sales diagnostics). Examples include AT Kearney, FreeMarkets, Mitchell Madison and Silver Oak Services Partners. It was easy to recognize the inherent conflict between the billable hour (and solution objectivity) and the investment and expertise to run a software business. But the times have changed for services firms. Not only are some firms developing solutions that can compete on the basic feature and function software level, but the solutions now don’t necessarily walk out the door when the consultants wrap up an engagement. Rather, they are retained in areas such as sourcing, analytics, services procurement, supplier management and even procure to pay (P2P). This two-part Spend Matters PRO research brief explores what has changed to enable this, where and how services-centered firms are building applications (and in certain cases, managed services that involve software) and some of the challenges that firms still face in commercializing their technology efforts — and tips for overcoming them. It also highlights three examples of services providers that developed innovative procurement technology solutions in different areas, either within their current structure or inside new organizations run or owned by the same principals.

Supplier Risk and Compliance as a Managed Service: Global Risk Management Solutions (GRMS) [PRO]

Global Risk Management Solutions (GRMS)

The rise of managed services is expanding the pie for supplier management, enabling procurement, finance and supply chain organizations to benefit from supplier information and to drive compliance without having to think about software, supplier enablement or direct licensing agreements with individual providers themselves. Global Risk Management Solutions (GRMS) is one such provider taking a managed services approach to supplier compliance and management in a manner that can be cost neutral from the start to procurement. As our Spend Matters PRO analysis of GRMS continues (see the first installment in this series here), we offer perspective on how GRMS’ capabilities compare to and complement supplier management technology platforms and other providers, as well as general strengths, weaknesses and recommendations that potential users of this supplier risk management and compliance managed service should be aware of. We also provide perspectives on the business needs of organizations that are most likely to be a good fit for GRMS, a provider that as of January 2016, had more than 225 customers.

Global Risk Management Solutions (GRMS): Supplier Onboarding, Risk and Compliance as a Managed Service [PRO]

Global Risk Management Solutions

Global Risk Management Solutions (GRMS), a managed services provider (MSP), has carved out a valuable niche targeting procurement organizations that want maximum assurance that the suppliers they are doing business with truly are who they say they are — and that they meet customized requirements for doing business with the company in question. Complementing other supplier management tools and source-to-pay suites as well as specialized supply chain risk management solutions, GRMS focuses on areas of supplier compliance that many organizations shortchange on an ongoing basis. Fueled by a supplier-funded revenue model and an outsourced data aggregation and validation service that is global in scope, spanning onboarding, regulatory compliance, environmental health and safety, risk management, diversity data and more, GRMS has kept the financial and business process adoption barriers to their offering low for procurement organizations. This two-part Spend Matters PRO Research brief provides an overview of the GRMS managed service compliance solution and how it can complement related supplier management, compliance and risk technologies (e.g., Hiperos/Opus Global, Aravo, Lavante, HICX, Ariba/SAP, SciQuest, Emptoris/IBM, Ivalua, Zycus, GEP, riskmethods, Resilinc) and information providers (e.g., D&B, BvD, Ecovadis) – as well as the overlap it has with other supplier management managed services providers like Achilles, Browz, PICS Auditing, Deloitte and Helios.

The Latest on Nipendo: Direct Materials Support, A New Dynamic Portal and Customer Recommendations [PRO]

p2p deployment

Innovation lurks in the shadows of legacy e-invoicing and supply chain connectivity approaches, threatening to completely change how we communicate procurement, sales and supply chain information with partners — and even internally. And Nipendo, which we have previously explored in depth here and here as well as an Intel case study here and here, is at the forefront of this radical shift. In this second half (see the first installment) of this update on Nipendo, based on a half-day session looking at the latest from the provider at its R&D center in Israel, Spend Matters details some of the enhancements this disruptive provider is bringing to supply chain connectivity.