How the CPO Can Influence the CIO – a Tale of Two CXOs

Coupa 2

If you’ve seen the Gene Wilder film, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and the part where the children get their first glimpse of the chocolate room – a beautiful meadow made entirely out of sweeties – you will have an idea of what it was like waiting outside the Imperial Room at the lustrous Westin hotel, Paris, for Coupa Inspire’s evening drinks reception a few weeks back. Two grand, ornate doors were opened inwards in synchrony by two equally grandly attired footmen, to reveal a splendour of glittering chandeliers, giant glass vases dripping with tropical flowers, tall platters with […]

Basware Connect – Rock Stars, Risotto, Planets and Procurement Challenges

Craig Basware 2015

Yesterday's Basware Connect event in London's fashionable Clerkenwell attracted around 150 people from across finance and procurement. The Wallacespace location is one of the new wave of "cool" conference venues, which on balance I like - lots of informal spaces which seemed to be proving good for small networking meetings, and the pumpkin, chestnut and gorgonzola risotto at lunchtime (all the food is freshly made in an open kitchen in the main lobby area) was one of the best things I've eaten for some time. Back to business; Esa Tihilä, Basware's CEO, did his keynote as an interview with journalist […]

Tradeshift Buy: Rethinking Transactional Procurement [PRO]

cloud solutions

In our first installment of this Spend Matters PRO research series on Tradeshift Buy, we explored the release of the application following Tradeshift’s acquisition of Merchantry. We also began to examine some of the secret platform sauce embedded within the Tradeshift Product Engine and, by extension, Tradeshift Shop. In this installment, we continue to examine Tradeshift’s approach to purchase to pay (P2P) including its “Buy Anywhere” feature. We also delve into how Tradeshift is driving demand to its network and how Tradeshift Buy expands its core P2P value proposition by integrating related modules and apps. We conclude our coverage by identifying the application’s strengths and opportunities.

NHS Procurement – Staffing Agency Partnerships, Not “Rip-Offs”


We are pleased to publish this post from Mike Lander, a Managing Partner of 4C Associates, a leading procurement services company, who has worked as NED and business consultant in the NHS. There has been plenty of media coverage recently about the need for a “clamp down on some of the staffing agencies ripping off the NHS.” As a procurement professional who has worked as both a Non-Executive Director (NED) and business consultant in the NHS, it saddens me to believe that an essential part of the workforce supply chain (nursing and doctor staffing agencies) are seen to be the devil’s […]

The Hidden Cost of Spreadsheets to Procurement – Lessons from Guy’s Hospital

David Lawson

We are pleased to bring you another post from David Lawson, Procurement Director at Guy's and St Thomas' Foundation Trust, London, following a similar theme to his previous post "The Hidden Cost of NHS On-line Ordering – How Guy’s Hospital is Responding." For Procurement the "world of spreadsheets" is a drab and dreary place. In the same way as clunky on-line ordering systems have hidden costs, so too does the way we work and interface with colleagues in Finance and directorate teams through spreadsheets. There are  four main problems that we have identified: 1.  Multiple Versions: We have a cost improvement plan […]

The Contingent Labour Paradox – Are They “Just Like Staff” Or Not?

unhappy people

Last week we launched a brand new briefing paper titled "Total Talent Management and the Contingent Workforce Paradox".  This is sponsored by Fieldglass, the leader in VMS systems (used to manage contingent labour and related services spend areas), but like all our papers it is written from an independent standpoint. The contingent (temporary, interim, whatever you want to call it) workforce for most organisations is growing, so a greater percentage of the people who work in effect within the organisation are not permanent staff. Yet it is driving a paradox. Organisations are realising that in many ways, they need to […]

Tradeshift Buy: Rethinking E-Procurement, Supplier Networks and P2P From the Ground Up [PRO]


Tradeshift is becoming an increasingly important procure-to-pay (P2P) vendor to watch for procurement organizations and the broader purchasing and B2B ecosystem. The provider has piqued our curiosity with its foray into e-procurement. It stands out from the crowd, from both an architectural and technology perspective, for two key reasons: the recent launch of Tradeshift Buy, a cloud-based e-procurement solution with an aggressive release and feature roadmap for the remainder of 2015 and 2016, and its ambitious platform-as-a-service model for supplier network connectivity. This multi-part Spend Matters PRO research brief provides an update on Tradeshift’s current and planned e-procurement and expanded P2P capabilities. In the first installment, we begin to look at Tradeshift Buy, the Tradeshift Product Engine and additional Tradeshift tools, including the Tradeshift Shop.

Twitter for Procurement – What’s All the Chirping About?


We are very grateful to Juliet Frost for analysing our Twitter connections and coming up with this very interesting post on how Twitter can work for Procurement. Juliet is an engineer by training, now a procurement specialist with expertise in sourcing and major technology implementation, and an expert on the use of data and social media in procurement.  There has been much promotion of social media networking for procurement professionals and with approximately 30,000 procurement and supply chain tweeters, there is a lot out there for you to engage with. But where do you start? And if you’re one of the […]

Scanmarket: A Strategic Sourcing Suite Provider To Add to Your Shortlist [PRO]

Staples merger

Scanmarket has not yet crossed the awareness and marketing chasm, even if it has won over the market that matters most: a diverse and broad set of more than 300 Global 2000 customers — and that’s not a misprint. In short, while it has underinvested to date in marketing to build awareness and thought leadership relative to peers, Scanmarket has quietly become become one of the top half dozen or so largest strategic sourcing suites in the market by customer adoption and growth. This Spend Matters PRO research brief provides an introduction to Scanmarket, including a look at its history, solution footprint and general capabilities. In a follow-up analysis, we will consider the product features and capabilities in greater detail.

Upwork: A Factor in Changing the Course of the War for Talent? [PRO]

services procurement

Today, we discuss Upwork and where it is right now, specifically its unique solution for enterprises, Upwork Enterprise. If there is any one company that is more emblematic of this still emerging and very heterogeneous independent workforce solution space — characterized by uncertain labels like online freelancer marketplace (OFM), online staffing, freelancer management system (FMS), on-demand, gig economy, talent-as-a-service, etc. — it would be Upwork, the company resulting from the merger of OFM giants Elance and oDesk. Upwork distinguishes itself not just by its size but also because it is the only one of these global freelance marketplace platforms that has been investing substantially in engaging with larger enterprises as a part of their established contingent workforce management programs.

Your Supply Risk Management 2016 Game Plan (Part 1) [Plus +]

supply risk

Risk is more than just a board game. Supply risk is more than just a natural disaster messing up your company’s plans, and supply risk management is not a new topic — nor will it be going away anytime soon. But it's no time to be complacent. In this four-part Spend Matters Plus series, we provide our outlook on how best to define and manage supply risk programs in 2016, based on lessons learned from leaders. We begin with a definition of the major categories of risk that an average organization is exposed to, then discuss a risk management strategy based on global thinking and local implementation, cover risk and reward alignment as a key to adoption and conclude with a discussion of how to monitor and manage your risk management program for success.

P2P Suite Adoption in Asia: Selection Considerations, Shortlists and Forecast Market Growth [PRO]


The Asian market is too early in its adoption lifecycle for purchase-to-pay (P2P) solutions and related procurement technology suites and tools for companies to have settled into different adoption and requirement norms or types. Yet the interest and enthusiasm for embracing technology, especially mature technology such as e-procurement solutions, is growing considerably in many Asian markets, even if each selection process, use case and need is somewhat unique. As Spend Matters concludes this series looking at P2P and procurement technology adoption in Asia, we share the specific selection process recommendations we have been sharing with organizations in the region, provide a shortlist of recommended vendors with regional capacity and support and provide an overall market forecast for the region.