April Album Review – Christine and the Queens, Frightened Rabbit, Eliza and the Bear

Christine queens

Ah, the May Day Weekend, and in the UK, the sleet is driving icily across the country, little lambs freeze rather than gambol, cricket matches are abandoned due to snow - just a typical public holiday for us then really.  Anyway, have a good long weekend! We won't be publishing any articles on Monday, unless - oh, I don't know, SAP buys IBM or something. But here are our very brief album reviews for April, we're short of time but do want to tell you about three very strong new releases. If you saw Christine and the Queens on the […]

Procurement Principles – What I Learnt from My Father

Dad head shoulders

"Down the Procurement Pub" did not seem appropriate today, as my Father died last weekend. The end came a bit faster than expected, so apologies to various people if I have not been very available this week and there may be a little less new content than usual from me here for a week or two.  It is sad of course, but it has been a fairly unpleasant last six months for him, so we feel that a very peaceful end, at home with family (and brilliant Marie Curie nursing support), is not a bad way to go. He was […]

BBC to Compete More Programme Production Work – Let’s Reverse Auction Gary Lineker!

football table

There was an interesting report this week suggesting that the BBC will be forced to put more of their programme production work "out to tender" as part of their next funding settlement with the government. The organisation already has to buy in a percentage of programmes from independent production houses, but it may have to go much further. The internal staff may have to compete for pretty much all programmes - but might also have the freedom to compete on the external market themselves. As The Times reported (behind the paywall): "Independent producers could make up to 100 per cent […]

Capgemini IBX Business Network: Vendor Snapshot (Part 1) — Integrated S2P With Head-Spend and Tail-Spend in One [PRO]

Capgemini IBX Business Network

Capgemini, a multinational professional services firm headquartered in Paris, France, is one of the world's largest consulting companies, with more than 180,000 employees in more than 40 countries and almost €12 billion in annual revenue. Buried within this services behemoth is a specialized procurement division, the IBX Business Network, created by IBX Group, in Stockholm, Sweden, and acquired by Capgemini 2010. Since IBX's own acquisitions of Trimondo GmBH and Portum AG in 2005 and 2006, the provider has steadily increased its capabilities, including bringing one of the richest source-to-pay (S2P) platform capabilities that is pre-integrated with a supplier network. While particularly strong in the Nordics, the IBX division of Capgemini has expanded throughout Europe and North America as well. This two-part Spend Matters PRO research brief provides an introduction to Capgemini IBX, an overview of the provider’s strengths and weaknesses and customer recommendations.

Public Spend Matters Europe – Public Procurement Highlights from This Week


Public Spend Matters Europe is dedicated to the exciting and fascinating matters connected with European public sector procurement. 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. So here is a roundup of what we've been discussing this week. If you find anything interesting please do click through to the full article: Procurement Technology: Public Sector Still Absent from the Table We picked up on […]

Philip Green, Public Procurement and BHS Pension Liabilities


Engaged by Francis Maude in one of his poorer decisions, Sir Philip Green produced an unprofessional and superficial report on government procurement back in 2010, a pack of PowerPoint slides with a distinctly cobbled together look and feel. Then it took ages for PC PRO (well done to them) to get Cabinet Office to answer Freedom of Information questions that showed the data on price variation across different government organisations was totally meaningless. The rumours at the time were that Green was known by civil servants involved in the “study” for castigating them for wasting money from the comfort of […]

Why Does Procurement Struggle With Complex Services Categories? Join Our Webinar Next Week


You can sign up here for our free upcoming webinar on Thursday 5th May at 12.30pm BST with our friends at 4C Associates, the procurement consulting and managed services firm, with the provoking title - Is this the end of marketing procurement? You can hear Milan Panchmatia, Managing Partner at 4C Associates and me as we discuss the future of marketing procurement (that is, the procurement of marketing services, not how we market procurement, if you see what we mean!). But whilst it will focus strongly on that category, we believe it will be interesting for anyone involved in the […]

FusionOps: Vendor Snapshot — Supply Chain Intelligence in the Cloud [PRO]


FusionOps is a supply chain intelligence company founded in 2005 in Sunnyvale, California, to automate ERP-based business processes, such as direct materials procurement and supplier collaboration, that could not be accomplished effectively using the standalone sourcing and procurement solutions of the day. However, around 2009, the company switched directions — or “pivoted” in tech speak — and started amalgamating "big data" from ERP, MRP and other supply chain and supply management systems in an effort to extract actionable intelligence for clients. Today, FusionOps delivers "big data as a service" through its supply chain intelligence cloud, which contains more than 50 built-in proprietary supply chain models that run on more than 1,000 KPIs across the inbound, internal and outbound supply chain that can be used for diagnostic, predictive and even prescriptive analytics. This Spend Matters PRO research brief provides an introduction to FusionOps, an overview of the provider’s strengths and weaknesses and customer recommendations.

Tradeshift Heads to China: Getting an ICP License, Q&A and Summary Analysis [PRO]

Tradeshift Baiwang

For technology vendors, entering new geographic markets can be as easy as hiring a handful of local employees, offering local language support and getting an office. But in the case of China, especially when the solution a firm sells touches at the very core of government VAT requirements, market entrance is many orders of magnitude more complicated. This Spend Matters PRO research series explores how Tradeshift is entering the Chinese market in partnership with Baiwang, including the process Tradeshift went through to obtain an Internet Content Provider (ICP) license, its specific (regionally customized) solution elements for the Chinese market and a summary analysis of what increasing levels of VAT and tax collection legislation will mean for multinational corporations and the e-invoicing solutions that they deploy. For background on the new Chinese VAT and tax reporting requirements, including system components and elements, please see the first installment of this Spend Matters PRO research brief.

Tradeshift and Baiwang: A Solution Approach to Meeting Chinese VAT and E-Invoicing Requirements [PRO]

Tradeshift Baiwang

Tradeshift is bringing e-invoicing into the world’s most important developing — or developed, depending on perspective — economy: China. A few weeks ago, Tradeshift announced its partnership with Baiwang to deliver an integrated compliance solution in the Chinese marketplace, which we covered in a quick research note. Our research suggests the partnership is more than just a marketing agreement. It involves a material commitment by both parties and could play a significant role in Tradeshift’s global expansion, and the implementation of e-invoicing and compliance programs in China. But it also raises a number of questions, which the Spend Matters team was able to pose to Tradeshift’s Christian Lanng and Vishal Patel following the announcement. In this two-part Spend Matters PRO brief, we provide a closer examination into the partnership, including background insight into Chinese tax reform and e-invoicing requirements that drove Baiwang to collaborate with Tradeshift. We also feature a Q&A with the Tradeshift team and provide our own analysis of the partnership and co-investment in platform localization, including the rationale and implications for connectivity and e-invoicing adoption in China.

Defining Your Solution Approach: Supplier Management 101 (Part 3) [Plus +]

supplier management

In Part 1 of this series, we introduced supplier management from a process and methodology standpoint before mapping it to various solution areas that are out in the marketplace. Supplier management often is called SLM because of its lifecycle focus, which spans initial analysis (analysis and opportunity identification), planning (sourcing), negotiation (contract management) and execution (performance), and closes the process loop by leading back to the analysis phase of the strategic sourcing cycle as a result of future opportunity identification. Third-party management (3PM), which deals with non-suppliers that are also critical to your organization — such as government agencies, third-party logistics, partners and (media) agencies — is simply the application of the appropriate finely-tuned subset of supplier management capabilities to the third party that needs to be managed for organizational success. And, of course, you also need good supplier information. In this installment we cover what is in scope from a process and information standpoint before mapping to solution categories that are available in the market.

Torchlite: WIP of the Week [PRO]


This week we present Torchlite as the WIP of the Week. The company, just out of the blocks in 2015, specializes in providing the full-range of digital marketing services through a unique “service provider” platform-based model. In many ways, the company acts like an outsourcer of digital marketing services for companies that are not in a position to execute digital marketing on their own — or do so at a very high cost with unsatisfactory results. In this brief, we provide an overview of Torchlite and its unique platform model and, as usual, offer our own commentary.