Bill Crothers, Government Procurement Supremo – Clearly Made Enemies!

Polar bear 1

As we said last week, we thought we would leave our Spend Matters review of Bill Crothers’ career as the UK government's Chief Procurement and Chief Commercial Officer until after the appointment of his successor. Who knows, I might apply ... And that is still our plan. But at the weekend, we received a mysterious text, obviously from someone who had our mobile number. But we did not recognise their number and when we called it, we got a dead tone... very mysterious. Perhaps it was procurement secret agent James Pond (licensed to bill)? Yes, there is a pun in […]

July Album Review – the Maccabees, Stornoway and Lianne La Havas

July is a bit of a thin month for new album releases, and the one we have been most looking forward to, the Maccabees, was only released yesterday, so bear in mind these are very much first impressions from three listens on Spotify, mainly via my laptop (not the best way to get the full sonic effect, to be honest). Marks To Prove It is the London band's fourth album, and the title is meaningful - it has been a tortuous process apparently to get this to point of release, taking them two years working in a studio in urban […]

Down the Procurement Pub with Xchanging, Fabienne Lesbros, Bill Crothers and Beach House

Wetherspoons dinner

As we enter the school holiday season in Europe, we thought it would be a quiet week. But not a bit of it! Some big announcements, ranging from people moves, to government initiatives, and company financial and business announcements of significance for our world. But the big question is - how on earth can Wetherspoons provide half a rack of ribs, grilled chicken breast, coleslaw, chips and onion rings AND a pint of very decent Rev. James Bitter, all for £6.99?  (Steak night - but they had sold out of steak!) ______________________ Fabinenne Lesbros, the CPO at Britvic, and the […]

Crown Commercial Service Annual Report – More Challenges and Audit Questions


We have been looking at the Crown Commercial Services Annual Report this week. The page that genuinely made my jaw drop was what is usually a pretty boring part of any government organisation's report - the "Head of Internal Audit" section. I had to re-read the first sentence to make sure I understood it. "The Head of Internal Audit’s annual report concludes that the Crown Commercial Service’s framework of governance, risk management, and control is limited in its overall adequacy and effectiveness. His opinion is based on: Delivery of the agreed risk-based internal audit plan – overall, 64% of the […]

This Week’s Summary of Articles from Public Spend Matters Europe


Here is a summary of our stories from around Europe on Public Spend Matters Europe this week. There’s a new article every day and many are attracting comments from experts. Each Friday, we are featuring a briefsummaryof the main articles published that week on PSME. If you see something of interest, please click through and take a look at the whole thing. Government Procurement in EU a “Concern” for World Trade Organisation The World Trade Organisation (WTO) has expressed concern over the European Union’s trade policies regarding government procurement. Last year, the EU reformed government procurement regulations to improve transparency, enforcement and to simplify procedures. […]

IT Supply Chain Developments and Their Impact on Buying Decisions

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Al Nagar, Head of Benchmarking, KnowledgeBus, Mercato Solutions, continues his series of advisory pieces sharing recent movements and impactors within key IT product categories, to keep you abreast of the latest developments and help support purchasing decisions. The first six months of 2015 have proved a bumpy ride for the channel, with currency depreciation a significant factor. Throughout June, concerns over a possible Greek exit saw peaks and troughs for the euro as it continued to perform badly against other currencies. Vendors and suppliers have been trying to thin out inventory in these channels, but escalating prices on equipment to offset currency fluctuations […]

Verian Update: Release of Version 15.1, Its Relationship With BravoSolution and What’s Next for the Provider [PRO]

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Verian is one of the leading procure-to-pay (P2P) solution providers in the market, with a full-suite offering that includes purchasing, reporting, invoicing, budgeting and analytics functionality. It has now launched version 15.1, adding innovation to its inventory management and asset management modules – key differentiators that allow customers to manage indirect spend, the total lifecycle of all assets in the P2P workflow and facilities management. Verian started as a on-premise platform, but since 2009 it has been converting its customers into its software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution, with all the advantages that the cloud brings. Today the company has 8 conversions in progress and will continue with this effort at a rapid pace. Verian’s SaaS business has grown at a rate of 40%. The goal is to migrate all of its existing on-premise customers to SaaS, including those with multi-tenancy capability. All cloud-based multi-tenant customers will receive upgrades seamlessly and simultaneously. This Spend Matters PRO research brief takes a look at what is included in Verian’s version 15.1 release, its relationship with BravoSolution and what’s next for the provider.

Shining the Spotlight on Procurement Risks – Which Solution Providers Can Help? [Plus +]

Risk Maze Shows Dangerous Unstable Or Risky

It’s another Flashback Friday here on Spend Matters. You don’t want to risk missing out on another one of our most popular Ask the Expert webinars of all time: Providers Who Actually Get to the Root of Risk & Compliance. As Thomas Kase, vice president of research, warns in this webinar from our archives, risk is lurking ahead for every procurement organization regarding finances, performance and compliance. You need to manage this risk to avoid the consequences. How do you do this effectively? And, which solution providers offer the best tools to help procurement organizations tackle risk? (Hint: Check out the webinar!)

How to Keep Your P2P Implementation Project From Turning Into a Nightmare (Part 1) [PRO]


A couple of weeks ago, Spend Matters and GEP held a joint webinar, “Nightmare on Procurement Street,” that discussed best practices surrounding a procure-to-pay (P2P) implementation project. Webinar speakers were myself, Spend Matters Chief Research Officer Pierre Mitchell, GEP Worldwide Senior Manager Santosh Reddy and Senior Manager of Technology Product Marketing Paul Blake. This first of a multi-part Spend Matters PRO research brief will examine how to avoid a P2P implementation project from turning into your worst nightmare. While not an all-inclusive implementation guide, the brief points to some important steps that are necessary to conducting a successful P2P implementation.

Catching Up With Coupa in London – Exploring UK and European P2P Adoption and Customer Trends [PRO]


Earlier this month in London, Spend Matters UK Chief Research Officer and Managing Director Peter Smith and I had the chance to catch up with 2 representatives from Coupa Software who are leading the company’s charge in the UK and Europe. We talked to Alex Kleiner, general manager of EMEA, and Ronan Kerouedan, regional vice president of solutions consulting EMEA and APAC, of Coupa about the history and state of the source-to-pay (S2P) market within the UK and European Union as well as the differences in how US and European companies look at acquiring purchase-to-pay (P2P) solutions, what they prioritize and about the SI/consulting ecosystem. We also heard a general update on Coupa’s traction in the region. This Spend Matters PRO research note will be of use to procurement practitioners on both sides of the pond, to understand relative priorities for transactional procurement systems and also the varying selection approaches, as well as the consultants and providers serving each market.

Contract Lifecycle Management 101: Part 5 – The Core CM Solution [Plus +]

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Today we continue our multi-part Plus series on contract lifecycle management (CLM), an uninspired acronym that sometimes encapsulates, sometimes complements, the source-to-settle (S2S) or source-to-Pay (S2P) process, which when properly implemented can generate quite attractive results. So far, we have introduced CLM in depth, defined the “CLM wheel” and reviewed the solution space to try and understand which solutions were typically required to support the full CLM process from an end-to-end procurement perspective, as no current solution supports the full buy-side process, in our view. We also followed this solution space review with a detailed review of the core solutions that were historically used to implement a full end-to-end solution, when strategically sourcing a high-value category. Now that we understand where traditional procurement solutions have been used with respect to full CLM and a number of the capabilities a true CLM platform is required to possess, we can discuss the core must-have level 1 requirements. In this post, we point out these must-have capabilities that every contract management platform needs to bring at least some value to your organization and where they fit on the CLM wheel.

Revolutionary and Disruptive Changes Coming to the Contingent Workforce Space [Plus +]

Young stylish businessman touching virtual interface button. Pillar of transparent blue light. Future bio style interior on background. Interfaces collection.

Though maybe not that apparent to most practitioners at the moment, the procurement of the contingent workforce is going to become more complicated in coming years. Here’s the good news: Most contingent workforce management programs are currently in the early stage of ramping up and moving up the program maturity ladder. They’re getting organizational buy-in and alignment, expanding program scope and reach, instituting processes and technologies and establishing disciplines for supplier, spend and compliance management for staffing and statement of work (SOW) labor. But the rub is that a tremendous amount is starting to happen outside of procurement and the 4 walls of the program office work site, where practitioners have their heads down doing their thing. In short: Despite some progress in evolving programs away from just the management of staffing resources and SOW models, the non-employee genie is working his magic and making his way out of the bottle. Call this little wizard “Uber” if you will – a nice name for this genie in more ways than one.