ProcureCon Indirect – a Review from our Special Correspondent


As we explained at the time, the Spend Matters team could not make it to ProcureCon Indirect in Amsterdam earlier this month, but we managed to get this review from our anonymous attendee – someone who was there as a sponsor, but has a background as a procurement practitioner as well.  Many thanks to our “Special Agent X”! ProcureCon Indirect was small enough (around 160 attendees, I reckon) to have good conversations with people, but big enough to attract some very good attendees.  Many were heads of procurement, or indirect heads of procurement, which meant the conversations one had as […]

The Future of Procurement – According to Dr Lamoureux


Michael Lamoureux, aka the doctor, as he is known to his friends, is a brilliant guy who works with and writes for our Spend Matters US websites. He also has his own Sourcing Innovation website, which contains pictures of cute cats alongside incisive and often thought-provoking articles about procurement technology and other related issues. He has written a series of posts recently which refer to our work (speeches, blogs, papers and videos) around "the Future of Procurement" but expand on some of the arguments about that issue - including whether the profession has a future at all. Michael takes the […]

NAO Verdict on UK Government’s Shared Service Centres – A Fiasco


We will come back to the NAO report on Government’s commercial performance later this week, but another NAO report issued on Friday deserved an immediate airing, we felt! The NAO report on the UK government’s two central shared services centres is one of the most damming and critical we’ve seen in a long time. “The Cabinet Office’s failure to manage the risks around the move to two independent shared service centres from the outset means that the programme has not achieved the significant anticipated savings and benefits to date”. That is the beginning of the summary from NAO – but […]

Down the Procurement Pub with the NAO, the MCA, ProZorro and Sam Lee

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I did have one very entertaining evening this week, but I cannot compromise my friends by exposing their identities. Indeed, I still have not heard the full story about what happened after I got the train home … Anyway, the evening started in the Nell Gwynne public house, off the Strand, with a very enjoyable pint of Rhino, a “Quad Hopped amber ale – brewed with Challenger, Brambling Cross, Summit and Chinook hops. Balanced with a specialty German aromatic malt”, brewed by the Animal Brewing Co  …. _____________________ We thought we might get round to it this week but failed; […]

Skills Every Procurement Specialist Should Have


We welcome this post from Adam Maidment, Content Writer for Portfolio Procurement, providers of compensation, benefits and rewards jobs throughout the UK. Adam offers some sound advice to those thinking about, or having just joined, the procurement profession. Ask anyone in procurement and they’ll tell you it’s a tough but incredibly rewarding industry to work in. Obviously, procurement professionals work with suppliers and distributors on a daily basis and therefore need to be able to possess confidence and an awareness of how the industry operates. But alongside this, what else do procurement professionals need to know? The Deloitte Global CPO Survey 2016 revealed […]

Public Spend Matters Europe – Public Procurement Highlights from This Week

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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: What Does the Eurovision Song Contest Tell Us About Europe Today? This post […]

Understanding Objectives, Trade-offs, and Constraints: Design-Centered Procurement (Part 6) [Plus +]


In previous installments of this series, we talked about how good design applies not only to a product (or service) or the supply chain that produces it but also the design of the procurement operating model that is the architecture of the supply management services delivered in a procurement organization. In that design, we talked a little bit about reducing trade-offs between the diverse requirements and objectives of the many stakeholders, and the constraints placed on a solution that optimizes everyone’s needs. To do this, we should be fairly precise around the terms requirements, objectives, constraints and optimization. If you might notice, these are terms familiar in the parlance of bid optimization in strategic sourcing. So, let’s explore the learnings from that domain and apply them to designing an optimal procurement organization rather than an optimal sourcing event.

An Oracle Solution Primer: E-Business Advanced Procurement in the Cloud Era [PRO]


As noted in the Spend Matters Almanac, Oracle was one of the original pioneers in the e-procurement space, introducing its original iProcurement release, part of Electronic Business Suite (EBS) of integrated applications, well over a decade ago. Today, Oracle continues to offer iProcurement. But it also now delivers a cloud-based suite of applications known simply as Oracle Cloud (formerly “Fusion”). Oracle Procurement Cloud is a native SaaS suite that is designed to compete against specialized cloud providers. And last but not least, Oracle, in its long career of acquisitions, has also acquired other solution suites with their own procurement applications (on-premise and hosted), including PeopleSoft SRM. In this Spend Matters PRO series covering Oracle’s procurement solutions, we explore the range of Oracle procurement solutions across its different branded and functional product lines, including the overall “state” of Oracle in procurement today. We also analyze key modules, functional capabilities and features across different Oracle solution brand serving the procurement market. Finally, this series explores Oracle’s competitive advantages and challenges today and offers perspectives on how different trends are likely to influence Oracle customers to use (or not use) Oracle’s procurement solutions today and tomorrow by application line.

UpCounsel: WIP of the Week [PRO]


This week we present UpCounsel as the WIP of the Week. The company provides a specialized legal services marketplace platform that enables connecting clients with attorneys and supports the delivery of a specific legal service (attorney to client) along with billing and payment.

Designing The Procurement Operating Model: Design-Centered Procurement (Part 5) [Plus +]

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In our previous installment of this series, we looked at design approaches for using software to help digitize procurement and the supply chain. But technology is only one aspect of a broader procurement operating model (or “service delivery model” if you prefer) that also includes process design, organization design, outsourcing, performance measurement, talent management and knowledge management, which is basically a combination of talent management and specialized automation. These have impacts on each other and can’t be designed in isolation. This area can seem abstract, so we’ll use a specific process area (sourcing) and some relevant examples to illustrate how a holistic design approach is important.

Transcepta: Vendor Snapshot (Part 2) — Weaknesses, Competition and Recommendations [PRO]

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Compared with other purchase-to-pay (P2P), e-invoicing and supplier network providers, Transcepta is a bit of an anomaly. Not only has it not raised significant capital to support sales and marketing expansion, it has remained focused (until recently) on supplier enablement, e-invoicing and document exchange/collaboration enablement rather than footprint expansion (e.g., e-procurement, trade financing, etc.). The largest tragedy of Transcepta (in our view) is that it doesn’t have the sales and marketing resources to get into more opportunities. In the first installment of this Spend Matters PRO series exploring Transcepta, we covered the provider’s corporate background, solution footprint and overall strengths. Part 2 provides insight into solution weaknesses, competition and customer and prospect recommendations.

Idealized Design: Design-Centered Procurement (Part 4) [Plus +]


In our last installment of this series, we spelled out in great detail some the fundamental software “architectural” (aka design) changes that are happening with modern cloud-based software that is absorbing the emerging practices in B2C-focused software and services. But we didn’t spell out the benefits of such a componentized, platform-based architecture that uses true user-centered design principles that is also tailored to meeting the broader design requirements of the department, business unit, supply chain and enterprise. The problem is that as you broaden the scope, the more design conflicts arise, as design goals from different user groups conflict. But if you do it right, you’ll be able to reduce trade-offs and be able to more easily “mix and match” lower-level solution components and provision more flexible solutions