Volkswagen Scandal – Supply Chain Impact and Corporate Values


Clearly, as a highly influential website in the procurement and supply chain world, we feel we should have a view about the Volkswagen emissions scandal. The problem is, it seems quite difficult to write 600 words about it. It is relatively easy to write six words (“F****h***, what the f*** happened”?) And probably reasonably easy to do 6,000, getting into all the engineering, technical and cultural issues around the scandal. But saying something useful in one short article is quite tough, really. It’s certainly not a great advert for capitalism, the benefits of a free market and so on. On […]

Spend Matters 50/50: Proxima – 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 […]

Buying Professional Services – How Did FIFA Engage Platini?


Having co-written that huge international best seller*, Buying Professional Services, published in 2010 by the Economist Books, the world of consulting and related industries continues to be of interest to me up to the current day. There are a few basics of good practice that we look for when analysing any procurement process for a professional services contract. We might apply these in order to assess the strength of the process, or indeed on occasions to look into accusations of fraud, corruption or just to consider basic capability. Here are some of the most important. Was there a reasonable level […]

Supply Chain Finance – An Overview for Non-Experts

Our hot topic this month has been eInvoicing and Supply Chain Finance – to be honest, we thought we might have more guest articles, but never mind, let’s finish with an overview of the supply chain finance part of that topic – a very brief overview, we should say, as whole books have been written about this! To many procurement practitioners, Supply Chain Finance (SCF) is a bit of a mystery. It seems very complicated, which in itself then becomes a good reason to ignore it. It is also surprisingly difficult to get a good, clear, agreed definition – in […]

IT Supply Chain Developments and Their Impact on Buying Decisions

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.     August into early September has been a busy month for impactors hitting the global IT supply and manufacture of IT, including displays and consumer notebooks in particular. Gartner also warned CIOs in the Eurozone, and further afield, they would need to account for a 20% increase in dollar product pricing. Meanwhile, currency devaluation in Europe and Japan have affected global semiconductor sales, which had been buoyant […]

Autumn Procurement Conferences – Coupa Inspire Hits Paris


October is the month for procurement solution providers to hold their customer events, so continuing our series featuring some of the upcoming events, today we are looking at Coupa Inspire. If you haven’t heard of Coupa, you have been living under a procurement rock for the past few years, as the spend management software firm has grown at an impressive rate, and expanded successfully out from its US roots to become a real force in Europe and further afield. Starting with largely P2P focused technology (catalogues, travel management, invoicing), the product now covers a range of other capabilities including sourcing […]

Peering Through the Cloud of Hubwoo and Perfect’s Post-Merger Prospects [PRO]


Perfect Commerce recently announced it would acquire Hubwoo – it now owns the majority of voting stock and roughly 80% of outstanding shares. We’ve covered the deal previously, but we caught up with Perfect’s CEO, Hamp Wall, and asked some hard questions about go-to-market strategy, growth prospects, post-M&A synergies, product and service overlaps, partnerships – such as those with GEP – and other topics, which we’ll cover in the rest of this Spend Matters PRO brief. We’ll even discuss an industry-specific, custom procure-to-pay provider landscape study we performed earlier this year that is very relevant here.

What Happened to FMS in the Past Year? Reading the Tea Leaves [Plus +]

cup of tea

In a recent article, "What Happened to FMS in the Past Year?” we discussed the emerging category of freelance management systems (FMS) and posed a question to presumptive FMS solution providers: What has happened over the past year? We did get some responses, and in this follow-up article we provide a synthesis of what we heard (or thought we heard).

Tungsten Builds a Better Spend Analysis Solution [PRO]

Spend Key Shows Spending And Finances

Data analysis – it’s one business practice we can all agree is important. From gleaning insight from statements of income to better crafting annual budgets and sales forecasts, data analysis, when done right, provides a wealth of important information for a company. However, it’s my opinion that the vast majority of companies do not take advantage of data analytics, despite the solutions available on the market to simplify this process. Tungsten is one such solution, offering increasingly effective analysis tools. In this Spend Matters PRO research brief, I’ll focus on how Tungsten is taking advantage of its invoicing solution to boost its spend analysis capabilities.

HCMWorks: A Contingent Workforce Solution Provider for the Mid-Sized Market [PRO]

Business man pressing on target

I recently had a phone briefing with HCMWorks, which describes itself as a “leading provider of contingent workforce solutions.” However, peeling back the onion, one finds that a unique characteristic of HCMWorks is that it focuses on serving the mid-market of businesses – a market that tends to be economically unviable for large enterprise vendor management solutions and managed services providers to address. HCMWorks, on the other hand, addresses the middle market with a set of solutions, based on services and some technology, all appropriate for mid-sized customers.

A Spend Matters Graphical View of SciQuest: Understanding the Provider’s Solution [PRO]


Spend Matters PRO procurement technology coverage is often deep – and dare we say esoteric – for those that aren’t true procurement tech geeks like us. Much of our coverage of procurement tech provider SciQuest falls into this category. For those who have not gone into the modular weeds – including a number of its customers – SciQuest is somewhat of an enigma. And it was to us as well until we invested the time to understand all sides of the provider. To help our readers, we recently prepared a graphical PDF highlighting our view of the provider along with a summary of actual market trends driving adoption of both point solutions and suites today and tomorrow.

Proactis Moves the Spend Control Conversation to the Boardroom [PRO]

conference room

Proactis, a UK-based spend management and e-procurement provider, already has a unique offering of cloud-based software solutions but is now looking to move its spend control conversation to the boardroom, offering an end-to-end platform and complementary suite of services encompassing its cloud-based software solutions, as well as an internal team to support customers’ implementation and operational processes, to streamline interactions and collaboration between buyers and sellers. This Spend Matters PRO article takes an in-depth look at where Proactis stands today in the market and how it intends to grow in the future. We discuss the provider’s current strengths among procurement technology solutions, including spend control and invoicing tools, and why we think the company is a standout in the market.