Dissecting the Carter Report – Good Intentions, Some Naivety and Implementation Questions

Lord carter

So let’s start our more detailed look at the Carter Report into NHS efficiency – or “Operational productivity and performance in English NHS acute hospitals: Unwarranted variations” as it is known to its friends. Now the chapter titled “procurement” is arguably just one of a number of parts of the report that we might consider to address procurement issues. It focuses on health consumables and supplies, but other chapters get deeply into estates and facilities management, much of which we would normally classify very much under the procurement banner. Another area is Pharmacy, which again has considered overlap with procurement […]

Basware Annual Results – eInvoicing Giants Announce Dash for Growth


Basware, the eProcurement and eInvoicing firm announced their fourth quarter and annual results last week and, as a publicly quoted company, held a session with city analyst-type folk in London that we also attended (part of it anyway). The results on the surface looked pretty good to us, although year-on-year comparisons are distorted given the acquisition of Procserve in mid-2015. Q4 net sales were up to 39.2 million euros from 34.7 million in last year’s equivalent period, and operating profit was up to €4.3 million from €1.7 million. Over the full year, sales were €143 million, up 12.3% on 2014, […]

Proxima, Catalytics and On-Demand Procurement Services


Proxima, a leading procurement outsourcing provider, has been subtly changing their proposition in recent months. Having been to all intent a “pure” outsourcing services firm, they have been talking about a more nuanced approach, using their concept of “Catalytics®” as the heart of their new ideas. Consulting, Managed Services and On-Demand now form the three elements of the services the firm is offering. Managed Services is really not too far away from their core and well established outsourcing proposition, but the emphasis these days is on potential managing elements of the overall procurement activity for clients, rather than looking to win […]

The War For Procurement Talent – Why Not Learn From Leicester City?

football table

Please don’t switch off if you don’t like football – we promise not to make this too obtuse or geeky. But we’ve been wondering for a while how to draw a procurement lesson, parable or learning from what is the most surprising season in English football for many years, so here goes. For those of you who don’t follow the sport, Leicester City, who exactly a year ago were bottom of the Premier League and odds-on certainties for relegation, are now 5 points ahead of every other team at the top of the league. On Saturday, they went to play […]

Carter Report on NHS Performance – Initial Reaction and Procurement in the Media Eye

Lord carter

The Carter report on efficiency in the National Health Service was issued last Friday and made the headlines. With the snappy title “Operational productivity and performance in English NHS acute hospitals: Unwarranted variations” it exposed the range of operation practices, processes and outcomes in different hospitals around the country. Procurement (or third-party spend to be precise) forms a significant element of the report. The FT said it “painted a damning picture of a health service where bullying and harassment of staff is rife and there is little attempt to harness the NHS’s huge collective buying power”. Others thought the identification […]

Down the Procurement Pub with Carter, Raj Sharma, the Royal Marsden, eWorld and Walking On Cars

Raj et al

Here is Raj Sharma of Public Spend Forum (the US sister site to our Public Spend Matters Europe) and Censeo Consulting, Andy Davies of the London Universities Purchasing Consortium, Nancy Clinton of Spend Matters and me having a beer (or two) in the Draft House near Goodge Street. That’s about it, really. Excellent little place, excellent beer, excellent company. (It’s been a bit hectic this week with Raj here so apologies if today’s Down the Procurement Pub is a bit terser than usual)!

The Spend Matters Procurement Solutions and Software Stock Portfolio for 2016 [Plus +]

procurement solutions stocks

Regular readers will know that, for the last couple of years, we have created and then followed a stock portfolio, created from the firms who are quoted on various stock exchanges and have a significant interest in the world of procurement technology and solutions. We have also run an internal competition, whereby Jason Busch and I (for two years) and also Nancy Clinton (last year) chose our own portfolio from among the 20 or so firms. But last year we suffered the ignominy of underperforming the market and our overall full portfolio. So although Jason won, we have decided to lick our wounds and not choose our own basket of firms for 2016.

Why the Selection of Your P2P Vendor Affects the Total Cost of Software and Implementation [PRO]

sourcing technology

So far in this series looking at factors impacting the success of P2P programs, we’ve considered such areas as the shifting landscape from on-premise software to cloud solutions as well as six key factors impacting the true costs of deployment. This research brief explores why the selection of your P2P vendor is likely to have a material impact on the costs of the software solution and its implementation beyond just subscription/license fees. It also provides summary observations for organizations selecting and rolling out e-procurement and P2P solutions. Finally, it is important to realize that no two situations are similar. We invite Spend Matters PRO advisory clients to contact us to discuss their selection and deployment situation and considerations as early as possible to avoid unnecessary costs and headache down the line.

Turbocharging E-invoicing Through the Supplier Network Value Proposition [PRO]


As we discussed in the first part of this e-invoicing research brief, there are many more goals of automating the invoicing (and invoice receiving) process than simply driving process efficiency. Indeed, advanced e-invoicing deployments now go far beyond the plumbing required to automate the issuance, workflow and approval of an invoice in a streamlined manner with as few accounts payable touch points as necessary (not to mention providing suppliers with greater visibility throughout the process). Today, supplier networks have emerged to extend the value proposition of basic e-invoicing to a number of new areas, including the better management of working capital (and much more). In the second part of this series, we discuss how supplier networks are extending the e-invoicing value proposition, advanced scenarios that e-invoicing and network providers are starting to enable today and who some of the key vendors in the space are, including specialists, suite providers and regional solutions.

Requirements Framework: Supplier Management 101 (Part 2) [Plus +]

supplier lifecycle management

As a follow-on to our first installment of this series on supplier management, we describe our underlying requirements framework for supplier management processes and the related subprocesses that tend to get supported by solution providers who use terminology such as supplier lifecycle management (SLM), supplier information management (SIM), third-party management and other monikers. Our framework provides a holistic view of supplier management but aligns process-wise to SLM and data-wise to a subset of master data management (MDM). Within the SLM process cycle, we link out to other processes that have well defined solution provider markets, such as e-sourcing, contract life management (CLM), purchase to pay (P2P) and supply risk management, but we also dive into supplier engagement processes for not just supplier qualification and onboarding but also deeply into performance management, risk and compliance management and relationship management areas.

Supplier Management 101 (Part 1): Introduction [Plus +]

supplier network

Supplier management is simply the management of supplier-facing business processes throughout the lifecycle of a supplier. Many procurement organizations have historically used strategic sourcing as the core methodology by which supply bases are shaped and suppliers are commercially engaged. But sourcing by itself is just one episodic process in a much larger supplier management lifecycle. In response, many organizations have broadened their sourcing activities to a category management activity that transcends category sourcing and pushes upstream into stakeholder management and downstream into deeper supplier engagement. Additionally, as rationalized supply bases lead to larger suppliers that provide multiple categories, and as procurement organizations are increasingly seeking innovation and top line growth from key suppliers, supplier management is expanding beyond its traditional post-sourcing and post-contracting to become the default methodology to manage the lifecycle of suppliers within which these processes and other source-to-pay processes get executed. So, when we talk about “supplier management,” we are really talking about “supplier lifecycle management” because of this broader scope.

6 Factors that Impact the Cost, Hassle and Heartache of E-Procurement and P2P Deployments [PRO]

p2p deployment

In this research brief, we explore the specific elements that impact the costs and hassles of P2P implementations and ways of controlling them — or at least managing expectations upfront. What’s perhaps most valuable in our findings is that these six elements don’t just show-up during the course of a given implementation — they’re often visible up front if you know where to look. And they can even prove to be leading indicators of trouble to come before you even sign a contract with a vendor. In short, if you know what potential roadblocks to look for up front, you can minimize or avoid unnecessary costs and hassle down the e-procurement road. Here’s how.