Coupa on Second Generation P2P, Group Buying and Further European Growth

We mentioned recently Coupa's acquisition of a small Australian invoice automation firm, InvoiceSmash (!) It is another step in the firm’s strategy to simplify the whole transactional process between buyers and sellers. Jason Busch wrote an excellent article here on the deal, including comments from Rob Bernshteyn, Coupa's top man, so rather than duplicating that we'll just refer you to that article if you want to know more. Coupa also announced a new hub in Dublin, which is bringing 120 tech jobs to that fine city. On his recent flying visit to the UK, Jason Busch and I caught up with Alex […]

Accenture Acquires EnergyQuote JHA, Strengthens Energy Procurement Offering

Accenture announced this week that the firm is acquiring EnergyQuote JHA, which specialises in energy procurement, risk management and strategy development with services including forecasting, energy contracts, carbon emissions reduction and utility bill management across 20+ European countries. We’re not close to the energy procurement market, unfortunately, so have little experience of JHA, but it is a fair sized operation, founded in 1992, with 279 staff across Europe and India. Its HQ is in London, and financial terms have not been disclosed; JHA is a privately owned business. Accenture Operations is the huge division of the firm that includes all […]

GS1: What Do the Standards Mean for Healthcare Procurement Professionals?

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Nicola Hall, managing director at Ingenica Solutions, which provides the first GS1 certified inventory management solution in the healthcare market, explains how to take advantage of the new developments and the benefits it brings. Since June this year, as announced by the Department of Health’s eProcurement Strategy, it became mandatory for hospitals across the country to have a GS1 strategy in place.  This milestone is a shake-up for the NHS, a long-awaited step forward that forces transformational change in procurement, inventory management and the supply chains across the healthcare system. From now on, all items in a hospital from surgical […]

What Does the Rest of the Business Think About Procurement? Read This and You’ll Find Out

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As you travel through Spend Matters UK material, you will find that, on many occasions, we make reference to the position of the procurement function within an organisation: why it should be viewed as a more strategic member of the business, and its perceived value by other departments. It’s long been a topic of much controversy -- but you don’t have to take our word for it. Last month, Wax Digital published its research findings – carried out by Redshift – “CPO Viewpoint: What the business really thinks about procurement’s value.” If you are one of the procurement heads who are […]

Being a Procurement Contractor – The Positives and Negatives (part 2)

We're pleased to introduce the second part of a guest article from Samantha Coombs, an experienced procurement professional who has worked as an interim for some years. I’ve worked as a procurement contractor and interim manager for over 10 years now. Yesterday, I outlined some of the benefits of being a contractor based on my experience. Today, I’ll explain some of the less positive issues – if you are thinking of moving into this sort of work, you need to consider both positives and negatives! So here are some of the less favourable aspects of the contractor life that you […]

Supreme Court Decision: NS&I Can Give Atos £130M Contract Without Specific Competition

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A case at the UK’s Supreme Court this month confirmed the award of a £130 million revenue contract, awarded without a new public competition, to giant French firm Atos. We have reported on the case with more legal detail on our Public Spend Matters Europe (PSME) site; but in summary, it came about when the UK government introduced a new scheme for providing parents with tax-free childcare. It was decided that the government owned NS&I (National Savings and Investments) organisation would deliver the new scheme of tax-free childcare (TFC) by providing and administering childcare accounts and supporting services. Now all […]

Work Intermediation Platforms – Procurement Practitioner Opportunities and Challenges on the Road Ahead (Part 4) [PRO]

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In Parts 1, 2 and 3 of this series on work intermediation platforms (WIPs), we attempted to give readers a bird’s eye view of the complex phenomenon of WIPs that has been unfolding over the past 10+ years. The position we have put forth is that WIPs are a key facet of what is rapidly evolving into a new network of labor services sourcing and procurement channels that will be unique and function differently from the dominant contingent workforce supply chain (where a few standard “packaged” forms of labor services like the temp worker or SOW, are made available by traditional suppliers like staffing firms, professional services firms, etc.). From the standpoint of procurement practitioners and their business users, existing and new labor services “supply paradigms” will have to be brought together in the enterprise. In this final and fourth part of this series, we try to begin the discussion of what opportunities and challenges services procurement and contingent workforce managers will face moving forward as WIPs and new digital channels (entirely new digital ecosystems) for sourcing and engaging contingent labor/talent take shape.

Data ‘Enrichment’ is the Future of Spend Analysis: A Flashback to Our Most Popular Ask the Expert Webinar [Plus +]

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It’s another Flashback Friday where we feature one of our most popular Ask the Expert webinars. Today's pick: Spend Analysis and Analytics: Theory and Practice, which was led by Gert van der Heijden, editor of Spend Matters Netherlands, back in March 2014. In this webinar, Gert focuses on the future of spend analysis, which he said would include advanced analytics and better data to improve risk management. Gert predicted “data enrichment” would be the next “buzzword” for procurement and spend analysis. While spend analysis is the basis for every procurement department, he said, that data needs to be “enriched” in order for the spend analytics process to be effective and valuable. Check out the full webinar recording here...

It’s Flaming June for the Spend Matters Stock Portfolio Experts [Plus +]

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You may be getting used to this as the opening comment, but June, yet again, wasn’t a good month for the 3 Spend Matters stock pickers. Jason Busch, Nancy Clinton and I chose our own portfolios at the beginning of the year, and the story up to now has been Nancy out-performing the 2 more experienced, in theory, stock pickers and procurement experts. But this month – disaster for her. Jason and I are neck and neck now for second place, but were also down, but only by some 3% to 4%. That means that Nancy is still just in the lead, having lost a mere 14% of her original stake, whereas Jason and I have seen our portfolios decline by just over 15%. Not impressive.

Policy Meets Procurement and Category Management: Analysis and Implications of the Supreme Court Striking Down EPA Regulations [PRO]

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In a late June ruling, the US Supreme Court struck down Environmental Protection Agency directed regulations for limiting mercury and toxic emissions from coal and oil power plants. From a procurement and supply chain vantage point, the ruling is arguably the most important decision the nation’s highest court has made in the past decade. Not only does it cut to the very heart of procurement’s mission to manage costs, but it has direct linkages with energy sourcing and category management. The decision also highlights the need for procurement to work more closely with public affairs and public policy teams inside their organizations. This Spend Matters PRO brief analyzes the implications of the ruling for procurement and supply chain organizations and provides recommendations for manufacturers and non-manufacturers alike on how to take action around policy and regulations.

ePS: Becoming a Player in the Education Industry (and Perhaps Beyond) [PRO]

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ePS, a Michigan-based technology company that established itself within the e-procurement supplier side of the automotive industry 10 years ago, has now begun emerging as a serious player of e-procurement buyer-side solutions to the education industry. Now that ePS is squarely in the game and going head-to-head with other higher education providers such as Sciquest, ESM and Unimarket, it has launched a unique go-to-market positioning approach to capture large schools (and it has its eyes set on other industries where repairs, maintenance and supplies procurement functions have been underserved). ePS is positioning its platform to be more of a complete procurement service offering for customers versus a software application. Branded as “e-procurement services providing complete, intuitive spend management solutions,” ePS is aiming to differentiate and deliver real value to educational institutions that have had a history of sinking money into procurement-related software systems, but have been less able to get measurable ROI though procurement results. ePS’ procurement services ecosystem approach allows institutions – in this generally financially-strapped sector – to start generating procurement improvement as soon as the ePS software is turned on. ePS innovations and success in the education market eventually also help allow it to expand its business into other verticals.

Navigating The Path From Tactical Procurement Analytics to Strategic Supply Analytics [PRO]

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Spend visibility is foundational to any procurement transformation because to better manage supply, you have to manage spend. Spend is what you pay and supply is what you get, and to manage spend you have to see it. Yet too many procurement organizations work hard to put basic spend analytics in place but don't have a broader vision, strategy and roadmap for strategic supply analytics (i.e., the analytic capabilities to support strategic supply management). We use the term “supply analytics” instead of “procurement analytics” to reflect procurement’s increasing role in managing broader supply outcomes than just its own performance – especially in direct procurement. This Spend Matters PRO article is designed to provide you such a roadmap. It is not a step-by-step, one-size-fits-all approach because every firm will have a different experience. It is, however, a map that can guide you through plotting out your supply analytics journey.