The “First Offer” Dilemma – When Should You Make the First Offer in Negotiations?


We are delighted to publish this post from Vengat Narayanasamy of GEP. For additional interesting thinking on procurement, please visit the GEP Knowledge Bank. The conventional wisdom among […]

‘Smith Matters’ Descends on BravoConnect 2016

Peter Smith quite enjoying the 'conferencial' festivities.

Our colleague and founder Jason Busch is over from the US this week to attend BravoConnect 2016, alongside our own Peter Smith. They are both speaking on […]

Real World Procurement – Are Millennials Really That Different?


Last week the latest in our BravoSolution Real World Procurement series took place with Guy Allen talking about Nurturing Procurement Talent In The Millennial Age. […]

Bromley CCG – Another Basic Public Sector Procurement Fraud


This has only at time of writing been picked up by The Bromley Times. A “senior commissioner”, working for the Bromley Clinical Commissioning Group, was […]

Trade Extensions Conference – The Vasa And Happy Clients


OK, so we are going to be somewhat “conference heavy” here for the next few weeks as we are in the heart of that season. […]

Marmite – Negotiation, Positioning and Publicity


In years to come, what will you say when your grandchildren look up and ask, “Grandad / Grandma, what did you do in the great […]

Riskmethods: Vendor Snapshot (Part 1) — Background and Solution Overview [PRO]


riskmethods, which Spend Matters estimates is the fastest-growing supply chain risk management provider based on customer acquisition and year-over-year percentage revenue growth as of Q3 2016, is more than just a cloud-based provider of supply chain risk management software. It is a new type of supply chain intelligence utility. riskmethods combines risk management application functionality (i.e., management of risk types, monitoring, recovery workflows, etc.), a graphical cockpit, aggregated/curated market intelligence, machine learning algorithms (e.g., to reduce occurrences of false positives), human flagging/reviews/scoring, and guidance/recommendations. It is sort of the equivalent of a Bloomberg terminal for managing a risk portfolio in the supply chain – as opposed to managing a stock portfolio in the financial markets. Until recently, riskmethods was focused entirely on European sales, but earlier this year, it expanded into North America, and as of Q3 2016, riskmethods told Spend Matters the region represented over 20% of overall revenue less than four months from launch (which for a company with a subscription revenue model is all the more impressive). While the provider is still too small to have a solution that is “going viral,” given its limited sales and marketing footprint to date, its growth gives it a unique position in the market. This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot explores riskmethods and its methodologies, processes, technology and intelligence to support supply chain risk management, including strengths and weaknesses in the market, providing facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations decide if they should shortlist the vendor. Part 1 of our analysis provides a company and detailed solution overview and a SWOT analysis, as well as a summary recommended fit suggestion for what types of organizations should consider riskmethods. The remaining parts of this multipart series will offer a user selection guide, user interface (UI/UX) analysis, competitive alternatives and evaluation and selection considerations.

North America Truckload Market Update – Q3 2016 [Plus +]

This is the first monthly installment of Accenture's Spend Trends category insights that we're making available to our Spend Matters Plus readers. Although this category insight is more direct spend oriented, we chose this category update because of its relevance relative to the immediate opportunity in the truckload market. It provides an analysis of multiple data sources, including Accenture's own sourcing operations for its clients, and highlights recent changes in market capacity, utilization, pricing, and strategies. It's a good time for shippers to be bidding freight right now, but there are some important key caveats related to spot buying, market timing, and shifts in the market relative to large carriers versus smaller regional/specialty carriers. From a procurement process standpoint, the article emphasizes the importance of a deliberate and active management approach to such a dynamic category. From a procurement technology standpoint, the use of combinatorial optimization-based bidding tools for truckload bidding is absolutely key for such active management of large market baskets of truckload lanes. By doing so, shippers can tap the best capabilities of smaller carriers and larger core carriers in order to optimize costs and service levels for increasingly volatile demand profiles.

Intenda: Vendor Snapshot (Part 3) – Competitive and Summary Analysis [PRO]


Aside from, there has not been a single cloud-based business applications technology vendor that has been able to compete at scale based on the capabilities of its platform — i.e., the underlying “stack” and what it can enable — as much as the modules and functionality that sit on top of it. But if providers like Intenda, as well as other procure-to-pay technology vendors like Tradeshift, are able to build consistent momentum in the B2B and procurement solutions sector by positioning the platform as the greatest differentiator, we could see a very different technology landscape emerge in the future — one with greater levels of connectivity, integration, network capability, interoperability between buyers and suppliers and overall solutions capability enabled by ecosystems more so than individual providers.

Yet today, Intenda, a source-to-pay (and more) technology suite vendor, must compete in a different environment, one where solution capabilities still matter the most. This final installment of our multipart Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot series covering Intenda offers a competitive analysis and comparison with other procurement technology providers (suite and otherwise). It also includes a user selection guide, user interface and user experience (UI/UX) analysis and summary evaluation and selection considerations. Part 1 and Part 2 of this PRO research series provide a company and deep-dive solution overview, a SWOT analysis, product strengths and weaknesses and a recommended fit analysis for what types of organizations should consider Intenda.

How to Use ISO9001 to Achieve 100% Mandated Spend Under Management [Plus +]


The latest version of ISO9001 (called ISO9001:2015) is a “quality system” that is really a business management system customers might ask you to get certified in — and that you may in turn ask your suppliers to get certified. The beauty of ISO9001:2015 is that it can actually help you do both of these things simultaneously while also using the power of a customer-required certification as a way to drive internal change management. In the previous two installments that I wrote on ISO9001, I focused on using ISO9001 for such transformation, specifically on how to align risk and compliance, and to build a business case for supply risk management.

In this two-part Spend Matters Plus brief, I highlight how to use ISO9001:2015 to not just run the business but more specifically the business of procurement. This will illustrate how to make a quality management system that is more than just a transformative business management system — a transformational supply management system.

More important, this brief delivers deeper dive into ISO9001:2015 and shows procurement professionals how exactly how to use it to drive 100% spend influence in strategic sourcing and supplier management. People often forget that spend/supply influence also includes supplier management, when, in fact, the leader of ISO9001:2015 described the capabilities from ISO9001 simply as “confidence that customers around the world right through the supply chain — business-to-business and business-to-consumer — right down to us as individuals, can have confidence in the products and services they’re receiving from their certified suppliers”

It makes complete sense, and the certification can help procurement drive a case for change on this simple idea.

Procurement organizations almost always say, “We can’t mandate anything around here.” Well, now you have a mandate. So, use it to your advantage. We’ll show you how.

Using DMAIC 2.0 to Blow Up the N-step Procurement Process [Plus +]

An n-step chevron process is a siloed procurement-centered sourcing methodology geared towards supplier rationalization. It’s a fine start for procurement hitting cost savings goals, but it’s not a great way to align to the broader organization as procurement evolves. So, we’re proposing DMAIC as an emerging, superior approach, but it’s far beyond the DMAIC that you usually think of. The n-step sourcing process has had a good run, but let’s not try to make it do unholy things. Read on to see how other companies have used DMAIC.

Intenda: Vendor Snapshot (Part 2) — Product Strengths and Weaknesses [PRO]


Intenda is one of the most unique (if not the most unique) source-to-pay (S2P) technology providers we have encountered in our many years of researching procurement technologies. While many other technology providers talk about platform as a service (PaaS) and service-oriented architectures (SOA), the reality is that it is the applications or modules themselves (sold by these providers) that help differentiate typical solution providers. The opposite is the case with Intenda, despite sufficient modular depth across many areas of its suite. Intenda’s underlying platform and architecture are what differentiate it in the market, as well as the functional capabilities that the architecture enables at the modular level.

This is both an opportunity and a weakness for Intenda, considering that its most passionate customers are likely to either be IT or extremely tech savvy procurement executives that immediately gravitate to the approach, or those types of organizations (e.g., public sector, defense, etc.) in sectors which Intenda has already configured unique capabilities that cascade across the suite to support their requirements.

This Spend Matters PRO vendor snapshot explores Intenda’s strengths and weaknesses as a procurement suite provider, providing facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations decide if they should shortlist the vendor as a potential provider. Part 1 of our analysis comprised a company and detailed solution overview and a SWOT analysis, as well as a summary recommended fit suggestion for what types of organizations should consider Intenda. The remaining parts of this multipart series will offer a user selection guide, user interface (UI/UX) analysis, competitive alternatives and evaluation and selection considerations.