Procurement news from the US: Weekly Round-up

Two new research papers this week:

New Research: The Foundation of a SOW Business Case -- Accelerating Services Procurement Penetration -- Today, we announce our most recent research focused on the services procurement area: A Statement of Work (SOW) Backdrop -- The Foundation of a Business Case. The paper can be downloaded for free via the previous link. Like other observers of the services procurement market, we have witnessed a significant ramping up of many contingent workforce and services procurement programs within Global 2000 organizations over the past few years. For companies serious about general procurement programs and enablement through technology, the additional investment in a VMS (vendor management system) to tackle contingent spending is a logical extension to core capabilities in the indirect purchase-to-pay arena. It also enables additional spend analysis, e-sourcing, contract management and supplier management capabilities.

New Research: Supplier Management -- Recent Trending, Musings on SAP's Core Offering and More -- Supplier management technologies have come far in recent years, buoyed by their early adoption to enable specific initiatives (e.g. supplier diversity, supplier on-boarding for eProcurement, supplier performance management). For broader sourcing, modern supplier management covers not only the data points needed to keep the accounts payable team happy when they onboard new suppliers -- it spans a broad range of areas such as commodities, capabilities, capacities, credit and other supply chain risk, corporate and regulatory compliance, geographical coverage, diversity, performance and more. This topic and others are explored in more detail in our latest Spend Matters Compass brief: Supplier Management -- Recent Trending, Musings on SAP's Core Offering and General Deployment Pitfalls (for all Solutions) to Avoid.

Wheeee! Ariba announced Q4 numbers. Should we care?

Ariba’s Q4 2011 Results -- Do They Matter to Gauge Overall Market Growth Any More? (Part 1) -- As much as we may quibble about Ariba's network pricing model, our main curiosity with the best-known procurement vendor in the past year has centered on how its general rate of solution enhancement is moving at a slow comparative pace -- sometimes at a very slow comparative pace (e.g., despite promises and a new commitment to CD customers on Buyer for the past year, the "cloud" P2P offering is still further ahead when it comes to a range of new features).

When considering supply risk, truly consider Mother Nature.

Hard Drive Disruptions/Thai Flooding – “Deluges” Now Driving Supply Risk and Disruptions -- In less than a year, we've now seen natural disasters wreak havoc with Asian supply chains not once, but twice (and arguably more, if you count more minor incidents on the broader sub-continent, including India, where food disruptions have led to numerous price spikes since last summer). Most recently, the flooding in Thailand has emerged as the cause of significant disruptions in the hard drive business (which impacts a wide variety of items from PCs to DVD players to cars to industrial controls). According to the above-linked analysis from HIS iSuppli, as a result of the flooding, "the HDD industry in the fourth quarter will suffer its worst downturn in three years. HDD shipments in the fourth quarter will decline to 125 million units, down 27.7 percent from 173 million in the third quarter."

We’re addicted to our mobiles -- what’s a company to do??

The Telecom Expense Management Party: BYO(Device) or Full-Service Open Bar? -- I had a fascinating chat a couple weeks ago with Dave Snow, CMO at Xigo, about how "the smartphone market has doubled in less than 12 months." It's true: everyone on my morning commute reads the news, flicks birds at pigs, answers emails, stalks people on Facebook, or, like me, incessantly plays Words With Friends. What does this mean for the corporate world? Employees are checking their work email while waiting to get their teeth cleaned, during commercials, on the weekends, waiting for flights -- you get it. We're attached to our devices, and because of it, we're being more productive, all the time. After all, we're able to work the second the work arrives. CIOs and IT managers are quickly catching up: today's usage of the smartphone represents a completely different definition of the term "corporate network," and companies have a lot more to think about now.

Very, very much looking forward to visiting the UK next week for Spend Matters’ One Year Anniversary celebration. Hence:

- Sheena Moore

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