Procurement News from the US – Weekly Round-Up

New research: HR matters.

Procurement Fighting the Good Fight: Benefits Sourcing and HR Complacency (Part 1) -- I remember many years ago, sometime shortly after the fall of Arthur Andersen, when I found myself in the early offices of the Claro Group, a consultancy formed from when a number of partners and senior managers left the unfortunately troubled firm. At the time, I was talking to some members of the Claro team about the ecosystem surrounding sourcing categories in which HR previously maintained full control (and in which the benefits consulting arms of brokers would often find themselves in potential conflict given the high margin policies they would sell to clients).

Jason comments on Pete Louglin’s recent post on managing vendor risk.

The Intersection of P2P, Supply Chain Finance and Risk Mitigation (Part 1) -- My colleague and friend across the Atlantic, Pete Louglin, recently chimed in on a topic we've been thinking about for some time: using P2P and supply chain finance tools to both monitor, manage and actively reduce supplier risk. In a recent post on the topic, Pete suggests that we often ignore the broader business issues driving a supplier's decision to accept a discount: "what is not normally considered is arguably the most important factor of all [in offering an early payment discount option and selecting the terms] -- the mitigation of risk." (Part 2 here).

McKinsey and the case for big data.

Exploring Big Data and Procurement Leveraging McKinsey’s Foundational Analysis (Part 1) -- Over on Spend Matters PRO (our subscription research service), we've already started a detailed series looking at the big data and procurement. We won't repeat our detailed analysis on our public site (aside from sharing some series excerpts here and there to whet the appetite for the level of insight we're attempting to provide). But what we will do is leverage a foundational analysis that McKinsey conducted in 2011 considering the case for big data, describing it in their study title as "the next frontier for innovation, competition, and productivity." Within this analysis, McKinsey summarizes their findings by suggesting that there are "five broadly applicable ways to leverage big data that offer transformational potential to create value and have implications for how organizations will have to be designed, organized, and managed."

OB10: Narrowing functional gaps with Ariba

An OB10 Update: More than Just an E-Invoicing Network (Part 1 -- In Ariba’s Competitive Crosshairs) -- Even if looked at from relative size and comparative marketplace perspectives alone, OB10 is clearly a fascinating network provider in today's market (to the point, see below, where Ariba is paying them extra attention). While it is not yet likely over $100MM in revenues based on those we've spoken to in the market (outside of OB10), the provider is still in the directly in the crosshairs of the largest indirect P2P/e-invoicing network player in the market: Ariba. In fact, according to our sources, right around the time of the SAP acquisition announcement, Ariba sent out an invitation to business partners to attend a session in May titled: "Ariba and OB10: It's All About the Network," which offered a chance for Ariba to explain "how it differentiates itself from other commerce networks such as OB10" and "learning how to sell the value of the Ariba Network" versus OB10 and the rest of "the competition."

With that, I wish you good luck in not having too many annoyances (and perhaps some patriotic fun!) during the Olympics and leave you with my album choice for this week: Purity Ring, Shrines.

 

- Sheena Moore

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