Best of Spend Matters: Spend Humor

From an Excel-lent April Fool's joke to likening a Comcast customer service call to Dante's journey through hell, there's nothing the Spend Matters office likes more than a chuckle (appropriate or not). Here's some of our best:

Spend Matters Study: Forget Ariba, SAP and Oracle -- World Class Procurement Organizations Use Excel -- In conjunction with the Centre for Supply Management Business Research based in Leeds, UK and Société de Gestion des Opérations in Nice, France, Spend Matters is pleased to publish preliminary findings from an ongoing study examining the use of technology in procurement and supply chain organizations. As part of this initiative, Spend Matters and its research partners surveyed nearly a quarter of the Global 2000 companies. The primary goal of the research team was to find correlations between specific technology usage and World Class organizational performance as measured on both an effectiveness and efficiency basis (we would like to thank the Hackett Group for letting us adopt their survey and naming conventions for the purposes of this study).

Friday Rant: AT&T's Solution to their Crappy Data Service? Charge More. -- In today's generation of smart phones, how do we single out the data hounds that make the whole network run slower for all of us? AT&T's new plan: charge 'em. According to the NY Times, "Instead of paying $30 a month for unlimited data, new customers will be given the option of paying $15 a month for 200 megabytes, or $25 for 2 gigabytes, with added charges for greater use. AT&T estimates that the more expensive plan will cover 1,000 minutes of video, 400 song downloads or a million one-page e-mail messages. Those who want to keep their existing unlimited plans can do so."

Burger King's mascot axed -- no final pardon! -- For those of you who don't know, the King is BK's promotional mascot. However, unlike Ronald, his Majesty was not created to steer the eating habits of younger children, rather, he was designed to appeal to 20 something males, which is BK's target audience. That's why the King is often depicted as a mischievous vandal. A recent advertisement even portrays him as a peeping Tom. Unfortunately, another ad showing the King taking bets at a dogfight never saw airtime. What a shame.

Friday Rant: Dante's Inferno and The Nine Circles of...Comcast -- Though I haven't read Dante's Inferno in its entirety, I have read enough excerpts over the years to realize that back in 1300, I'm pretty positive that Dante was extremely forward-thinking. In describing his descent into hell, he was obviously creating an allegorical representation of what it's like to call Comcast customer service with a simple billing question on an innocent enough summer Wednesday in 2011. Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch'intrate, the gates of hell read as Dante enters. "Abandon all hope, all ye who enter here."

New Compass Research: Dating and Relationship Lessons Applied to Procurement BPO -- We're excited to announce the availability of our most fun -- and we believe most insightful -- research analysis of procurement BPO to date: Tips for Making the Promised BPO Benefits Real -- Alignment, Focus and Integration. The paper, co-authored by HfS' Phil Fersht and Spend Matters' Jason Busch, personalizes what it takes to get the most from procurement BPO relationships. The secondary title just about says it all: "Jason Busch and Phil Fersht Apply Lessons From Dating and Marriage to Procurement BPO." Despite the whimsical lead-in, this Compass research brief is not all fun and games (though we hope the more informal tone will leave you amused). In fact, the analysis offers some highly prescriptive areas for company introspection before heading down the BPO path (e.g., process maturity examinations, dangers of "lift and shift" thinking and skills, and knowledge awareness) as well specific advice on what potential partners should bring to the table.

- Sheena Moore

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