Spend Matters Fireworks: Top Articles from The First Half of 2016

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Since the first half of 2016 came to a close last week, we’re taking a look back at the 10 most popular articles on Spend Matters during the last six months — call them our “firework” posts of the year, in celebration of the Fourth of July. Below, we count down to the No. 1 most-read article of the year, leaving the best for last, just like the finale of the typical July 4th fireworks show.

10. 3 Ways to Show ROI From Supply Chain Risk Management Solutions

Supply chain risk management solutions are kind of like insurance — you pay for it, but may not use it. However, in the event something bad does happen, you sure are happy you had that insurance in place. While implementing technology that helps an organization respond to disruptions and manage risks in the supply chain may seem like a no-brainer, organizations still struggle to get stakeholders on board to make the investment. This article by Editor-at-Large Kaitlyn McAvoy shares three tips from risk management experts to help convince company leaders of the ROI.

9. 5 Corporate Travel Trends For Procurement to Watch

This post, authored by Editor-at-Large Kaitlyn McAvoy, identifies some of the biggest trends expected to hit the corporate travel world in 2016. From the price of air travel and hotels rising to travel managers trying to get a handle on add-on fees like the extra cost of baggage or flight changes, check out the article to find out how organizations may need to change how they manage business travelers.

8. The Billion Dollar Baby — Amazon Business Celebrates Its First Birthday

Amazon Business, previously known as AmazonSupply, turned one year old in May. In that first year, the business-focused service made nearly $1 billion in sales — pretty impressive. In this piece, Spend Matters Founder and Head of Strategy Jason Busch and Chief Research Officer Pierre Mitchell analyzed the growth of the company during its first year. The article also includes insight from Amazon Business Vice President and General Manager Prentis Wilson.

7. Amazon Business is ‘the Marketplace Behind the E-Procurement Solution’: GPTS 2016

Prentis Wilson, who oversees Amazon Business, spoke at Spend Matters’ Global Procurement Tech Summit this year. This article shares some of what Wilson said during his keynote at the conference. For instance, he told the audience Amazon Business was not a competitor to P2P providers. Why? “We are the marketplace behind the e-procurement solution,” Wilson said. “If spend is happening outside of e-procurement, you’re not getting visibility into it. [With both] you get the value of Amazon and the controls and convenience of your e-procurement solution.”

6. ‘30 Under 30’ Winner Leandra Taylor’s Aim for Efficiency Helps her Excel in Supply Chain Field

For the last two years, Spend Matters has featured winners of the Institute of Supply Management and ThomasNet’s 30 Under 30 Rising Supply Chain Stars Recognition Program, which calls attention to millennials working in the supply chain. One of this year’s winners, Leandra Taylor, contracts manager for Shell Exploration and Production Company, shares her experiences working in the field in this Q&A piece.

5. Ethical Sourcing: Do Consumers and Companies Really Care?

Consumers say they want to buy ethically sourced products. But do consumers actually consider ethical standards when they shop? And what are companies doing to respond to increasing consumer demands for sustainable and ethical goods? Editor-at-Large Kaitlyn McAvoy aimed to answer these questions by reviewing research on consumer shopping habits and interviewing sustainability and sourcing experts.

4. The Folly of the Staples-Essendant Deal: If It Sounds Too Good to Be True…

Before the Staples and Office Depot merger officially fell through, Chief Research Officer Pierre Mitchell wrote on Staples’ plans to divest $550 million of corporate B2B contracts to one of its main suppliers, the wholesaler Essendant, in a move to appease the Federal Trade Commission. Staples said the deal would “strengthen a national competitor,” but Mitchell gives his take on whether or not that actually happened.

3. Big Data Presents Opportunities for the Supply Chain, but are Organizations Taking Advantage of It?

No, they are not. At least that’s what recent research has shown. It’s not that organizations don’t see the value big data and data analytics can provide to their organization, it’s that too few are actually applying it to improve their supply chains. Check out a number of statistics from various reports Editor-at-Large Kaitlyn McAvoy compiled in this post showing how companies are, and are not, using data to its full potential.

2. Upwork Introduces Upwork Pro and Enhanced Upwork Enterprise to Address Needs of Larger Businesses

Upwork, an online freelance platform, introduced a new product offering in February called Upwork Pro. The provider said the new service is aimed at mid-sized businesses specifically that were looking to find highly skilled freelancers, including developers, content writers and graphic designers, for long-term project needs. In this article, Research Director Andrew Karpie provides an in-depth look at Upwork’s new offering, as well as the Upwork Enterprise suite.

1: PwC Launches its Online Talent Exchange to Join the Independent Workforce Platform Economy

Back in February, PwC launched PwC Talent Exchange, which, as author Andrew Karpie explained, is “an online work intermediation platform (WIP) that directly connects independent professionals with internal PwC projects and project teams.” Karpie also said the launch was another example of how online WIPs were playing an increasing role in how companies sourced and engaged independent talent. Check out the full post for more of Karpie’s analysis of the talent exchange, as well as some insight from an interview he conducted with Brian Snarzyk, principal and the main steward of the Talent Exchange initiative at PwC.

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