Author Archives: JP Morris



When is the right time for mid-market digital transformation?

Procurement software providers that target large enterprises get a lot of attention, but the increased use of artificial intelligence and machine learning is raising the profile of vendors who serve a vast group of businesses that also are doing some heavy lifting — the mid-market companies seeking to digitally transform.

One of those providers is Paramount WorkPlace, which focuses on the procure-to-pay areas of e-procurement and e-invoicing for the middle market practitioner. And it also has a sliver of the enterprise market. We talked to Paramount for a Q&A to gauge how it’s helping to deploy technology and aid digital transformation across a range of businesses.

Contracts Aren’t Just for the Legal Department Anymore

Cost-savings and strategic advantages hide in every business, and the latest procurement technology can reveal how to find it — in your contracts. In our recent article about spend management, we focused on the flood of spend data that businesses face and the technology that can help make sense of that.

But that technology, like artificial intelligence, is also being used to connect contract data and accounts payable information. That connection offers insights into novel ways to think about contracts that can add profits to the bottom line.

Contracts represent a direct link to suppliers, and that can offer profitable information about supplier activity that can help with contract renewals, a common way to control spend and find savings. But with AI, it gives your business the advantage and reduces risk.

How to reach your goals on supplier diversity and supplier management

When a company considers how to improve its supplier diversity, it can do so along with improving its supplier management overall. But how does a business go from getting started to reaching its goals with suppliers?

In the first article in this series, we showed that businesses starting this process don’t have to choose between supplier diversity and supplier management. You should do both at the same time.

But now, let’s consider how to execute a plan to build relationships with suppliers and reach your business goals. You’ll need to understand three areas of SRM, or supplier relationship management: how your suppliers align with your business goals, how you manage supplier risk and how you address supplier development.

3 tips to improve the ‘first mile’ of your supply chain

Overhauling how your business manages its supply chain is a daunting task, but a good starting point is to look at a segment of the supply chain and focus on three tips: clean your data to improve visibility, automate supplier collaboration and consider what new technology is available to you to make these things happen.

The specific part of the supply chain that many organizations would benefit from focusing on is the “first mile” — when businesses set a solid foundation to work with suppliers, engage services and order direct materials. In our previous article, “How ‘first-mile’ flaws hinder last-mile success,” we discussed the problems that snowball, add to risk and cut into margins.

Now, let’s dig into the top three tips for addressing these problems:

More Trump tariffs to be levied on goods from China — starting Sept. 1

In a tweet Thursday that rattled stocks, the Trump administration announced that, starting Sept. 1, 10% in tariffs will be levied against $300 billion in more goods that are made in China for companies that import them into the United States. The companies pay the tariffs, and the extra expense typically leads to higher prices for U.S. consumers. The Dow had been up about 300 points, but on the news, it fell 200 points.

Procurement Leaders is acquired by World 50

Procurement Leaders — an organization known for its executive conferences, membership and research in the procurement sector — has announced its acquisition by World 50, an executive membership organization. Procurement Leaders CEO Nandini Basuthakur, announced the news Wednesday, saying: “We will continue to offer our unique suite of insights, applications and connections that accelerate global and cross functional transformation to our customers. This will now be further strengthened by the pairing of World 50’s powerful access across the broader C-suite.”

Afternoon Coffee: Southwest, American hurt by 737 MAX grounding; Caterpillar pays $70 million in tariffs; Europe heat wave

The grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX airplanes is having more fallout — with Southwest and American airlines reporting negative developments. Caterpillar details its hit on tariffs: $70 million last quarter, but it raised prices to cope. And record heat is hitting Europe, causing a lot of problems. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news.

How ‘first-mile’ flaws hinder last-mile success

Businesses want and need to deliver for their customers, and that’s often done by putting a ton of thought and effort into the last mile of the process to ensure success and customer satisfaction. But, while getting products and services to customers is vital, it’s not the first step.

For that, we need to focus on the first mile — that time in any company’s supply chain process where you can set a solid foundation to work with suppliers, engage services and order direct materials. The first mile is just as important as the last mile for meeting customer commitments, and it’s even more important when it comes to maximizing margin, managing inventory and recognizing revenue.

To succeed, you’ll need to improve your processes by implementing a digital transformation. That involves more than using digital forms instead of paper. To truly transform, real-time data and visibility need to be at the heart of how your company runs. Problems in the first mile need a modern solution.

How to Tackle Spend, Pick the Right Technology and Gain Visibility

We recently talked with Nikesh Parekh, CEO of Suplari, to find out how companies are handling all of their spend data and learn why they need to digtialy transform. "The traditional function of procurement was, in the early days, to enforce a set of processes to prevent employees from making irresponsible or unwise spending decisions. It’s the quickest path to saving money," he said. "But today, our customers tell me that they are being asked to provide strategic value above and beyond cost savings and risk reduction. This is where digital transformation comes into play. If organizations want to move the needle beyond the tactics they’ve been employing, they need to be open to leveraging innovative technologies, such as artificial intelligence."

Supplier diversity and supplier management: Don’t choose, do both

Supplier diversity connects to many trends occurring in supplier relationship management (SRM) these days, including developments like the rise of digital transformation, supplier networks and supplier collaboration.

As a business trying to start the supplier diversity process, it can be a daunting task to wade through-diverse supplier certifications and classifications to help you find a certified minority-, woman-, veteran- or LGBT-owned vendor for your company. But it can be worth it.

The methods that have made supplier diversity successful over the years now apply to other areas of procurement as well. Find out how.

U.S.-China trade at G-20; Apple to build in China; Amazon, the shipper; Learn about M&A interest in procurement software firms

What's going to happen at the G-20 economic summit in Osaka, Japan? It began today, and we have two stories giving insight into what may happen when Trump and China's leader sit down for trade talks Saturday. In another story, Apple is reportedly moving its Mac Pro production to China, bucking trends of supply chains possibly leaving China. And Spend Matters has some M&A insight into the procurement software market. Learn about the 10 types of businesses being targeted. Afternoon Coffee: It's the jolt of procurement and supply chain news that you need on a Friday.