Author Archives: JP Morris



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.

Coupa expands AWS relationship, beefs up its business spend management

cloud solutions

Coupa made two announcements Tuesday morning: It’s expanding its relationship with Amazon Web Services to help enterprises with technology spend, and it bolstered its business spend management (BSM) with several new developments.

Best-of-Breed Solutions with Simple Integration Give Businesses More Choice

LinkedIn ProFinder

Businesses deserve to have the procurement technology that best suits their needs, and with the rise of the cloud and easier integration of best-of-breed solutions, businesses of all sizes can choose from an array of offerings to solve specific problems.

This increased choice stems from the trend toward more open computer networks and APIs, the application programming interface. What the API does is let companies bring data, workflows and in some cases third-party functionalities to their existing backbone system or ERP to create their own version of an end-to-end suite.

As companies mature in their digital transformation from manual processes to automation, they’re in a better position to consider the buffet of solution options that will help them become more strategic.

With $60 million funding round, Ivalua reaches ‘unicorn’ status of $1 billion valuation

Ivalua, likely the fastest growing privately held source-to-pay procurement suite technology provider, announced Tuesday morning that, with its latest funding round, it has gained “unicorn” status for start-ups by reaching $1 billion in valuation.

It raised $60 million from a new investor, Tiger Global Management, and Ardian Growth, one of Ivalua’s early investors that raised its investment level. Tiger Global joins Ivalua’s founders, KKR and Ardian as shareholders, the announcement said.

Read our analysis of SAP Intelligent Spend Group and SAP’s Ariba, Concur, Fieldglass for the last 12 months

Today's news about SAP’s change in leadership at its new division ("Barry Padgett Leaving SAP and new Intelligent Spend Group") had us thinking about Spend Matters’ analysis of the group recently forming and our ongoing coverage of its components: SAP Ariba, SAP Concur and SAP Fieldglass.

Since early 2018, Spend Matters has given PRO and SolutionMap subscribers deep insights into their solutions, including a comparative analysis of SAP Ariba’s S2P offering and a look at SAP Fieldglass’ Digital Network. Subscribers also have gotten head-to-head comparisons of SAP Ariba with competitors like Coupa, Ivalua, Basware, Tradeshift and GEP. (For companies considering SAP’s procurement solutions, Spend Matters’ SolutionMap Technology Selection Services are also available for procurement organizations that want a one-to-one map between their own business requirements and functional performance).

Ivalua Has Been on Spend Matters’ Radar for Years

Long before becoming a $ 1 billion "unicorn" company, Ivalua has been a procurement software provider that’s consistently shown up on the radar of Spend Matters’ analysts for years. We’ve introduced subscribers to an array of Ivalua’s developments for about the last 10 years, including how the spend management provider matches up against the biggest names in the industry.

Check out our coverage, which features SolutionMap data, head-to-head comparisons with its competitors, and PRO analysis over the years. (Some of our first coverage of Ivalua was done in 2010 before we even had subscribers!)