Author Archives: Spend Matters Brand Studio



Scanmarket CEO: Coronavirus crisis is forcing companies to identify an array of business risks

The coronavirus outbreak has made online work more vital than ever, and with all of the digital transformation and increased use of procurement technology, vendors have more visibility into  what’s actually going on with businesses, which even during this crisis must remain focused on serving clients while their own personnel work from home — sometimes in cities and countries under lockdowns.

To get the pulse of what’s happening, we got in touch with e-sourcing specialists Scanmarket, a company that’s facing both of those pressures. The cloud-based provider operates globally but has its core group in Denmark, one of the first countries to institute a nationwide lockdown.

In any crisis, businesses’ timelines for answers speed up and priorities change. So we talked with Scanmarket CEO Betina Nygaard to get some insight on how the crisis is unfolding and how businesses are addressing all of the risk they’re facing.

Case study: How industry mergers required an energy firm to begin its supplier management transformation

When should companies consider acquiring the latest procurement technology?

It seems like a simple question, but many businesses don’t always get to spend time considering the latest solutions, like in the area of supplier management — they’re more often compelled to do it when the market changes through a merger or acquisition, when their old technology and manual processes don’t cut it anymore, or when their suppliers and competitors outpace them by digitally transforming.

To learn more about when and how to start your digital transformation and continue to ensure it works for your business, we talked with NRG Energy about the evolution of its supplier management technology.

SAP Ariba targets ‘new generation of business leaders who understand that social impact, commercial gains are not mutually exclusive’

sustainable supply chain

A recent discussion with social-impact technology company Givewith about linking sustainability efforts directly into businesses led us to explore the company’s relationship with SAP Ariba, which shared its reasoning for the collaboration.

“Our partnership with Givewith reflects a desire to work with a new generation of problem-solvers and business leaders who understand that social impact and commercial gains are not mutually exclusive,” said Sean Thompson, executive vice president and general manager, Network & Ecosystem, SAP Procurement Solutions.

That newness and the potential of this value proposition is what’s so intriguing.

Givewith’s novel approach seamlessly embeds social-impact funding opportunities into each transaction and directs a portion of the deal with a nonprofit, social enterprise or NGO whose impact is financially material to both companies.

Because so many companies connected on Ariba Network can now plug into Givewith’s capabilities from the start of a project, this integration opens the door to scale programs for corporate social responsibility (CSR) and efforts related to environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues.

To learn more about the partnership, SAP’s Sean Thompson joined us for a discussion.

Tech selection Q&A: ‘There are a lot of people throwing terms around and don’t know what the hell they’re talking about’

In our look at how companies do tech selections, some firms cast a wide need to see what the market has to offer and some go hunting for specific business needs.

Versatex, a spend management firm that needed a spend analytics solution, did its tech selection using a rigorous set of requirements and it took five months to find the right vendor, Simfoni, and confirm that it was a good fit, the Cincinnati-based Versatex said.

“Because spend analytics is a rapidly evolving space, if you're not out there teaching yourself something new and staying abreast of what's going on, you're behind,” said Nathan Jenkin, Versatex’s VP of Strategic Sourcing and Spend Analytics.

Barriers to digital procurement: What is stopping companies from doing just the basics?

hurdle

Mid-size businesses that already have an ERP system can struggle with convincing the C-suite that more technology purchases for procurement can help the whole business. In reality, these are the businesses that have the most to gain from digitally upgrading the basics — shedding manual practices, ending paper-based processes, adding visibility across the business, reducing risk and preparing the business to digitally mature even further.

If your business struggles to find insights and cost-savings, you need to upgrade the digital basics.

If your business has an ERP but you’re still handling a lot of paper, manually entering data and relying on specialists to read spreadsheets and brief stakeholders, then you need to make the business case for digitizing the basic functions. Best-of-breed modules these days work well, won’t break the bank and offer an attractive return on investment.

Q&A with Suplari: Businesses want ‘a more procurement-focused approach to data analytics’

Spend analytics these days offer an array of insights into the data that’s increasingly being collected, but it’s not easy for businesses to know which solution to select or whether to go with a suite provider that requires a vast overhaul of a company’s departments and processes.

In two articles, we’ve explored how to weigh a best-of-breed spend analytics module versus an end-to-end solution implementation, and we’ve looked at what it takes to prepare a business to get the most out of its spend analytics solution.

To learn more about the issues, we talked with Jake Arnold, the Head of Customer Success at Suplari, whose solution is an AI-driven spend analytics platform to help enterprise companies drive financial performance.

Why enabling a 100% digital and automated e-invoicing process is still a challenge

e-invoicing

One capability that still stumps many vendors is the capture and processing of paper and PDF invoices. This creates a challenge for procurement and finance teams, as the move to paper-free (and PDF-free) models makes perfect academic sense, but the pragmatic reality is the journey to get as close to a 100% digital capture model as possible can take years, if not decades.

Deploying AI-driven spend analytics: How to prepare your company for increased visibility

Modern spend analytics relies on artificial intelligence for a number of reasons, including the need for a robust tool to manage all of the data being generated and the need for advanced technology to make sense of different data streams. This innovation provides new visibility that can benefit procurement operations and generate business value overall, according to research by Spend Matters and others.

In the first article in this series, we discussed how companies decide if they need a full procurement technology system to understand their spend or if a best-of-breed spend analytics solution offers better insights into the future as well as analyzing past performance.

In today’s post, we’ll look broadly at the tech selection process, specific considerations for spend analytics, and the procurement-focused findings of an A.T. Kearney paper that shows how spend analytics fits within the digital transformation of all businesses.

Givewith Q&A: How technology allows social impact to be ‘seamlessly embedded into transactions’

As social and environmental issues become more important to regulators, consumers, investors and C-suites, companies have begun programs to address sustainability, corporate social responsibility (CSR) and topics related to ESG — environmental, social and governance issues.

Besides satisfying outside interests, businesses also can find value in these pursuits — but they may not be getting all of the benefits that they could. So we interviewed the founder of Givewith, CEO Paul Polizzotto, to shed some light on the issues.

Givewith uses technology to help companies match their sustainability and ESG efforts with a nonprofit or social enterprise that benefits those areas. Givewith evaluates hundreds of nonprofits and social enterprises and works with companies all around the world to help turn everyday business into a social benefit.

A look into the future: AP automation and Basware’s roadmap

AP automation holds a lot of promise for businesses that want to reduce manual tasks, improve insights into transactions and create value for customers. But the choices of procurement software can be dizzying. In a previous article in this series, we looked at how and why digital transformation will vastly reshape procurement and finance roles. In this article, we’ll examine how one provider is addressing that change.

We asked Basware’s analyst relations specialist Jeff Meredith to discuss what future capabilities the suite provider sees on the horizon. Basware’s roadmap includes more developments in spend analytics, better ways to identify risks, and an increased focus on the supplier experience. Spend Matters' procure-to-pay specialist Xavier Olivera offers a market perspective afforded by assessing demos and doing interviews for SolutionMap, which ranks more than 50 procurement providers.

Recovery Audits Keep Your Business Churning and Money Leakage in Check

The complexity of today’s business environment — from siloed processes and disparate technology to constant changes like mergers, staff reductions, new software implementations and vendor turnover — can leave organizations susceptible to millions of dollars in leakage, even with tightly controlled accounts payable processes in place.

Perfecting the accounts payable process for every transaction can be a costly, time-consuming exercise, one that can reduce employee productivity and slow down daily business operations.

For finance leaders, establishing a streamlined AP process doesn’t have to mean leaving money on the table. In this article we’ll explore how a recovery audit can help companies gain greater insights into their losses and discover strategies for delivering substantial sums back to their bottom line.

Shelby Group creates ‘Digital Invoice’ solution to tackle paper invoices

In procurement software projects, consultants usually play a role in tech selection, implementation or training, but The Shelby Group has taken its procurement consulting knowledge even further and created a product — one that can fill a gap that it saw when businesses struggled to deal with paper invoices in the digital age.

In accounts payable departments worldwide, it’s a common problem that paper invoices are still received from countless suppliers of varying sizes, and it’s known that digitally reading those invoices can save time and money if the clear rate can be improved.

The Shelby Group’s Digital Invoice is a powerful solution that clears a majority of invoices (both verified/complete and “close enough”) without human intervention.