Author Archives: Sam Rea

About Sam Rea

Sam’s role at Spend Matters and MetalMiner covers all marketing operations, including advertising, email newsletters, webinars, social media, content creation, and more. After graduating from the University of Michigan, he worked in the Marketing department at POOL4TOOL, a solution provider. A Chicago native, he speaks German and enjoys traveling internationally as well as supporting Michigan football.

2018 in Review: Top Strategic Procurement Technology Posts of the Year

As 2018 draws to a close, Spend Matters is looking back on the top stories of the year: leaps forward in technology, consequential acquisitions and more. As the main source of procurement solution intelligence for the market, we have our finger on the pulse on strategic procurement technology (SPT), which includes sourcing, supplier management, analytics and contract lifecycle management (CLM). Here are the biggest stories, according to reader interest, about strategic procurement tech in 2018, which demonstrate several trends about the state of the industry.

The Tip of the Spear: How Serco Has Used Spend Data to Generate Business Value

Spend data is a gold mine of valuable information for improving the procurement process as well as driving enterprise-wide decision-making. FTSE 100 services provider Serco learned this first hand when it engaged Simfoni, a provider of spend analytics tools, to change the way it gathered, presented and analyzed its data. Using spend analytics as the tip of the spear, the Serco team developed “should cost” predictive cost models to develop better bids for potential clients — and support what every CEO wants: profitable growth. 

Spend Matters hosted a recent webinar in which experts discussed the topic. Featuring Serco Head of Procurement Andrew Spafford and Simfoni Managing Director Stefan Dent, the event centered on the role that spend data should play in an organization’s decision-making process. Spend Matters Chief Research Officer Pierre Mitchell moderated.

Creative Supplier Governance: Key Points From a Sourcing Leaders’ Lunch & Learn


At a recent Chicago Sourcing Leaders Lunch & Learn, one theme was clear: The sourcing department includes the “cool kids” of the enterprise. Hosted by solutions provider Scout RFP and Zebra Technologies, pioneers of barcode scanning technology, the Lunch & Learn featured a sampling of the Zebra product line and a practical presentation from Dawn Tiura, president and CEO of the Sourcing Industry Group, or SIG. She described the qualities of the “cool kids” and shared her insight on the importance of having a formal supplier governance program.

Hail to the Value Leaders: Saluting SolutionMap’s Best Performers in Q3 2018

The coveted top-right corner of each SolutionMap represents the best performers in each procurement software category. Labeled as Value Leaders, these companies demonstrate the best balance of customer satisfaction and technical capability as judged by the Spend Matters analyst team. For the Q3 2018 SolutionMap, released Tuesday with newly added vendors and debut maps for Contingent Workforce and Services, here are the Value Leaders across all categories.

Capitalizing on the Common Ground Between IT and Procurement


IT and procurement often find themselves at each other’s throats, but the two functions have many similarities that escape the first glance. By finding common ground, IT and procurement can team up to bring several lucrative improvements to the broader business, including far more than just cost savings, risk prevention and increased revenue contribution. Indeed, a working partnership between procurement and IT can be the foundation for building a successful digital transformation.

Outdated Procurement Software a Top Threat to Talent Retention, Study Finds


Workers at “technology laggard” businesses are much more likely to be frustrated or quit, putting procurement organizations’ talent management strategies at risk, according to a report by Unisys Corporation. Titled “The New Digital Workplace Divide,” the research illustrates how a company’s technology maturity plays a significant role in employee satisfaction  — perhaps the key role. Workers at organizations whose tech lags behind the industry standard report frustration at a rate of 51%, compared with only 6% for those who work for tech leaders. Productivity is thus stifled when workers are frustrated by their laggard IT systems, procurement software included.

What Makes Them Great: A Collection of Spend Matters SolutionMap Analyses

No procurement software vendor is perfect for every business scenario. Even if a technology provider has outstanding capabilities in some areas, companies that can consistently perform above multiple functional or customer benchmarks are rare. This is why specialist solutions continue to successfully challenge big name providers, winning customer showdowns through unique approaches to meeting organizational needs. To help our readers understand what sets these unique vendors apart from the rest, we launched in June a new SolutionMap column, "What Makes It Great."

3 Surprising Ways the Procurement Technology Market Has Changed in the Past Year

In the year since we launched our first SolutionMap, the procurement technology space has evolved considerably. Between product updates, the rise of new solution areas and increasing provider consolidation, the technology landscape is changing every day. Procurement professionals no doubt have found it harder than ever to keep track of which solutions offer what capabilities, which companies are still independent and which have become part of a suite, and what technologies they need know to stay ahead of the competition. And just as the provider space is changing, so too has our approach to evaluating and ranking vendors.

Tidbits and Lessons Learned from the 50 to Watch and 50 to Know Lists for 2018

Spend Matters has released the 50 Providers to Know and 50 Providers to Watch for 2018, and there are plenty of interesting tidbits to draw from this year’s lists. From Accenture to Zycus, the 50/50 lists represent the procurement providers and solutions procurement organizations should be aware of, whether they’re making a tech selection or simply want to understand the playing field. The Watch and Know lists should be looked at separately, and there’s much debate that goes into each list. While the Know list features the rock-solid major industry players, the Watch list tends to generate more excitement, as it taps into the latest and most innovative industry trends.

50 Providers to Know and 50 Providers to Watch for 2018

After months of debate, Spend Matters is excited to reveal the 50 Providers to Know and 50 Providers to Watch lists for 2018. At Spend Matters, we routinely review the latest procurement technology and service offerings. This uniquely positions us to help procurement organizations with their vendor selection processes. The 50 to Know and Watch lists are the result of intense debate, discussion and refinement among all of the Spend Matters analysts and reflect our unbiased, independent view of the organizations you should have on your radar in 2018.

Why My Uber Rating is Lousy — and What it Can Teach Us About Solution Provider Rankings

on-demand workforce

What’s your current Uber rating as a passenger? Probably in the 4.5–5 range, right? Most people I know confirm that range. Indeed, my friends and I once compared scores when Uber first granted passengers the ability to see their ratings. We went around the room: 4.9, 5.0, another 5, 4.8, and some ridicule for the guy at 4.6. Now imagine my horror when I was greeted with a paltry, miserable Uber rating of 4.2. An outlier, for sure, but I assumed it wasn’t all that bad. Still, the low score was vexing. I had to figure out what had cut me down so far.

GDPR: Fast Facts for Procurement Organizations

sourcing technology

On the home site for the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a countdown advances toward May 25, 2018. Just over 200 days away, the enforcement date is marked on the calendar of every global organization, because the consequences are clear: non-compliance means heavy fines. As the clock continues ticking, we’ve assembled what you need to know about GDPR — its background, the changes that come with it and the repercussions of non-compliance.