Author Archives: Sydney Lazarus

About Sydney Lazarus

Editor-at-Large - Spend Matters | Sydney is editor-at-large at Spend Matters, where she writes on a variety of supply chain and procurement-related topics. Her reporting interests include labor conditions, corporate social responsibility, and women and millennials in supply chain. Like most of her editorial colleagues, Sydney is an alum of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. Her work has also appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Condé Nast Traveler, and a couple places where she chose to be published anonymously.

Haven’t Experienced a Significant Supply Chain Disruption in the Past Year? You’re Among the Lucky Few

supply chain disruption

Riskmethods recently commissioned a survey of more than 250 senior procurement executives around the world to see what strategies they’re using to manage risk in their supply chains, and the results were published in a white paper, Procuring Risk: The State of Risk Management and Mitigation in Today’s Global Supply Chain. The report found that avoiding significant supply disruptions is a top priority for senior procurement executives. These events are also not uncommon occurrences, as the vast majority of the survey respondents reported that they experienced at least one supply chain incident in the past 12 months that led to a significant disruption.

Applying Strategic Sourcing to Talent Management: What You Need to Know


By 2020, more than half of the U.S. workforce will be involved in contingent work. Companies are rethinking their talent management strategies accordingly, and those that are familiar with strategic sourcing may already be a couple steps ahead. How strategic sourcing can be applied to talent management was the topic of a webinar that Spend Matters analysts Jason Busch and Andrew Karpie presented last month with NextSource’s chief executive, Catherine Candland, and senior program director, Jim Gallagher. NextSource has been in the contingent workforce business for the past two decades.

North American Staffing Sector Optimistic on 2018 Revenue, Concerned by Skills Shortages

North American staffing and recruiting professionals are overall optimistic on revenue, according to Bullhorn’s 2018 North American Staffing & Recruiting Trends Report, although challenges such as skills shortages remain salient. In a survey of 1,442 staffing and recruiting professionals, three-quarters anticipated an increase in 2018 revenue as compared to 2017 revenue. Twenty percent of the respondents predicted revenue to increase by more than 25%. Small firms were more optimistic than their larger counterparts.

From Process Efficiency to Savings: 12 KPIs for Business Spend Management

spend visibility

Coupa recently released its 2018 benchmark report on measuring business spend management success by means of 12 key performance indicators (KPIs). The 12 KPIs, which cover process efficiency, digitization, compliance and savings, were based on anonymized data from the top quintile of Coupa customers’ performance in each KPI. In this post, we will look in more depth at each of the four categories

New Report Warns that More Affordable Artificial Intelligence May Be a Blow to Cybersecurity


Artificial intelligence is becoming more affordable and available to different companies and industries. However, this also means more risks in the realms of digital, physical and political security, warns a new report co-written by a team of 26 AI researchers from prominent American and British universities and think tanks. There are a number of reasons AI can bring about a new level of risk. Most AI researchers believe that AI will exceed human performance in a wide range of tasks within the next 50 years — and if an AI system can lead to better farming practices, it can certainly also conduct more devastating cyberattacks. AI can allow for a greater degree of anonymity and distance for the human actor. And AI systems tend to be efficient and scalable.

Adoption of Sustainable Sourcing Practices Remains Limited, First Large-Scale CSR Study Finds


For all the corporate sustainability reports that many companies dutifully release every year, how widespread are sustainable sourcing practices really? A new paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that adoption of these practices remains limited, particularly when it comes to non-consumer-facing companies and lower-tier suppliers.

Beyond Logistics: 6 Non-Traditional Categories Where Companies Should Apply Sourcing Optimization

What exactly is sourcing optimization, and where can it be applied, besides the obvious areas? Earlier this month, Spend Matters analysts Michael Lamoureux and Tom Finn teamed up with Garry Mansell, sourcing optimization general manager at Coupa, on a webinar on this very topic, “Sourcing Optimization in New Categories: A ‘How-To’ Guide.” As the webinar title suggests, this isn’t about logistics or MRO, but rather some more non-traditional categories — six to be exact — where sourcing optimization can bring significant savings.

Payables Automation Provider Tipalti Raises $30 Million in Series C Round


Tipalti raised $30 million in its Series C financing round last week, bringing the global payables automation solution provider’s total funding to more than $50 million, according to the press release. Zeev Ventures, which focuses on investments on small businesses, led the round. This is the venture capital firm’s first investment in the P2P market, notes David Gustin, lead analyst and founder of Trade Financing Matters. Oren Zeev, the founding partner of Zeev Ventures, is also the co-founder of Tipalti, playing what Forbes has called a hybrid founder-investor role.

Resilinc EventWatch Data: Factory Fires and M&A Activity Rank as Top Disruptive Events

supply risk

Resilinc recently released its 2017 EventWatch Supply Chain Disruption Annual Report, and the top two disruptive event types by a significant margin were factory fires and explosions and mergers and acquisitions. The report is based off the 2017 data collected by Resilinc’s EventWatch software, which monitors and analyzes global events that are potentially disruptive for supply chains and then alerts customers. In 2017, EventWatch published on average five bulletins a day.

Icertis Raises $50 Million in Series D Round, Plans to Invest in AI Capabilities and Global Expansion


Icertis announced Thursday it has raised $50 million in Series D funding, bringing the company’s total funding to $96 million. This funding round was led by Meritech Capital Partners, with PSP Growth and Cross Creek Advisors also taking part. In the near-decade since its founding in 2009, Icertis has become a leader in the contract management market, counting around 50 customers in the Global 500 and about 100 customers in the Global 5000. Moreover, as of Q4 2017, Icertis ranks top in Spend Matters Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) SolutionMap. The provider is a solution leader and a value leader across all four SolutionMap personas.

Preparedness for Data-Driven Procurement Lags Among Manufacturers, New Study Finds

The term “digital transformation” — whether applied to procurement or another field — is bandied around frequently, but as far as the average company is concerned, that transformation is still not in the near future. In a survey of more than 100 senior executives, LevaData found that although nearly all of them agree that data-driven procurement is critical to value creation, cost reduction and efficiency, only half think that their own procurement teams are ready to make use of predictive tools.

Developing a Digital Operating Model: GEP Releases 2018 Procurement Outlook Report


GEP recently published its 2018 Procurement Outlook Report, which provides insight on important business and technology trends for procurement and supply chain professionals. Now in its sixth edition, the report tackles changing political and economic policies, emerging technologies and trends in eight major spend categories. And 2018, according to the authors of the report, will be the year for procurement to develop a new digital operating model.