Author Archives: Taras Berezowsky



A New Way of Ranking Procurement Technology Solution Providers in 2017: Best of Spend Matters SolutionMap

It has been quite a big year at Spend Matters. And no, not in terms of racking up the greatest number of avian species sightings (even though I am a birder). Within this big year, Spend Matters analyst and extended teams launched what we hope to be the primary tool for procurement solution providers to highlight their capabilities to the broader market — and most important, for procurement practitioners to use as their technology selection guide. In this year-end Best of Spend Matters piece, we present a short history of SolutionMap in 2017.

What Boeing, SAP Ariba and Cannabis Have in Common: Spend Matters Best of Direct Materials in 2017

As always, the direct materials supply chain was a hotbed of activity over the past year, and Spend Matters held the front lines on much of it for what matters to procurement practitioners and their technology options. In this year-end wrap up, we present the best of our direct materials coverage from 2017, including news about direct materials-centric technology providers, commodity-specific updates and a budding new supply category.

What Amazon Business Has Learned About Managing Tail Spend

“Amazon, like any other organization, is not immune to the challenges you all are having with tail spend.” That was Jeff Oar, head of customer success, enterprise, at Amazon Business, speaking on a recent webinar held by Spend Matters (and co-hosted by our own Pierre Mitchell). If one of the 800-pound gorillas has a tail spend problem — and we say that as politely as possible, given the fact that Spend Matters and Amazon Business joined forces on the indirect spend research study underpinning this report and the webinar — chances are, your organization is, too.

Former Boeing VP John Byrne on How the OEM Optimized its Direct Materials Supply Chain Visibility

MRO

If you’re a direct materials procurement professional, what would force you to change the way you do business? For John Byrne, former vice president of aircraft materials/structures at Boeing, it was nothing short of a supply chain emergency. “The situation we faced at Boeing was initially borne out of a situation driven by a crisis,” Byrne said in the recent webinar “Supercharge Your Approach: Managing Direct Materials Across Global Supply Chains,” hosted by our sister site, MetalMiner.

What One of Canada’s Richest Men Really Cares About When It Comes to Global Trade

Barry Zekelman's story sounds like the typical American dream — a tale of how he and his brothers were thrust into their father’s fledgling business after his sudden passing. Zekelman left college to help save the steel pipe manufacturer. He and his brothers innovated to help transform the firm from a $2 million company with five employees and no profits into a $1.2 billion behemoth by 2006. But, to hear him tell it, he cares more about how his company can help build a lasting community than profit margin.

ICYMI: “Alexa, How Much of What I Just Bought on Amazon Will Be Subject to New Trade Tariffs, Quotas in 2018?”

Luckily, as a consumer mainly buying Echos or pairs of Christmas socks, the answer is not much. (Or at least, the passalong effects should be negligible.)

However, if you're a U.S. buying organization with a domestic manufacturing footprint, international supplier base, and significant steel or aluminum spend, the answer might indeed surprise you — depending what happens in the trade policy arena over the next several months.

What Procurement’s Talking About at the Thanksgiving Table This Year

Spend Matters has very special powers.

We were able to travel into the future and become a fly on the dining room wall, joining several procurement practitioners gathered around the Thanksgiving table.

What is Procurement mad about this year? What are their concerns? What do they want to see changed? Here are some highlights of Procurement’s Thanksgiving 2017 discussion.

China’s Single Biggest Trade Issue, and Other Current Policy Must-Knows

Our sister site MetalMiner recently launched a new podcast series called "Manufacturing Trade Policy Confidential." Procurement organizations with a domestic manufacturing footprint and global supplier networks — especially those with a significant steel or aluminum spend — take note. (If you'd rather bone up on some trade policy intelligence for work rather than half-focus on your latest James Patterson on the plane to visit your in-laws, you're welcome.) The latest episode takes listeners through China's recent setback at the hands of the U.S. Department of Commerce regarding China's non-market economy status, and which other trade cases and investigations matter in the current political and economic landscape and why.

A Tale of Two Case Studies: Centralizing and Getting Spend Under Management in Fast Food and CPG

Centralization of sourcing operations and overall spend has literally been at the center of debate in a number of ways for procurement practitioners.

A few months ago, our editor at large Sydney Lazarus answered a reader’s question on the very topic. In her reporting on whether centralizing or decentralizing sourcing structures of procurement organizations is the way to go, she wrote that “company size, location, expansion rate, purchasing category and industry are all factors that affect whether a more centralized or more decentralized structure is better.”

Several of those factors played into two case studies from BuyerQuest focusing on how a large quick-service restaurant corporation and a CPG organization used e-procurement technology to confront their centralization challenges.

Commodity Price Volatility in the Cannabis Supply Chain: The Biggest Growing Pain?

As I write this on the eve of participating in a conference panel discussion about how corporate communications can better work with trade media firms, I can’t help but think about my relationship with the legal cannabis industry — and particularly its supply chain. Sounds like a stretch, right? Not so much.

How Coupa, SAP Ariba and Basware Really Did in Our Q4 SolutionMap

In a paean to the recent Q4 SolutionMap release and subsequent personal analytical take on the three solution providers in this headline, Spend Matters Founder Jason Busch let everyone in on a not-so-secret secret. “Despite our marketing claims of having invested ‘hundreds of hours’ of analyst time in the process, the actual number felt like more in the thousands, by my own accounting,” Busch wrote. “I told one of my colleagues I felt like I was ‘in the Matrix’ at one point when looking at technology provider demonstrations.” While we’ve created a PO for an exact replica of the spectacles worn by Laurence Fishburne’s Morpheus in “The ‘Matrix” films to give Jason as a surprise (oops!) gift, we wanted to make sure to do justice to those many hours of collective team effort — by filling users in a bit more about what they can get out of SolutionMap.