The Guest Post Category

How Blockchain and Bitcoin Can Disrupt the AP Process — In a Good Way

blockchain

Spend Matters welcomes this guest contribution from Laurent Charpentier, chief innovation officer, Yooz Inc.

Blockchain. Cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin. These are certainly hot topics in today’s daily business news. It’s all still a bit of a mystery to most of us. It started with bitcoin (a cryptocurrency) in 2013 and the idea of a digital currency used to buy anything from music to cupcakes couldn’t have been more exciting — or more timely — as technology continues to advance at lightning speed. And blockchain is the platform used for verifying and recording transactions that’s at the heart of bitcoin, and is considered as having the potential to reshape the global financial system, among other industries.

Transforming Supplier Management: From Policemen to Innovation Catalyst

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Dave Tienstra, Partner at Information Services Group (ISG).

Modern enterprises are evolving quickly, and with that transformation, their expansive, locked-in, long-term supplier relationships are giving way to digitally enabled, data-driven supplier ecosystems marked by collaboration, a fluid set of suppliers and a mutual exchange of data and information that drives new insights, delivers new innovations and empowers a new way of managing supplier relationships.

Californian Raisin Prices Soar on Strong Demand and a Decline in Production

raisins

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Jara Zicha, market analyst at Mintec.

Turkish prices have also risen since April, buoyed by soaring prices in the US, but at a much slower rate, by only 25%. Californian raisins usually trade at a premium to Turkish produce, but this year, following the harvest, the price difference between the two origins increased rapidly.

Is Strategic Sourcing the Best Route to Smarter Bunker Procurement?

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Gaurav Singh, consultant at GEP.

Since the internet became commercially popular in the early 2000s, companies have made attempts to change the way the market trades bunkers. We’ve come a long way since 2000. Now we’re used to conducting transactions online in our everyday lives and have seen the rise of the “digital ship.” But although shipping was expected to be among the first industries to embrace technology, it has ended up as the last one to adopt new ways of doing business.

How to Incorporate Diversity and Inclusion Practices Into Contingent Labor Programs

supplier diversity

Many organizations struggle with how to incorporate D&I practices within their contingent workforce. In response to concerns regarding co-employment, buying organizations tend to keep non-employees at arm’s length. But given the increasing number of contingent workers in the workforce mix, as well as the central role they are playing in more organizations, one could argue that a different approach should be considered in acknowledgement of the changing dynamics.

Market Speculation Puts Soybean Oil Prices on Roller Coaster Ride

GMO

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Jonathan Stokes, market analyst at Mintec.

We, as analysts, steer the market more than we like to think. A prediction or forecast one way or another can be a significant factor in driving commodity pricing. During the summer, the USDA did exactly this, surprising markets when they forecast higher US soybean production, despite adverse weather conditions throughout the crop development period. So when market prices of soybean and soybean oil shot up at the beginning of October due to the downward revisions of USDA production estimates, what went wrong?

Easing the Pain of Hotel Booking and Travel Spend Management

services sector

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post by Julian Kulkarni, vice president of marketing at Roomex.

The lodging offered by your preferred supplier is 20% cheaper and you have never had any reason to doubt the quality of its service. But a senior sales executive insists that you book lodging at a swanky hotel that’s closer to a key account – otherwise the hot deal he is negotiating might be at risk. Trouble is, the more expensive hotel may not comply with your strict T&E policy. You just don’t know and you are having trouble getting answers. So, what do you do? It’s a classic procurement manager’s dilemma. You’d like to be flexible and make an exception, but if you are not careful, an exception can become the norm, and costs (both direct and indirect) spiral out of control.

Commodity Price Risk Management: For the Many, Not the Few

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Tom Lawrence, director at Flow&Ebb. 

Commodity markets affect us all. Wild swings in commodity prices affect how much we pay for groceries, how much we pay for aluminum cans for our organic soda, how much we pay for electricity. Yet traditionally only large businesses had the budgets to pay for, and enough clout to embed, commodity price risk management into their supply management strategy.

Staffing Supplier-Buyer Relationships: What It Takes to Make It Work

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Michelle Cox, founder of Believe In You Coaching and Consulting and former senior manager, external staffing and vendor relations at U.S. Cellular.

With more than 11,000 staffing firms that exist in the U.S as of 2016 and more than 28,000 offices, buyers’ options when choosing a staffing supplier to support their organization may seem endless. For years the age-old question from staffing suppliers was, “How do I get in the door at XYZ buyer or managed service provider (MSP)?” During a panel I sat on for my previous organization, I answered this very question and my response was simple: We need to create a relationship, and relationships don’t happen overnight, nor do they exist without effort.

Game Theory: Changing the Way You Think About Commodities

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Nick Peksa, opportunities director at Mintec.

In 2014, we published an article on chaos theory, and as a continuation of this, I thought it would be interesting to introduce the concept of game theory and how you can use it to support your commodity price decisions. Game theory brings together the concept of competition and cooperation in business.

Nothing New Under the Sun: Taking an Advanced Approach to Supplier Diversity

supplier diversity

Growing up I remember hearing two phrases constantly: “There is nothing new under the sun” and “Numbers never lie.” Both statements I have found to be half-truths. Try telling dinosaurs, phone booths or the former milkman that nothing ever changes. People, things, ideas — all evolve. The time has come for supplier diversity to evolve, as well.

The Damage to Oranges, Lumber and Cotton Caused by the Hurricanes

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Jara Zicha and Verity Michie, market analysts at Mintec.

At the end of August, the Atlantic regions suffered devastating effects from Hurricane Irma that lasted for two weeks. It hit islands in the Caribbean and parts of the southern U.S. states, including Florida. But how did this affect commodity prices?