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A Holiday Gift Your Team Will (Actually) Appreciate

This time of year, giving presents to your team members and colleagues can be awkward no matter how well you know them. Look beyond the restaurant gift cards, trending gadgets and dried-out fruitcakes to a gift that will deliver an actual return on investment — an industry-recognized certification. By coming together in a virtual classroom, you’ll avoid those awkward, gift-giving faux pas and delight your team with an investment in their professional development to sharpen their skills, boost performance and credibility with both stakeholders and management, and contribute to the overall success of the organization.

7 Steps to Better Government Market Research

Doing better government market research is the latest topic from Public Spend Forum that we’ll address in Spend Matters’ weekly look at public sector procurement. PSF, a sister site of ours, has published articles addressing four of the seven steps for better government market research. It also offers free tools and templates that you can use to improve your market and supplier research outcomes. Let’s look at the full list and then delve into the details on the first four steps.

How to Keep Your P2P Implementation Project From Turning Into a Nightmare (Part 1) [Plus+]

Editor's note: This is a refresh of our 2015 series on running a successful P2P implementation, which originally ran on Spend Matters PRO.

In the webinar “Nightmare on Procurement Street,” we discussed best practices surrounding a procure-to-pay (P2P) implementation project. Webinar speakers were myself, Spend Matters Chief Research Officer Pierre Mitchell, GEP Worldwide Senior Manager Santosh Reddy and Senior Manager of Technology Product Marketing Paul Blake. This first of a multi-part Spend Matters PRO research brief will examine how to avoid a P2P implementation project from turning into your worst nightmare. While not an all-inclusive implementation guide, the brief points to some important steps that are necessary to conducting a successful P2P implementation.

Contract Lifecycle Management Technology: Plugging in the Gaps

In today's contract lifecycle management (CLM) environment, the contract aspect gets all of the TLC while the lifecycle and management aspects often fall by the wayside. Enter Spend Matters analysts and SirionLabs with this complimentary research brief now available for download.

Where Contract Lifecycle Management Technology Approaches Come up Short and How to Fix Them provides organizational strategies and tactics to bridge the technology gap in your team's CLM function. Highlights include:

  • An easy-to-understand explanation of the CLM anatomy
  • What the traditional approach to CLM technology does well and where it falls short
  • What is needed to transform CLM from a system of record to an engagement enabler and value driver

Risky Business — Our Illogical Attitudes to Risk, Regret and Gambling [Plus+]

supply risk

We've featured aspects of Daniel Kahneman's brilliant book, Thinking Fast and Slow, over a number of articles looking at his concepts such as Priming and Anchoring, and in particular what they (and other ideas he and others in the field have developed) mean for procurement professionals.

Kahneman won the Nobel Prize for Economics, with his collaborator Amos Tverksy — not bad going for two psychologists. And the work that led to the prize was largely around the area of risk, which is what we will look at today.

He and Tversky showed that the assumptions economists made about human behaviour — that we acted rationally in hard economic terms — could be proved false. That meant many of the standard economic models and theories were also flawed, which rather upset many in the economics community!

Kahneman called the strange beings who behaved in this perfectly rationally manner "econs" as opposed to "humans," who behaved — well, like humans do. And his work on risk shows exactly why the assumptions of rationality doesn't hold up. Our decisions aren’t rational — but driven by factors like the “endowment effect,” risk-aversion, and regret.

There is obviously a huge amount of detail that we could look at here — an entire Nobel Prize's worth, we might say. But we will just focus on a few key conclusions and a handful of implications for procurement. As before, we strongly recommend you read the book if this interests you (and, really, it should).

So let’s get into three key Kahneman findings.

New Research: Bridging the Contract Lifecycle Management Technology Gap

Contract lifecycle management (CLM) has its fair share of technology dedicated to it, but unfortunately not all of it addresses the comprehensive set of issues facing procurement professionals. In fact, much of the technology focuses too much on the contract while neglecting the lifecycle management aspect. In response, Spend Matters and SirionLabs have teamed up for Where Contract Lifecycle Management Technology Approaches Come up Short and How to Fix Them. This complimentary research brief is now available for download, and it provides a reimagining of CLM technology to drive engagement and value in your commercial relationships.

Flashpoint Releases Inaugural “Business Risk Intelligence” Report on Cyberattacks

These days, the issue of cyberattacks features pretty prominently in public discourse, at least in the U.S. We speculate endlessly on whether Russia had interfered in the American presidential election. Why did C-SPAN suddenly start broadcasting RT? But this is all a long way of saying that cyberattacks are a hot topic. And it should be part of a company’s risk management agenda.

Don’t Fear the Candid Photo: Taking a Snapshot of Accounts Receivables

With the advent of Facebook and the digital camera, we realized that we don't look attractive doing a lot of things, whether that be snacking, dancing or just living. This can make us either avoid the camera or try to look better, and the latter is the approach you want when it comes to taking a candid shot of your accounts receivables. Spend Matters has a free downloadable white paper on how to assess and improve your A/R data.

Here are 5 Key Benefits to Accounts Payable (AP) Automation, or: Can We Be Done With People Already?

“Can we just be done with people, already?”

The automation issue resonates within countless organizations across the globe — and if it doesn’t yet, it should — but AP organizations could especially benefit from automating and digitizing their processes. When it comes to finance and accounting, 47% of AP professionals consider manual data entry and inefficient processes their biggest challenge. But how should my AP organization even begin to automate and digitize? Easy — start thinking of it like riding a bicycle. Read on to find out how.

Don’t Miss These 4 Pearls of Wisdom from a Leading CPO, If You Want to Be a Great One


Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Naseem Malik, managing partner at MRA Global Sourcing. I recently had the opportunity to attend a Procurement Leaders forum where a renowned CPO shared his top four attributes that made him successful over the course of his four different CPO assignments with four different companies and industries. It was straight talk that came across as authentic and highly informative on what this CPO learned and what his advice would be for the upcoming executives in the profession. He approached it from a top-down perspective, i.e. how to win support from top management to enable and ensure success as a CPO. Without further ado, here are the top four pearls of wisdom shared by this CPO.

Majority of Procurement Organizations are at a Basic Level of Maturity, And Why That Needs to Change

When it comes to the maturity of procurement organizations, it’s Spend Matters' belief the majority are at the foundational, or basic level. It’s not a bad place to be, at least when it comes to starting a true procurement transformation, as Jason Busch, Spend Matters founder and head of strategy, points out in the research paper “Reframing Maturity Models: Empirical Perspectives On Radically Improving Procurement Performance.” Yet these procurement organizations should aim to reach other industry peers that are fully integrating source-to-pay processes with the supply chain, accounts payable, finance and other departments and leveraging advanced technology suites, platforms and networks.

Supply Management Professionals: Develop Your Brand

We are inundated by brands every day. Consciously or subconsciously, they inform our decisions and influence how we will act. Their inherent advantage is in creating a visceral, emotional connection with people, fostering loyalty and engagement. Although it may be a topic in vogue, it still begs the question, “Why should supply management professionals invest time into developing a personal brand?” The answer is simple: because branding works.