Perspective Content

Economic Outlook: Procurement Should Expect Headwinds and a Downturn Ahead

e-procurement market outlook

KKR’s David McNellis, the head of research for KKR’s Global Macro and Asset Allocation Team, shares his views on the macro economy, with a forecast for a downturn in the U.S. and other countries. Of note to procurement professionals are McNellis' view on inflation and commodities outlooks, as well as the top four risks that businesses need to prepare for heading into 2020.

Spend Matters View: Analyzing the Concept of Accenture’s Virtual Category Room

supplier network

In introducing the concept of the “virtual supplier room” in its recent forward looking paper, Procurement’s Next Frontier – The Future Will Give Rise to an Organization of One, Accenture draws a line in the sand that category management will still be an important part of procurement in the future.

The notion of having one place to truly manage a category rather than just execute the various functions associated with sourcing, contracting and procurement goes so far beyond how category management works in practice today, where the vast majority of activity happens in multiple business applications, loosely or non-coupled applications in Excel or in reading PDFs centered on supply market intelligence. The idea of a true category workbench as Accenture envisions will require integrated technology that is useful enough for those who leverage it to want to work in a common space.

Losing The Procurement Pub Debate Battle, Winning the War and Taking the Piss Out of Peter Smith

It’s not easy losing a debate in London. But when you’re tasked with arguing for a motion that would essentially put everyone in a room out of a job, it’s quite difficult to win over the crowd. Having said that, Stephen Allot, Crown Representative for SMEs at the Cabinet Office, and I nearly won the vote, in arguing for the motion that procurement is doomed. We lost by a single vote in the room when the dust was clear. Not bad, I must say, given the controversy of the topic. But it’s hard to disagree with lines like, “Come on, most procurement and finance organizations can’t even agree on a baseline definition of savings!” in examining the logic behind why procurement is not currently in a good place.

The Talent Gap is Dooming Procurement – Notes From a Pub Debate

As I conclude my 3 core themes highlighting why procurement is doomed, I come to the final major challenge bucket, as I see it: that procurement skill sets are not changing quickly with the times. Unlike other areas of the business such as marketing, where executives went from being visually oriented poets only a decade ago to some of the smartest quant jocks and analytical leaders in the business, the skill set at the top driving procurement teams has not changed significantly in the same time frame. CMOs have evolved. CPOs have not – at least not at that pace, and the same can be said for their teams as well.

Procurement + Digital World = Fail: Making the Pub Debate Argument

Continuing on with my argument that procurement is doomed by 2025 from a pub debate in London earlier this month, my second argument centers on the notion that the cat is out of the bag in terms of the digital world. And procurement is not keeping up. I consider 4 areas where procurement is falling off the back of the peloton, despite the use of a number of performance enhancing substances such as purchase-to-pay solutions and advanced sourcing tools.

The Conspiracy Against Procurement by 2025 – Making the Pub Debate Argument

Yesterday, I introduced the argument that I had to support during a pub debate in London with my colleague Peter Smith. I volunteered to take the side of the argument that procurement is doomed – specifically with the subtext that the digital revolution and other factors will make procurement functions a thing of the past by 2025. I started my argument by framing the discussion around the notion that there are many elements conspiring against organized procurement that are driving employees and colleagues away from using procurement and even other organized aspects of the business.

Is Procurement Doomed? The Big Debate (From a British Pub)

Recently, my colleague Peter Smith and I collectively enjoyed the banter, good company and cheer of one of the Spend Matters UK/Europe Pub Debates. During the debate, I argued for the motion that procurement is doomed – specifically I cam up with a coherent argument that as of 2015, the digital revolution and other factors will make procurement functions a thing of the past by 2025. The premise is that procurement is going to go the way of the chief operating officer inside many companies – that is, away – is important to delve into, and some factors in the debate should scare procurement into action.

MBO Partners’ Gene Zaino on the Rise of the Independent Worker (Part 2)

Spend Matters recently interviewed Gene Zaino, president and CEO of MBO Partners, on his firm’s recent study looking at the rise of independent workers in America. In Part 1 of the interview, Gene began to share his thoughts on key takeaways from the MBO survey, surprise findings from the report and what it means for government and tax policy. Today, we continue our discussion with Gene.

MBO Partners Gene Zaino on the Rise of the Independent Worker: Men, Women and Surprise Findings

I recently had the chance to ask Gene Zaino, president and CEO of MBO Partners, to share his comments and thoughts on his firm’s 2014 State of Independence in America workforce study. In this two part-series on Spend Matters, we feature Gene’s perspective on the topic.

New Free Research: When Sourcing Becomes Supply Chain

In many companies, even manufacturers, the view of supply chain is quite different from that of procurement. Even though supply chain involves both in-bound (supplier) and out-bound (fulfillment/ sales) processes to move goods and/or services, unlike procurement it is largely a demand-driven function based on forecasts, orders, and so forth. At its core, supply chain is data-driven and quantitative.

Ms. Bossi goes to Washington: An interview with Jill Bossi, Ex-CPO and Candidate for US Senate, 2014, Part 1

In this three-part series, Pierre interviews former American Red Cross CPO Jill Bossi about her upcoming run for Senate with the American Party of South Carolina. The two discuss procurement in government as well as the shortcomings of the two party system, term limits and the complexity of strategic sourcing at the federal level.

Bid Rigging in a Competitive Market: What Should You Look For?

Despite the Sherman Act, bid rigging still exists in many shapes and sizes and is difficult to detect. Almost all forms of bid-rigging schemes have one thing in common: an agreement among some or all of the bidders, which predetermines the winning bidder and limits or eliminates competition among the conspiring vendors. Jim Kiser of GEP breaks down how exactly it happens.