The Procurement Category

Icertis Finally Releases AI-Based Contract Analytics: Is The CLM Death Star Now Complete?

Pardon the “Star Wars” reference, but I’m excited about the new Han Solo movie. AI is one of the few critical differentiators within the CLM space, and there’s not a hotter CLM pure-play provider than Icertis. Eighteen months ago, we wrote a four-part series about AI in contract management that explained the various value propositions of AI in the CLM space. In the first installment, we mentioned Icertis, but had to add a caveat to the mention. As of Tuesday, however, we’re going to have to finally update that post, as Icertis has added two new AI-powered apps to its offering.

What Does the Data Say About Millennials in Supply Chain Management?

millennial

Judging from the many interviews and casual conversations that we’ve had with millennial professionals in supply chain management over the past few years, we can say with some certainty that this generation (roughly defined as those born between 1981 and 1996) is characterized by a desire for purpose, a willingness to collaborate, and an eagerness to look for technological solutions to problems. A new report from APICS, APQC and Supply Chain Management Review on millennials in supply chain largely supports these assertions.

The Featured Feature: Introducing A New Column on Standout Procurement Tech Capabilities

Software is eating the world, and there’s no sign the beast is even close to satiated. Nearly seven years after venture capitalist Marc Andreessen’s oft-quoted defense of the long-term viability of companies like Facebook and Amazon, businesses have more options than ever when it comes to selecting enterprise software services. Along with this glut of technology providers also comes a sense of déjà vu — the same kind of companies pushing the same features that, for the most part, offer the same solution to the same problems procurement faces on a yearly basis. Here at Spend Matters, however, we strive to bring clarity to the increasingly murky procurement technology market, and we'll be bringing you yet another way to do so starting this week.

To Digitize T&E and Invoice Management, Companies Must Improve IT-Finance Alignment

Oversight Systems

The digitalization of manual processes is viewed as increasingly vital across functions, and travel and expense (T&E) management is no exception. According to a Forrester report commissioned by SAP Concur, the majority of companies face challenges linked to manual processes, from errors in expense reports to the time-consuming nature of dealing with paper documents. Surveying 378 IT and finance professionals involved with T&E and invoice management at their companies, Forrester found that only 13% are very satisfied with the T&E and invoice management processes that their companies are using.

Commodities Roundup: Steel Momentum, Copper and Rising Oil Prices

oil oversupply OPEC

For the buyers and category managers out there, especially those of you deep in the weeds of buying and managing commodities, here’s a quick rundown of news and thoughts from particular commodity markets. From price movements to policy decisions, our MetalMiner editors scour the landscape for what mattered this week.

‘Collabs’: What Procurement, the Billboard Chart and Supreme Have in Common

Michael Lamoureux, Xavier Olivera and I are in New York City today at Ivalua Now, the procurement technology provider’s customer event. Alex Saric, Ivalua’s CMO, kicked off the morning’s festivities with a quick introductory presentation highlighting parallels between music and procurement. One of these, which I think is ingenious, is the notion of “collaborations” in the recording industry. Saric extended the concept to procurement partnering with the business.

How Current and Future Leaders are Managing a Changing Procurement Function: ISM 2018 Roundup

digital business transformation

The future of procurement will be agile, digital and strategically focused. Regular readers of Spend Matters are familiar with these trends, of course, but how exactly organizations will realize those projections is often less clear. Clarifying this path forward was a top focus for attendees at ISM 2018 last week in Nashville, particularly for procurement’s current and future leaders. During a series of roundtable talks on the second day of the conference, CPOs from household-name companies and winners of the ISM/Thomas 30 Under 30 Rising Supply Chain Star awards convened to discuss how they’re approaching digital strategy, the increasing trend toward externalization and ways they’re preparing for risks both in the near term and on the horizon.  

How to Make Time for Value-Add Activities by Controlling High-Volume, Low-Dollar PO Spend

purchasing

Editor’s note: This is part of the Ask Spend Matters series, where readers send in their burning questions about procurement and supply chain.

A reader recently wrote in asking for ideas on controlling high-volume, low-dollar PO spend on readily available commodity items in order to free up time for value-add activity. The conventional wisdom is that purchase orders act as a point of reference and an insurance of sorts against fraud or unintentional errors related to invoicing, pricing, duplicates and wrong products. Yet POs can undoubtedly be a pain for buyers to draft, not to mention that all of the paperwork lengthens and slows down the entire purchasing process. There are two main options here to consider.

Companies Are Investing in AI and Automation to Boost Talent Recruitment and Retention

interview

If you haven’t yet listened to the demo of the much-buzzed-about AI-powered Google Duplex, which can book your haircuts and make dinner reservations, certainly do so. The ambition is remarkable — can artificial intelligence really master the nuances of polite conversation? — even if the product does not completely deliver. (At times, Google Duplex sputtered and jumped jarringly between different speech cadences.)

Google’s developers confirmed that the human on the other end of the call would be informed that she or he is speaking to AI, which makes me wonder how social norms would change in a human-AI conversation. I thought of this when I came across Randstad Sourceright’s recent report showing that businesses are increasingly using AI to recruit skilled employees and address talent shortages, a well-reported challenge in the procurement sector.

30 Under 30 Supply Chain Star Steven Clowney Shares His Top Advice for Young Professionals

Now a global commodity manager at AGCO Corporation, Steven Clowney has worked at a plethora of big-name companies, from Coca-Cola and Kellogg to Best Buy and Target, and made a name for himself as well. At Best Buy, Clowney identified $1 million in parcel shipping costs avoidance, and his leadership of strategic sourcing activities at National DCP resulted in $4.5 million in annual cost savings.

APICS Publishes Report on Supply Chain Salaries, Benefits and Career Satisfaction

First off, here is the figure that everyone is curious about: The average salary for U.S.-based supply chain professionals last year was $85,210. This number, along with a wealth of new data on salaries, benefits and career satisfaction in the supply chain sector, comes from APICS’ first annual Supply Chain Compensation and Career Survey Report. More than 2,600 professionals took part in the survey. About half held positions at the associate level, while 42% were managers and 11% were at the C-suite, VP or director level. More than three-quarters hold an undergraduate degree or higher, and more than half have been in the supply chain industry for at least a decade.

30 Under 30 Supply Chain Star Neta Berger on What Predictive Analytics Tools Can Learn from Excel

Supply chain has been a part of Neta Berger’s life for well over a decade, starting from her high school DECA days to her supply chain management studies at Arizona State University to Google, where she currently works as a supply chain program manager. Risk mitigation is a central part of Berger’s role at Google, and she certainly has ample experience in this area. Berger was working as a commodity manager at Cisco at the time of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, and she managed daily meetings focused on resolving immediate shortages.