Enterprise Irregulars Content

GT Nexus and Purchase Order Finance – Going Upstream from Taulia, Tungsten and Ariba

Spend Matters and Trade Financing Matters have both long argued that invoice-based discounting and payables and receivables financing programs are just the tip of the trade financing iceberg in terms of getting cash into the hands of suppliers more quickly. My colleague David Gustin recently shared how GT Nexus is targeting purchase order-based financing, which in many ways represents the next frontier of tech-enabled trade financing programs. David suggests that GT Nexus, the world’s largest cloud-based business network for global trade, with over $100 billion of goods managed on the platform, is now offering purchase order finance.

Spend Matters Almanac 50/50: 50 Providers to Watch for 2015

We are pleased to announce the release of the 2015 Spend Matters Almanac 50/50 list of Providers to Watch! This list includes many exciting and up-and-coming players in the procurement and supply chain sphere and is a great companion piece to its counterpart, the 50/50 list for Providers to Know.

Spend Matters Almanac 50/50: 50 Providers to Know for 2015

50 to Know

At long last (and apologies for the delay), we are pleased to announce the release of the 2015 Spend Matters Almanac 50/50 list of Providers to Know! This list includes many players from last year and some new additions, all lovingly argued over by our dedicated team of analysts. This is a great companion piece to its counterpart, the 50/50 list for Providers to Watch.

Purchases: Of Teenagers and Teslas

My half brother, a smart teenager who is already taller than me and usually emerges victorious when competing on the foosball table, happens to be an aspiring engineer who can also hold his own as a researcher and writer. Like many aspiring engineers in his generation, he reveres Elon Musk as the modern Albert Einstein, Henry Ford, and Thomas Edison all wrapped up in one. As a kid myself (at heart), I can understand this respect and obsession. Musk is up to some truly amazing things. But the way in which kids like him look at a car like Tesla and say “game over” makes me feel older and wiser than I should.

The White House and SupplierPay: From the Basics to the Behind the Scenes

Right around the time that the Spend Matters analyst tasked with covering the intersection of purchase-to-pay, order-to-cash, trade financing, and payments left the country for a few weeks, President Obama and his team had the nerve to fast-track what is perhaps the most important thing to happen to procurement in decades in terms of government guidance. Earlier this month, the White House unveiled SupplierPay, a corporate program designed to get cash flowing more effectively throughout the supply chain. It's not a technology or mandate. Rather, it is a non-binding private/public partnership to encourage industry to improve the speed with which actual dollars move from big companies to small.

ThomasNet and ISM Partner on “30 Under 30” – Winners Get a Free Spend Matters Plus Seat!

Earlier this month at ISM, Thomas Kase and I talked to some of the ISM and ThomasNet team members responsible for organizing a new award – the “30 Under 30 Supply Chain Stars." The award will likely become the most important contest for the future of the procurement profession. The award is what it says it is. Simply put, it follows the same formula as competitions such as “Crain’s 40 Under 40” that showcase promising young talent. The 30/30 contest is designed to call attention to rising stars within procurement and supply chain and to showcase the need for younger members of the community who are advancing procurement and supply chain today.

Is the Cloud Disappearing or Darkening at SAP in Procurement?

SAP is shaking up its cloud business. Or perhaps the cloud is shaking up SAP. Both Vishal Sikka, who championed HANA on the executive board level, and Shawn Price, the president of SAP’s cloud business unit for only a few months, have left. While there are different views on Vishal’s departure from many we’ve spoken to that are closer to SAP than us – although his leaving clearly represents a significant loss for the ERP giant – the rationale behind Price’s rapid exit raises many more questions than it answers. And it tosses into question the fundamental role of network and cloud applications inside SAP.

Ariba Network Outage: A Headache for Indirect Spend, but a Potential Heart Attack for Supply Chain

A few days ago, SAP’s Ariba Network shut down for about four hours. This event has been kept quiet, but I decided to report on it because there are some important lessons here. Application suites in the cloud have data dependencies regardless of their database. And if you have many systems running in the cloud, you better make sure that if one system goes down, you have the contingency plans in place to deal with the scenario of each of those systems going down that run on their own servers.

Cloudbuy — Digging Into the Amazon-Besting Rhetoric

Through various dealings including some on-the-record discussions, briefings, and demonstrations, I’ve gotten to know some of the team behind Cloudbuy (and viewed a number of detailed demonstrations). I’ve also gotten to know that Ronald and Lyn Duncan, the founders and executive team, could not be a more different (possibly a good thing) a husband/wife team. Lyn is impressive. Ronald is a riot and I mean this in the best possible way, but at times he’s hard to take seriously and you don’t know quite what will come out of his mouth next. Anyone who takes seriously the claims and ambitions in the recent Telegraph piece should have their head examined. Those who know Ronald would likely dismiss it as his everyday hyperbole.

APICS and Supply Chain Council Announce a Merger: Facts, Implications, and Observations

APICS and The Supply Chain Council (SCC) have announced that they are merging. This is a merger that actually makes a lot of sense because the complementary nature of the two groups. APICS has a huge member base and a well institutionalized certification program for production / inventory management (CPIM) for managing operations inside the four walls – and a broader program for a Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) that looks at broader supply chain issues. Chief Research Officer Pierre Mitchell looks at the implications of the deal and offers up his observations and thoughts.

Why You Need a Sourcing Tool Belt, Not Just One Tool

In most areas of procurement technology, one tool will do. In fact, it’s preferable. As an example, having a single platform to drill into broader procurement analytics, beyond just basic spend analysis, is far preferable than needing to navigate between different BI tools and dashboards to look at spend, supplier, contract, and related information. E-procurement? One tool will do (for indirect at least). Services procurement? A single solution per category is sufficient, and in many cases, a single VMS with added SOW capability can handle a surprising amount of overall services spend. But sourcing is different. Here's a list (just for starters) of tools we wouldn't leave home without.

Don’t Fall for the Myth of Integrated ERP Procurement

I remember back to when Oracle embarked on integrating its Oracle CPG product to Manugistics and the admission that there were nearly 1,000 separate points of integration. Now, add in the fact that there is completely new infrastructure coming onto the scene with SAP HANA (not just the HANA database, but also a “cloudy” application development and integration infrastructure) that will be making its way into the Ariba Network and future application products, and let’s just say that some non-trivial orchestration will need to occur. So, it’s complex, but you might ask: what’s the big deal? The big deal is that the ones who will end up footing the bill for tying this stuff together will not be SAP. They’re doing quite well in procurement, thank you very much. And it won’t be the big consulting firms either. Ultimately, it will be the buyers (and sellers of course if it’s going through the network – which it basically is designed to do) who will need to pay for the acquire-and-integrate approach.