guest post Content

UK government gets vaccine procurement right — What can we learn?

vaccine

Spend Matters welcomes this post from Peter Smith, procurement expert and author. 

The UK government has taken a lot of flack over the past year in terms of its Covid pandemic-related procurement. However, in one spend area, the UK appears to have outperformed most countries, including the member states of the European Union. That is in the acquisition of Covid vaccines, perhaps the most important procurement of all in this past year.

Figures from earlier this month showed that some 15% of the UK population had been vaccinated at a time when the figure stood at 3.6% for Spain, 3.1% for Germany and just 2.4% for France. So what did the UK get right, and what can we learn that might be applicable in other procurement situations? It looks like the UK really understood the nature of value and how that related to this specific procurement. Peter Smith explains why this is a vital point for all procurement, but one that is too often forgotten.

Procurement in the Pandemic — The goods/services debate takes a new turn

supply chain

Is supply chain swallowing up procurement? And if the pandemic has thrust supply chain management and risk mitigation into the limelight, what happens to the procurement folks? Peter Smith examines an industry discussion on whether this expanded universe of supply chain management, often with new dynamic leadership, is “swallowing up the somewhat independent procurement function. Rather than actively driving the supply side of the business, the (procurement) function may again be relegated into a subservient support role.”

‘Bad Buying’ hits the bookshelves for procurement leaders looking to avoid deals deemed failures, frauds — and worse

We are delighted to welcome this post from our friend and former colleague Peter Smith on the launch day of his new book. When I […]

Bad Buying, Believing the Supplier — and the Beauty of SolutionMap

bad buying

In this guest post, our former colleague Peter Smith gives us a sneak peak into his new book of insightful and funny tales of procurement blunders and failures, all from an industry insider point of view. He explains that his movtivation behind the book was a desire to communicate the importance of procurement to a wider business audience, and decided the best way to do that was to highlight fascinating stories about things going wrong, and what we can learn from them.

Connect Procurement’s “S-Curve” to that of the Business

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Conrad Smith, senior director of global procurement at Adobe. 

Every procurement department needs to “right-size” itself. Although it’s natural to set our vision on a “world-class” procurement department, it’s far more important to clearly understand the stage and needs of the business we support. From startup through growth and into stabilization, the business needs us to deliver value and support directly aligned with its key business goals.

Why Partial Automation Will Be a Smart Tool — Not a Replacement — For the AP Clerk

e-invoicing

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Laurent Charpentier, chief innovation officer at Yooz North America.

Accounts payable (AP) clerks at leading companies are already seeing machine-learning programs automate and streamline their daily work, flagging suspicious invoices, reducing cycle time and saving their organizations money. Artificial intelligence is boosting efficiency and making life easier for thousands of AP professionals today. But many of these professionals are undoubtedly wondering if sophisticated software might one day put them out of a job.

Supply Chain Flexibility: Does Your Design Pass the Proactive Test?

Global Risk Management Solutions

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Eric Robinson, senior project engineer at Kenco Group.

When your supply chain encounters a roadblock, how does it respond? Does one problem spiral into another, leaving you without visibility into the causes? If so, your supply chain design is reactive. Instead of showing and slowing the roadblock as soon as possible, your design left you wide open. As an overseer of your supply chain, you want to do whatever you can to arm it against slip-ups. You need to play the offensive to ensure your design (and your team members) are fully prepared for bumps in the road.

Strategies Every Procurement Professional Should Know to Reduce Inventory Levels and Cost

warehouse

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Ana Sofia Gómez, a manager at GEP.

In an organization, the challenge for optimizing costs goes beyond getting the best prices in the market through the procurement function. The challenge also involves implementing strategies, or acquiring added values and services that allow the organization to improve their process administration and get benefits from those improvements. With manufacturing companies, one area of opportunity is inventory management.

Traditional or Nurturing? 2 Methods for Recruiting Procurement Professionals

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Zelim Suleymanov, chief executive of PrECA.

It is not easy to find a top-class procurement professional. On the one hand, purchases require best practices expertise, and on the other hand, they need unconventional thinking and a creative approach. Highlights and challenges of up-to-date recruiting techniques with a focus on procurement can be found in a number of resources. Among them is procurement talent management and related issues described by Charles Dominick of the Next Level Purchasing Association.

I would suggest two possible headhunting models that can be used either individually or in combination when recruiting employees. They are what I call traditional and nurturing methods.

How to Smooth Manufacturer-Supplier Relationships Through AP Automation

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Howie Hahn, senior sales engineer at Esker.

Success in manufacturing depends on the mutually beneficial relationships between manufacturers and suppliers. Each party relies on the other to live up to its obligations, if either expects to move towards long-term success and growth. But business, like life, doesn’t always go as planned. Even relationships based on trust and mutual benefit can get rocky.

The key is to make sure that the inevitable bumps in the road don’t morph into ill feelings, mistrust or, worse, lawsuits. One tool that can help ensure that manufacturers and suppliers maintain smooth relationships is accounts payable (AP) automation.

The Benefits of Treating Your Suppliers Like Partners

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from James Gellert, chief executive of RapidRatings.

Suppliers and buyers haven’t always had the best relationship beyond the transaction. Historically, the relationship was focused on getting the lowest price and reliable delivery. While this made sense on paper, it inevitably created a zero-sum game, as suppliers were often seen as expendable. Suppliers knew they could be replaced at any time and therefore had little interest in being flexible or working in the purchaser’s best interest.

While many companies have since rethought this Draconian approach and have been successful in creating overall value beyond the transaction, those companies that have truly realized the benefits of treating suppliers like partners are able to transform themselves into a more focused, nimble and cost-effective global competitor.

America Needs a Bigger Closet

warehouse

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post by H. Cole Hassay, economist at IHS Markit.

Americans need more space to store their goods, according to warehouse construction data. Warehouse construction rose in 2016 by 8%, coming off three years of double-digit growth as consumers continue to demand more storage space. Rising demand, along with historically low interest rates, prompted this construction explosion. Though the Federal Reserve has signaled interest rates will be rising in the near term, warehouse construction should remain positive, though less dramatic, as demand persists.