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First-Person Experience: Pulling Together a Supplier Relationship Program

Tradeshift Baiwang

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Anthony Ryan, head of procurement operations at eir.

We have a pretty excellent P2P system at eir. It’s in the cloud, easy to use and delivers one of our primary objectives as a procurement team: spend under management. Our study of how best to address the needs of the SRM and CLM programs led us to consider the pros and cons of best-of-breed point solutions versus fully integrated end-to-end solutions that service all things procurement.

The Corporate Challenge of Third-Party Risk Management Staffing for Program Execution


Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Jeannie Pumphrey, senior director at Alvarez & Marsal.

Third-party risk management (3PRM) continues to be one of the top three risk-related topics discussed in the boardrooms and amongst executive management teams in the financial services industry. As corporations tackle the task of segmenting their provider base and identifying and managing the risk inherent to the use of third parties, lack of clarity regarding appropriate program ownership, accountability and responsibility forms a common challenge.

A Look Back at COP21: What the New Climate Change Agreement Means for Procurement

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Pierre-Francois Thaler, Co-CEO of EcoVadis.

After years of discussions, negotiations and anticipation, we’ve finally reached an international agreement on climate change. The pact establishes a commitment from 195 countries to take concrete measures to reel in carbon emissions and ultimately make the world a better, more sustainable place to live. But now that we have a framework to work with, there are a lot of questions to consider. How will this agreement impact organizations? What role will procurement need to play in reaching these new reduction goals?

Upfront Stakeholder Buy-In: The Keys to Success

Spend Matters welcomes this post by Jim Kiser, director of consulting at GEP. Let me ask a question: How much greater success do you believe is possible by gaining strong stakeholder buy-in for any new organizational project? I guess the more important question to ask yourself is, “How likely is a project to have challenges and risk a point of failure if buy-in is not agreed?” I have witnessed both, but let’s layout the areas of good stakeholder buy-in and ideas to gain strong engagement for your organization’s project. Stakeholder buy-in, for lack of a better term, is internal customers, resources and management who would support or oppose the decisions made by the business by internal or external individuals. In essence, gaining stakeholder buy-in is the first step toward involving these key decision makers in the project process in achieving an agreed consensus on their needs linked to the project direction.

Spend Visibility: It’s Best in the Raw

Spend Matters welcomes a guest post from Paul Blake, a sales manager at GEP. Earlier this week, I met with a prospective client to talk about spend visibility, big data. and all that good stuff. With the best of intentions of course, and having applied a very great deal of resource and brain power (and inevitably cold hard cash), this client had built a program of data capture, manipulation, and transformation, based on all sorts of rules and manual interventions all designed to make sense of their global spend patterns. I got the impression that they felt that had created a bit of a monster that they'd yet to get anything really, you know, useful out of.

Water, Water Nowhere and Not a Drop for Wheat to Drink

Despite global increases in wheat production, the United States and India have actually seen drops in recent years. That trend could persist as experts are predicting as much as a 3 percent decrease in yield from last year. A drought could have a serious effect on all crops this summer and if the production of maize or soybeans decreases, expect wheat prices to spike.

Maximizing Group Procurement Impact in Conglomerates

Premature demise and steady-state stagnation are two things that often lead to less effective group procurement functions within conglomerates. There are remedies to underachieving group procurement functions, however. Pranav Padgaonkar of GEP explains how to get the most out of centralized procurement and strategic sourcing.

Successful System Implementation Means Better Not Just Faster

Too often speed is the most valued aspect of a P2P system rollout. However, best-in-class P2P providers balance rapid implementation with effective strategy and high quality execution to expedite quick gains in efficiency and compliance. Understanding what makes the implementation process better is the only way to pick a P2P provider.

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.

Ethanol Prices Surge

Samatha Miles of Mintec discusses the cost of rising ethanol prices since the beginning of 2014. A number of factors, including our beloved polar vortex, contributed to the trend. Things could turn around, however.

The Vendor Management Office – 8 Principles for Success

More enterprises are taking a look at establishing a vendor management office (VMO) to make IT sourcing more effective. Companies are creating IT VMOs for reasons including the rapid growth of IT spending within the business, the decentralization of technology purchasing, and increased complexity in vendor pricing and licensing. There are no hard and fast rules for creating a VMO. Some companies have a very formalized approach with dedicated staffing and clearly defined roles and responsibilities. Others are more loosely organized. In both scenarios, the VMO’s effectiveness relies on the adherence to eight guiding principles.

Procurement’s Impact On Top Line: Lessons from Wal-Mart, Amazon, Ford and Apple

In most large organizations, there has been a traditional allocation of financial responsibilities among functions. Marketing and R&D are expected to drive top line growth, whereas procurement and operations impact costs and hence the bottom line. However, there are several examples of industries where procurement has played a much bigger role in driving innovation and the top line. Ambitious CPOs have expanded the scope of their impact. The success of companies such as Wal-Mart, Amazon, Ford, Dell, Apple and Boeing has been largely due to such visionary thinking.