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Q2 SolutionMap: 40 Procurement Software Companies, Ranked

Spend Matters today released its Q2 2018 SolutionMap, ranking 40 procurement software companies across nine different solution categories, including E-Procurement, Sourcing, Spend Analytics, Supplier Relationship Management and Contract Lifecycle Management, in addition to end-to-end suites and their capabilities. So what's new this quarter? Read on to take a peek under the hood.

3 Essential Factors to Facilitating Supply Chain Finance Adoption With Suppliers

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As general awareness about dynamic discounting and supply chain finance grows among practitioners, procurement groups are increasingly pushing their technology providers to offer early payment capabilities. These organizations are primarily seeking to strengthen their supply base, relieving the DPO stretch that has plagued small suppliers as of late while also improving their own working capital.

But while enthusiasm for such programs has grown with buying organizations and their technology providers, suppliers have been the reluctant missing piece to the early payment puzzle. To encourage the full spectrum of suppliers to fully adopt early payment, the parties offering these programs must team up explain the benefits in the supplier’s language, providing a seamless, flexible and fast experience that creates win-win scenarios for everyone involved.

Spend Management Versus E-Procurement: Is There a Philosophical Difference?

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

What is the difference — philosophically — between spend management software and e-procurement software? One of our readers recently posed the above question, noting the amount of noise out there over spend management and the general sense of confusion as to what constitutes spend management and what constitutes e-procurement. We’re always fond of these fun philosophical questions, so we asked our own Spend Matters analysts and editors for their opinions on this one.

Building the Business Case for SRM (Part 4): Reducing Supplier Risk

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Spend Matters welcomes this guest series from Sean Harley, co-founder and CEO of LUPR.

In this post in our series on developing the business case for investing in supplier relationship management (SRM) capabilities, we focus on reducing supplier risk. Supplier qualification (SQ), a subcomponent of SRM, enables your organization to identify suppliers with weak quality management processes, thereby minimizing your exposure to supplier noncompliance with safety, insurance, environmental and security requirements. In addition, SQ facilitates root cause analysis with suppliers performing poorly.

Cognitive Sourcing Provider LevaData Completes $12 Million Series B

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LevaData announced Tuesday it had completed a $12 million Series B financing round, led by Tola Capital. The sourcing technology provider plans to use the funding to deepen the capability of its platform, further innovations in engineering and data science, and expand into new industry verticals, according to a press release. Since 2014, LevaData has raised close to $20 million in venture capital, including $5 million in August of last year from its Series A round, also led by Tola Capital. 

Sole Sourcing and Lack of Weapon Design Experience to Blame for Pentagon’s Munitions Procurement Woes

The U.S. government is facing considerable challenges with its munitions procurement, as reported by Defense News in an article memorably headlined “The U.S. is Running Out of Bombs — And It May Struggle to Make More.” According to the latest annual Industrial Capabilities report from the Pentagon's Office of Manufacturing and Industrial Base Policy, sole sourcing and a lack of weapon design experience are crippling the U.S. industrial base.

Bringing Procurement Rigor to Merger Integration

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Bernard Gunther, co-founder of Spendata.

Mergers are rationalized by the expectation of post-merger synergies, a major one being cost reduction. However, cost savings opportunities that are routinely exploited by procurement are rarely a focal point for “clean teams” in pre-merger scenarios, or by the merged organization in the key 100 days of post-merger integration (PMI). In fact, the majority of mergers rarely deliver all of the expected cost savings.[2] In contrast, procurement can play a crucial role in planning for and delivering cost savings typically overlooked during the pre-merger analysis.

Achieving a Successful Robotic Process Automation Implementation: A Case Study of Vodafone and Celonis

Procurement organizations are beginning to catch on to robotic process automation (RPA) and the potential benefits that the technology can bring, which include cost reduction and more time for strategic, value-add activities. In fact, more than a third of procurement organizations are already piloting the technology, according to research from The Hackett Group. This was certainly the case for British multinational telecom corporation Vodafone, for which adoption of RPA quickly yielded results.

Supply Management Compensation Rose Last Year, But Not For Top Earners

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Salaries and overall compensation for supply management professionals not only increased in 2017 but also rose at a higher rate compared with salary growth for professionals overall. According to the Institute for Supply Management (ISM)’s recently released salary survey, now in its 13th year, the average overall compensation for supply management professionals in 2017 was a respectable $117,425. This marks a 1.7% increase from the average overall compensation in 2016, which was $115,440.

Study Finds Nascent Adoption of AI and Robotics in Retail and Manufacturing Supply Chains

Take a guess: How widespread is adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) in retail and manufacturing supply chains? The answer is somewhat complicated. According to a recent survey from Eft, 46.1% of retailers and manufacturers report no usage of AI in their supply chain operations, but a significant percentage (33.4%) are using the technology in an experimental manner. Only 4% reported extensive usage on specific business processes or throughout the entire supply chain.

Majority of CEOs Agree That Sustainability Holds Value to Businesses, Yet Few Are Measuring ROI

CEOs increasingly agree that sustainability holds value to businesses, but quantifying that value remains a challenge. A slight majority of business professionals believe that sustainability drives both revenue and savings for their businesses, but only 30% measure the ROI of their sustainability initiatives. These are some of the findings from the Ethical Corporation’s fourth annual Responsible Business Trends report. This year, more than 1,500 global business professionals took part in the survey, the majority based in Europe and North America. 

Top Providers to Know and Watch, Conference Mania and More: May Highlights on Spend Matters

There is perhaps not a busier month in the world of procurement than May. With the annual ISM conference and a host of other events taking place during the fifth month of the year, practitioners have come to expect a deluge of new developments. (Remember the sunsetting of IBM Emptoris last May, anyone?) Here at Spend Matters, we hope to help practitioners make sense of it all, as well as shine a light on the key trends we see as the procurement space continues to evolve. With that in mind, here are some highlights from our most-read articles in May.