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Q&A: ‘Unless procurement takes a different view to management of services spend, it will continue to be difficult to get it right’

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A recent study suggested that most companies’ contingent workforce management (CWM) programs are not doing very well at managing the sourcing and consumption of services. That raises the question of whether some approaches to services spend may be better than others.

We talked with Jon Kesman, Head of Procurement Solutions at Allegis Global Solutions (AGS), to get his perspective on what are some of the problems with current approaches within CWM programs and what may be needed to overcome them.

“Unless procurement takes a different view to management of services spend,” Kesman told us, “it will continue to be difficult to get it right.”

In the following Q&A, Kesman further explains his viewpoint and elaborates on what may be more effective ways to manage the procurement of services.

Afternoon Coffee: GEP adds AI-backed AP automation solution; Procurement Spark is job board for practitioners; the electric ‘Tesla Semi’ in Texas

GEP adds an AP automation solution to its source-to-pay suite of offerings. In other news, knowing where the jobs are these days is vital, and Procurement Spark and Supply Chain Spark are two new job boards for practitioners. Also, Tesla confirms that Texas has won the production plant for the new Tesla Semi truck, as well as production of other vehicles at the planned Austin factory. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news.

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How Promena helps customers with our managed services model

Digitally powered procurement means operational efficiency, financial benefits, traceability and access to vital data. On a more detailed level, digitization covers predictive analyses, data analytics, ERP integrations and end-to-end processes.

But can just one single software solution be enough? Do companies also have different expectations or need a different type of service while running their processes digitally?

10 Theories on Procurement Technology Venture Stage Investment (Thesis 2: Marketplaces)

I love B2B marketplaces. At least intellectually. That’s why the topic of marketplaces is part of this series on early stage procurement technology investing. Thesis 1 looked at automation and vendors in that space, and today we’ll look at providers of marketplace solutions.

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Global trade trends and their impact on procurement

As businesses settle into their “new normal,” we at Basware commissioned a report with the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) to dive into the latest global trade trends and topics that executives are most concerned about. Together with Pete Swabey, Editorial Director of EMEA Thought Leadership, we looked at what these trends mean for procurement and finance professionals and identified three themes procurement should prioritize to minimize disruptions to their supply chain and day-to-day business.

10 Theories on Procurement Technology Venture Stage Investment (Thesis 1: Automation)

In a series of columns the rest of this summer, I’ll share 10 theories that I believe will drive investments in earlier-stage (angel/seed and Series A/B) start-ups in the procurement technology market. Today I’ll start with automation.

5 Themes That Excite Me About Procurement & Finance Tech Venture Investing


I’ve spent over 20 years studying the procurement solutions and technology market. A tremendous amount has changed in this time.

When I first wrote a column for Information Week about B2B negotiations and reverse auctions in early 1999 before meeting the founders of FreeMarkets — who convinced me to leave management consulting and join them — there were perhaps a dozen providers in the market with any commercial traction.

To say the sector has grown up is an understatement!

There are over 1,000 providers out there today that my Spend Matters colleagues track (a number that is growing weekly).

Besides the sheer growth, there are five key reasons I’m excited about this market today from a seed/angel and venture perspective. These are:

Flush with cash: Should dynamic discounting be part of your investment strategy?

Regardless, one of the chief problems that cash-rich Treasurers are having is determining how to increase returns GIVEN current policy restrictions for the types of investments that can be made. What if you invest the cash into higher yielding assets? There are a lot of things you can do. What risk are you willing to take on? Do you want BB- bonds for higher yield? What are your restrictions for the types of investments that can be made? What type of illiquidity can you live with?

One option is to broaden self-funding to all your suppliers with an early pay program.

Digital trade ecosystem has obstacles — Are S2P networks part of the answer?

Any trade finance solution must be corporate-centric when it comes to digital connectivity. Everyone knows the coronavirus pandemic is pushing us more toward digital. I believe source-to-pay (S2P) networks already have a step up because they have digitized the buy process and enable the invoicing to be electronic as well.