practitioner Content

Procurement in Practice: ‘It’s always the people at the end of the supply chain that get squeezed’

publishing supply chain

Spend Matters is running a series of interviews with senior procurement and supply chain practitioners to highlight and share common experiences with their peers. We are discussing their challenges, their thoughts on people, process and technology, and their concerns or hopes for the future, across many industries.

The publishing industry, like all industries in recent years, has seen huge shifts in technology to help them operate, particularly within the supply chain. Often thought of as part of the analogue age of the dusty printing press, the industry and the supply chain that surrounds it has moved on: books have moved to digital, inkjet has paved the way for shorter print runs that are closer to the location of sale, and print on demand has seen extended use.

We spoke with someone who has 25 years of experience working in various roles within the industry, but primarily as Head of Supply Chain Operations at Cambridge University Press (UK) and as Publishing Services Manager at Elsevier (MA US). Simon Crump, now with SGC Publishing Consultants Ltd., has faced the challenges of running geographically dispersed production and supply chain operations. He understands the challenges of keeping to budget, driving management teams, allocating people and resource to large projects, all while navigating risk – subjects all procurement and supply professionals with are familiar with.

Deutsche Telekom Services Europe – People are key to transforming digital processes

digital processes

Deutsche Telekom Services Europe (DTSE) is known as the innovation-building speedboat of the telecommunications giant Deutsche Telekom Group. Like many large organizations in recent years DTSE has turned its attention to technology to help improve effectiveness, efficiency and customer experience, and to boost the firm’s agility and resilience for the future. For DTSE that journey began 10 years ago, when Peter Tasev, Senior Vice President of Procure to Pay, recognized the need for a standardized accounting process across the group. This was the beginning of what turned into the construction of a centralized platform, standardized master data and standardized processes across the whole procure-to-pay ecosystem. It resulted in decreased costs, increased quality and customer satisfaction, and contributed to the identification of new revenue streams and growth through innovation and technology.

It has been a long journey to systematically increase the scope and scale of the programme across departments, but has now changed the way business is done throughout shared services. We were interested to understand from Peter what the drivers for change had been, the challenges he and his team faced during the P2P transformation, the triumphs and the learnings.

Is coaching the missing link as an accelerator to embed Category Management capability?

category management

Future Purchasing regularly talks to new clients who tell us that they have tried category management several times but never make it stick, is this true of your organization? In this article, we will explore coaching as the missing link in sustaining and embedding category management.

Procurement in Practice — JSC Ukrainian Railways CPO talks to Spend Matters

CPO Sergii Dovgalenko

For our new monthly CPO interview series, Spend Matters' Nancy Clinton talks with Sergii Dovgalenko, an experienced procurement strategist and transformation executive. He is also a licensed tutor and author — his most recent book being “The Technology Procurement Handbook: A Practical Guide to Digital Buying." Prior to being CPO of JSC Ukrainian Railways, he was head of procurement for Etihad Airways in the UAE, where he headed up indirect procurement and P2P operations. He shares some career and recent insights.

“The interesting aspect of this,” explains Sergii, “is that we find ourselves working within parts of the business you wouldn’t normally expect for procurement."

ISS makes Spend Flexibility synonymous with Business Agility using Amazon Business

Amazon Business

ISS, a leading global workplace experience and facility management company, provides organizations with every facility solution they might require to support their own core activities. The key to being able to give its customers this total facilities management (TFM) service is ‘agility.’

The ability to respond quickly to customer demand, no matter how small, is something that can really differentiate a service provider in today’s market, and those that want to be a customer of choice must be able to do that. For the Procurement team, that requires sourcing excellence in all that they purchase.

The scale of the purchases involved for a multi-faceted FM outsourcing organization is huge. When a firm has a 100-year reputation of providing a quality service to maintain, and a breadth of services to offer grown out of strategic acquisitions, then standardization and compliance are paramount. One of the areas that historically generates many challenges for Procurement is that of tail spend. Ad hoc spending can go undetected, uncontrolled and become maverick. If a Procurement function wants complete vizibility, then it must also control the tail. Here's how ISS achieved this.

How can Procurement best align with Finance right now? A CFO perspective


Right now, as the COVID-19 pandemic takes its toll on jobs, consumer spending and the global economy, many businesses are scrambling to adjust to a new financial reality. They are also coming to terms with the fact that the path to recovery remains long, and mostly uncertain. Experts, including Deloitte, predict the U.S. economy won’t bounce back until the middle of 2021. And the Bank of England is anticipating slower recovery, as late as the end of that year, for the UK.

Within organizations, the CFO’s voice is one of the most critical during a crisis, but contributing directly to the firm’s financial resilience is the CPO, who has a strategic role in leading the business through the tough times ahead.

We spoke recently with one CFO who has many years of experience across corporate finance and public accounting and is now CFO of spend management firm Jaggaer. We asked Jeff Laborde how he sees Procurement and Finance best working together to drive benefits across the business, given their natural overlap in priorities and responsibilities.