Process and Best Practice Content

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How to boost confidence and agility with Budget to Pay

GEP Budget to Pay

Typical budgeting approaches — including ZBB, or zero-based budgeting, and a variety of other cost reduction initiatives — have been the norm for years. However, maverick, non-compliant spending continues to be a big obstacle to delivering value and leads to savings leakage.

A fully compliant purchase means buying from the correct supplier, at the right price and with adequate volume. To drive spending through compliant channels, mature organizations use rigorous procure-to-pay solutions to address the price and supplier aspects of compliance. It works well.

But where you don’t see a fully evolved solution is in the demand control space.

What can you do?

Try a holistic, closed-loop demand compliance approach to budgeting — what we at GEP call Budget to Pay.

Organizations have made some strides in demand compliance. Many have done three steps really well:

Trust in data and how businesses use data affect decision making, according to study by NC State, IBM, CIPS

Not all data is created equal, and it turns out that companies that don’t treat their data well or that have low “data literacy” also don’t make the best business decisions either, according to two authors of the 4th annual Data Quality & Governance Study, published by NC State University, IBM and CIPS.

Spend Matters talked with the study authors Joseph Yacura and Robert Handfield, PhD, to hear more about the findings.

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Incremental to exponential: 5 overlooked benefits of procurement automation


The most obvious benefits of AI-powered procurement automation are speed and efficiency. But a more holistic and compelling business case for investing in automation requires consideration of ancillary benefits. These advantages are often more important than speed and efficiency and they can crystalize the case for senior executives that automation can lead to a step change in procurement performance.

Across the source-to-pay procurement solution landscape, automation solutions powered by robotic process automation (RPA), natural language processing (NLP) and artificial intelligence (AI)/machine learning (ML) are emerging to help teams improve performance like never before. The problem: many procurement leaders still struggle to articulate the business case clearly. Alan Holland, CEO of Keelvar, gives five overlooked benefits of procurement and sourcing automation that should be front and center of your initiative.

Procurement trends: Cleaning robots en route, and on the payments front, there’s crypto currencies

Hundreds of thousands of attendees around the world gathered for the virtual Web Summit, the world’s largest technology conference that brings together leaders from all kinds of industries.

From big-name investors like Mark Cuban to sports stars and movie stars, the topics covered were varied. However, there was a lot of conversation around technology, artificial intelligence, fintech and B2B payments. These are topics that are of growing importance in the procurement world as well.

Between the hundreds of events at Web Summit, service robots and crypto currencies were two themes that could find their way into procurement in the future.

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


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.

A.T. Kearney’s great shakeout report anticipates national self-sufficiency, accelerated M&A in the wake of Covid-19

direct materials LevaData

On top of the health effects already seen across the globe from Covid-19, the pandemic has affected governments, businesses and citizens in ways that will have lasting effects on the world order and economy, according to A.T. Kearney, which explores these seismic changes and examines possible trends from 2020-2025 in its “The Great Shakeout” report. 

Women in Procurement Wednesday: Shannon Kreps on pushing yourself to find a voice in the procurement world

Procurement bridges business operations, so it’s imperative that the professionals running the department become a jack of all trades. It involves a mixture of data analytics and project creativity, or the combo of teamwork and being self-sufficient.

That’s exactly what Shannon Kreps strives for as the vice president of product marketing at Medius, a provider of spend management solutions. With her nearly 25 years of industry experience, she’s established herself as an expert in the field.

Read and listen to our interview with Shannon Kreps for the women in procurement series. She shares how to find your voice in procurement.

Procurement in 2030: More change coming than ever before


We talked to Dave Jones, indirect and IT procurement leader, to understand more about his session at the forthcoming eWorld event.

You’ll see from the agenda that there is an abundance of content streams to choose from. All are run by people rich in experience who are ready to share their learnings and personal take on the great issues of our industry today. David has worked with several large businesses including Waitrose, Efficio and Vodafone, and until very recently was a member of the leadership team with John Lewis Partnership where they undertook a complete digital transformation of the source-to-settle landscape. He believes that we will see more change in procurement over the next five to 10 years than we have experienced in the last 20. So his session will cover the key trends he sees, what it means for everyone involved with procurement and how you can prepare for them.

Spend Friends podcast discusses importance of data quality with Robert Handfield

Procurement needs to focus on its data quality, according to Robert Handfield, a distinguished professor of supply chain at North Carolina State University.

Handfield was the latest guest on the Spend Friends video podcast series. Spend Friends is a monthly talk hosted by Bill Michels, the VP of Operations — Americas at the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS) USA, and Pierre Mitchell, Spend Matters’ Chief Research Officer. Its goal is to focus on all procurement matters under the sun, like spend management, supply chain and other topics.

Handfield joined Michels and Mitchell for the third episode to discuss supply chain data — what’s gone right and what’s gone wrong in the industry. Click to read more or listen to the whole podcast.

Real-time finance data seen as key to CFO planning in uncertain times, Accenture finds

real time financial data

Last year brought many challenges and forced business leaders to adapt to volatile market conditions as the coronavirus crisis demonstrated the need for real-time data to inform business decisions, according to a recent Accenture study.

But even as executives long for real-time visibility they also see technology issues as a barrier, despite its benefits, the study found. They have questions about paying for the technology, implementing it and finding the right people to run it.

Get smart — Early-pay finance vendor assessment

How does a corporation begin to evaluate vendors? What questions should they ask? This can seem overwhelming. Following a disciplined approach helps. We at Spend Matters have built a detailed early-pay finance solution map template of 100+ unique requirements. Here is a look at a sample of some key categories along with a few sample questions.

If you’re not digitally transforming, you’re dying. (6 reasons to go digital now)

procurement software

Let’s say your organization is already using digital for marketing and e-commerce, but you are not truly “digitally driven.” Maybe you provide customers with a good app — but it’s really just an add-on. You’re not aggressively creating products and experiences that take full advantage of the potential of digital. You can’t honestly say you’re digital at the core. If this describes you, is it truly necessary to change?

Most likely yes. Here are just a few reasons why.