Process and Best Practice Content

How to assess supplier risk management: An overview report and checklist

Procurement professionals must consider many factors when working to protect their organizations from risks — from reputational problems, compliance issues, changing regulations to cyber security and social responsibility. A WBR Insights report built on advice from the consulting firm GEP and the technology provider Global Risk Management Solutions (GRMS) focuses on supplier risk management.

Deploying AI-driven spend analytics: How to prepare your company for increased visibility

Modern spend analytics relies on artificial intelligence for a number of reasons, including the need for a robust tool to manage all of the data being generated and the need for advanced technology to make sense of different data streams. This innovation provides new visibility that can benefit procurement operations and generate business value overall, according to research by Spend Matters and others.

In the first article in this series, we discussed how companies decide if they need a full procurement technology system to understand their spend or if a best-of-breed spend analytics solution offers better insights into the future as well as analyzing past performance.

In today’s post, we’ll look broadly at the tech selection process, specific considerations for spend analytics, and the procurement-focused findings of an A.T. Kearney paper that shows how spend analytics fits within the digital transformation of all businesses.

2020 Predicaments in Contract Management: Poor Adoption, CLM Market Fragmentation and Limited Imagination

contract lifecycle management

(Editor’s note: Spend Matters’ analysts are taking on the new year by looking at their areas of procurement technology to see what’s broken and what can and should be fixed this year. Here, analyst Nick Heinzmann lays out problems in contract lifecycle management (CLM). In another piece also published today for our PRO subscribers, he lays out his predictions for 2020.)

Businesses may be trying to bring themselves into the 21st century on a wave of digital transformation, especially as it relates to B2B e-commerce, but this technological evolution has a major stumbling block — contracts.

Across industries and company sizes, businesses exhibit low maturity for their approach to contract management.

This presents both a problem and a missed opportunity.

So what’s holding businesses back from attaining contract management enlightenment? We see a few major impediments:

2020 Digital Procurement Series: Predicaments and Predictions, an Introduction

2020 is finally here and there’ve been many “2020 Visions” (get it?) published as various analyst firms and consultancies have published their predictions for the coming year. As you may know, we are generally not big fans of the typical predictions pieces because their insights are too obvious.

Don’t get me wrong — there’s nothing wrong with summarizing the trends that are happening right now and then extrapolating those forward with some prediction based on high likelihood scenarios. But if you overly focus on existing players in existing markets using traditional approaches, you may very well miss emerging threats and opportunities, both as a practitioner and as a solution/service provider.

So, next week, Spend Matters’ analyst team will be publishing a series of 2020 predictions within their respective areas based on:

* The largest digital procurement capability/vendor gaps that are plaguing practitioners.
* Vetting these areas to make sure they’re addressable technically and also commercially — e.g., total cost modeling and management is a foundational capability that has huge gaps and organizational disconnect (between procurement and finance) and an area that we geek out on, but will not likely see much movement as a breakout category even though a few interesting big data/AI start-ups are nobly charging at this windmill.
* Some higher probability scenarios, but also some scenarios where we’ll go out on a limb.

Today, you can read more about the predicaments and pain points that we’ll address regarding digital procurement:

Customer reviews for BuyerQuest are in the new SolutionMap Customer Insights report

This week’s SolutionMap Customer Insights report focuses on customer reviews for BuyerQuest, a provider of e-commerce solutions. The applicable SolutionMap category for this report is in E-Procurement.

SolutionMap Insider members can read about BuyerQuest in our latest report.

In each Customer Insights report, we provide a one-page summary of details from the SolutionMap peer review process. It includes ratings on how well the vendor meets its customers' expectations, three key differentiators for the vendor and a list of quotes from customers about the vendor’s greatest strengths.

Success is ‘the provider’s responsibility,’ Scanmarket says in webinar on implementation, ROI and services


Talk of digital transformation and which procurement technology to acquire take up a bulk of the conversation about how businesses should grow, but leaders in procurement software say that businesses should not ignore the implementation and consulting services that should be deployed along with the latest solutions.

In a recent webinar about getting a solid return on your technology investment, Spend Matters Founder Jason Busch talked with Scanmarket about how its team of experts helps customers succeed in using the new tool, deploying it with change management, setting the KPIs to match the buyer’s goals and assessing the success in the months after implementation.

Efficio: If procurement ignores digital literacy and soft skills, it faces ‘being wiped from the corporate map’

digital business transformation

Technology is becoming ubiquitous across all facets of the contingent labor industry, and procurement departments are feeling the evolutionary pull. Procurement operating models are changing, incorporating technology to enable better decision making. Without a greater focus on the people who will implement new strategies and solutions, however, that technology will not bring value.

In a recent Efficio study, “The Human Factor: Strategic Procurement and the Leaders of Tomorrow,” the procurement consultancy found that two key elements — digital literacy and soft skills — are necessary for procurement to successfully implement new models that will allow them to make data-driven decisions with a highly skilled workforce.

To understand how companies can use the survey in practical ways, we talked with Efficio Principal Simon Whatson.

2020 predictions from procurement software experts SAP Ariba, SAP Fieldglass and more

We’re continuing our compilation of 2020 predictions from experts in the procurement software market — with a look at what executives from SAP Ariba and SAP Fieldglass have to say. Spend Matters Europe Editor Nancy Clinton has collected 2020 predictions from a range of procurement software experts, including the source-to-pay suite provider SAP Ariba and SAP Fieldglass, a provider of technology for services procurement and external workforce management. They provided six predictions about procurement and procurement technology:

2020 predictions from procurement software experts like Basware, Ivalua, Efficio and more

Spend Matters Europe Editor Nancy Clinton has collected 2020 predictions from a range of procurement software experts like Basware, Ivalua, Efficio, VORTAL, State of Flux and more. The posts have run on the days leading up to the New Year, and more will run in the coming week. Here, we've consolidated the predictions and provided a highlight from each vendor.

How Mastercard leveraged its business ecosystem to identify new revenue opportunities  

supplier network

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from John Thielens, the CTO of Cleo, an ecosystem integration software company that keeps its eye out for developments like Mastercard’s partnerships.

Recently, Mastercard unveiled a series of partnerships targeting an array of industries and services in an effort to further push its business ecosystem beyond the realm of electronic payments. One of these initiatives included a blockchain-enabled partnership designed to increase the transparency of companies' supply chains. Let’s take a look at the strategy behind this partnership and the value it brings to Mastercard’s customers.

Cyber risks and the future of AI on procurement are highlighted in Dun & Bradstreet Sentiment Report

Concerns about cyber issues and how to get artificial intelligence into procurement have grown, and confidence is fluctuating over the effectiveness of compliance and procurement functions among U.S. and U.K. businesses, according to the annual Dun & Bradstreet Compliance and Procurement Sentiment report. Cyber-risk topped the list of concerns, rising above internal regulatory training and customer and vendor due diligence priorities from the past four quarters. A majority of compliance and procurement professionals now also agree that AI will play a part in enhancing efficiency and generating insights within their business functions.

The evolution of product cost management tools and the state of the art (Part 2): The 2nd revolution


Spend Matters welcomes this two-part guest post from Eric Hiller, Managing Partner of Hiller Associates, a business performance consultancy specializing in product cost management (PCM).

Our first article in this series looked at product cost management software and how it fits in with the world of procurement software in the earlier years of development. This Part 2 focuses on the second wave of developments in PCM: feature-based automated 3-D CAD costing tools, advanced cost-accounting and control systems; the role of little and big data; and the future of product cost management.