Process and Best Practice Content

In the coronavirus crisis, we can help in many ways — like donating blood

I was speaking with my long-time friend Tom Nash, the Chief Procurement Officer at the American Red Cross, and he said that they need blood more than ever. So please give blood (or donate money) to the Red Cross! The blood donation page is here, and there’s lots of information about the process: safety, who can donate, types of donations, etc.

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Simfoni offers free mapping of your COVID-19 supply risks: Read its methodology for addressing coronavirus problems

Dear Readers,

In recent days, Simfoni has developed a COVID-19 risk assessment dashboard to help its customers assess potential business impact arising from supply chain disruption. Given the acuteness of this situation, we have decided to provide this dashboard on a complimentary basis in the interest of supporting businesses, jobs and maybe even lives.

In this article, I describe the methodology applied in our COVID-19 Risk Assessment so that readers can recreate the analysis and apply it to their own situations. Our assessment follows three stages: Identification, Supply Market Risk Analysis and Mitigation.

Coupa CEO implores procurement pros to lead businesses through the coronavirus crisis

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Coupa CEO and Chairman Rob Bernshteyn, whose letter about procurement’s role in tackling the coronavirus crisis originally appeared on LinkedIn.

It's been a long time coming, and no one wanted it to occur under these circumstances, but procurement is now a primary focus of attention at your company. It’s time to show everyone what you can do. Your company is asking for you and your department to step up like never before, under the tremendous pressure we are all under, and lead. Specifically, you can provide leadership in at least four key areas right now.

Coronavirus-era advice: Tips on asking suppliers for payment-term extensions and other concessions

Disruption from the coronavirus outbreak is forcing some tough conversations about payments.

It’s never an easy topic, but asking suppliers for concessions on a call or video chat in an empathetic manner — or even pre-empting the discussions by socializing ideas early — is far more effective and conducive for relationship-building and joint development than sending out emails, letters or other methods.

Click on this post for a partial list of approaches you might take (and questions to pose), ideally in conversation with suppliers if you need to ask for concessions, given all of the disruption from COVID-19.

Coronavirus Response survey: Spend Matters needs YOUR insights on the crisis

In response to the current COVID-19 pandemic, Spend Matters technology analysts have developed a Coronavirus Response series to help our readers understand the array of ways that procurement practitioners are using tools and techniques to respond to the crisis in the short-to-medium term. This is a non-commercial effort to see where procurement organizations can help themselves, their supply chains and beyond.

As such, we'd love to learn from procurement pros and share what you're seeing in the trenches and how we can help. Please contact me personally at, or email our team here.

For technology providers and consultants, we’d appreciate hearing back from you on a few questions we have.

You can use this Google survey form to easily answer the questions and send to us.

Coronavirus has global logistics sector reeling

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Dan Khasis, CEO and Founder of Route4Me, a global route optimization software company.

Since China reported the first case of coronavirus to the World Health Organization (WHO) about 12 weeks ago, the arteries of the global logistics sector have begun to clog up.

The measures taken by governments to curb the spread of the virus, such as a lockdown of manufacturing units and social distancing, are crimping the demand of goods and threatening to disrupt global supply chains.

SAP’s Ariba Live online: ‘The Network Effect for Buyers and Suppliers’

virtual supplier room

Like my Spend Matters colleagues, I congratulate SAP Ariba on its decision to move the canceled Ariba Live event in Las Vegas to online. Its folks deserve a round of applause for their ability to pull it off in such a short time and for offering it on-demand.

The Spend Matters analyst team has given ourselves the task of commenting on the videoconferences that posted Wednesday. In my case I’ll comment on the videoconference "The Network Effect for Buyers and Suppliers" that was given by Sean Thompson, executive vice president and general manager, Network & Ecosystem, SAP Procurement Solutions.

From ‘Ariba Live’ to SAP Ariba not-so-live: A dispatch in the coronavirus era

SAP Ariba launched the 19th annual version of its Ariba Live event today, but this year was a virtual event since the physical Las Vegas event was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Las Vegas has plenty of microbes anyway, but not of this sort, and SAP Ariba was obviously right in canceling — like SIG, Basware and many other procurement conferences.

The first Ariba Live session was from Chris Haydon, who is “President of Procurement Solution Area,” which in German SAP speak means that he’s the senior product/strategy executive. Commercial operations have been folded into broader SAP, and there are many coordination/integration touchpoints across the SAP ecosystem too numerous to highlight, but Spend Matters’ PRO subscribers can get into the gory details here.

CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE: Our PRO introduction to finding go-to technology vendors in a crisis is now unlocked

The response to the coronavirus outbreak has gotten more urgent since last week, when Spend Matters’ analysts brainstormed and began this PRO subscription series about the procurement technology providers that can help in a crisis, like the global COVID-19 pandemic.

A national emergency has been declared in the U.S., and more actions are being taken by nations, businesses and individuals to stem the virus’ spread. The series is meant to inform our PRO subscribers about the go-to vendors to seek out in a crisis, but we would like to share the introduction to it outside the paywall given the crisis, to help all Spend Matters readers.

Short of finalizing investment decisions in specific technologies, our hope is that this will get you far down the path of pursuing the right investments now, and on the upswing from the crisis. If you need a specific COVID-19 tech provider shortlist, recommended options based on your specific needs or want to speak to an analyst about any topic, don’t hesitate to reach out, as we’re offering a significant incentive for new Spend Matters practitioner clients.

Through March 2020, Spend Matters is offering a special PRO Expert Survival Pack to procurement practitioners only at up to 50% off our normal subscription and services package. — Click here to learn more

SAP Ariba targets ‘new generation of business leaders who understand that social impact, commercial gains are not mutually exclusive’

sustainable supply chain

A recent discussion with social-impact technology company Givewith about linking sustainability efforts directly into businesses led us to explore the company’s relationship with SAP Ariba, which shared its reasoning for the collaboration.

“Our partnership with Givewith reflects a desire to work with a new generation of problem-solvers and business leaders who understand that social impact and commercial gains are not mutually exclusive,” said Sean Thompson, executive vice president and general manager, Network & Ecosystem, SAP Procurement Solutions.

That newness and the potential of this value proposition is what’s so intriguing.

Givewith’s novel approach seamlessly embeds social-impact funding opportunities into each transaction and directs a portion of the deal with a nonprofit, social enterprise or NGO whose impact is financially material to both companies.

Because so many companies connected on Ariba Network can now plug into Givewith’s capabilities from the start of a project, this integration opens the door to scale programs for corporate social responsibility (CSR) and efforts related to environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues.

To learn more about the partnership, SAP’s Sean Thompson joined us for a discussion.

As coronavirus outbreak forces firms to cancel events, these tips can help you negotiate with the venues


Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Talia Mashiach, the Founder and CEO of Eved, a spend management and payments platform built for meetings and events.

Knowledge is key to any negotiation, and this is no different in situations when you cancel or postpone a meeting or event. Cancellations are happening worldwide as a precaution against the coronavirus outbreak, but many reasons can lead to calling off or delaying an event. So understanding how to handle this situation is important.

Tech selection Q&A: ‘There are a lot of people throwing terms around and don’t know what the hell they’re talking about’

In our look at how companies do tech selections, some firms cast a wide need to see what the market has to offer and some go hunting for specific business needs.

Versatex, a spend management firm that needed a spend analytics solution, did its tech selection using a rigorous set of requirements and it took five months to find the right vendor, Simfoni, and confirm that it was a good fit, the Cincinnati-based Versatex said.

“Because spend analytics is a rapidly evolving space, if you're not out there teaching yourself something new and staying abreast of what's going on, you're behind,” said Nathan Jenkin, Versatex’s VP of Strategic Sourcing and Spend Analytics.