Process and Best Practice Content

Supplier diversity is a missing business strategy, argues Jamie Crump in her book ‘Backstage Pass’

While a lot of organizations today see supplier diversity as the role of procurement within the company, if there is a diversity goal, then each of the different players in an organization has a role. Supplier diversity is a much broader initiative that, like any good business strategy, takes a village. It isn't for show, and it should not solely be a “supply chain issue” either, says Jamie Crump, President of the Richwell Group, a consulting firm that focuses on strategic sourcing and supplier diversity.

In her new book, “Backstage Pass: Pulling the Curtain Back on the Business of Supplier Diversity,” Jamie says that a sound supplier diversity program is very much C-suite material and that elevating it to a business strategy improves your bottom line.

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Supply chain health check: 10 things you should be doing in the COVID-19 era

As companies emerge from the coronavirus storm, it will be more important than ever to test the resilience of their supply chains in the current environment — and strengthen them in preparation for any future crises. From stress-testing the financial health of the supply chain to becoming more agile when onboarding new suppliers, companies should consider the following 10 actions:

The $1 trillion world of the B2B payments market, and what it means for procurement

If you are one of the many procurement people who find the world of B2B payments a bit of a mystery, worry not, for our payments specialists at Spend Matters are holding webinar discussions to clarify just how this space relates to procurement and to answer all your questions. One session will be held for North America and another for Europe. Register here.

The state of dynamic discounting in B2B payments

There is no argument that the demand for early payment on invoices is as strong as ever — that is to say, if you have invoices to generate. In the coronavirus era, many businesses have lost significant revenue. For example, businesses serving the U.S. hotel & food-services industry have shed 40% of jobs from January to May, and received only 8% of the government’s small business loans.

Many see early pay via dynamic discounting as a win-win — help suppliers get cash, and buyers manage cash at much better yields than alternatives.

For suppliers, it’s easy to present the advantages to make a yes/no decision — get paid early with a known discount, predictable cash flow and don’t worry about onboarding hurdles that most supply chain finance programs are burdened with.

But let’s explore the supply-side for a second. There are a number of factors at play in a COVID-19 world, some favorable and some not-so-favorable, that make one pause for consideration.

Modernizing the healthcare supply chain in the coronavirus era

healthcare

The COVID-19 crisis shook almost every industry globally, but the healthcare system was forced to adjust in real time.

Spend Matters’ Chief Research Officer Pierre Mitchell recently spoke with Karen Conway, Global Healthcare Exchange (GHX) Vice President of Healthcare Value, about the issues that hospitals faced with their supply chains, and how the industry has learned from its past mistakes.

“One of the first things I did when the crisis broke was to review lessons learned from past outbreaks: SARS, H1N1 and Ebola. In all, the supply chain was noted as one of the biggest challenges,” she said.

Credit cards and the true cost of interchange in B2B payments

Small Business Credit

Is B2B the next evolution for credit cards? As we all know, it’s not like a B2C merchant where the transaction takes place face-to-face and you get your goods immediately or through e-commerce, where the goods arrive within a day or two. B2B transactions have disputes, invoices, adjustments. Find out more about the hurdles facing B2B card use.

How procurement leaders can become catalysts for enterprise transformation: A Q&A with Globality’s Keith Hausmann

The way that businesses buy and sell services and goods has dramatically changed over the past few years. Procurement leaders are rapidly revisiting their operating models and investing in capabilities that provide ongoing business continuity as well as position their companies for long-term growth.

In this article, Globality Chief Revenue Officer Keith Hausmann shares some of the important actions that procurement leaders can take to become the impetus for enterprise transformation, driving new sources of value for their companies and stakeholders.

‘The answer to a better nation is supplier inclusion’

Procurement veterans Daryl Hammett and Jason Busch, who have expertise in supplier diversity and the power of how businesses spend their money, propose in a new paper that the economic and racial disparity that’s forcing the United States to confront long-standing inequalities can be eased by greater access to business opportunities.

They realized current programs were not working, and their paper proposes business and policy changes to enable what the authors describe as "supplier inclusion" to create lasting change and economic uplift.

Read about supplier inclusion and 10 ways to support it here.

Technology can bring departments like HR, procurement together to increase extended workforce and solve problems

As the use of workers not categorized as traditional W-2 employees — aka the extended workforce — grows at a rapid pace, companies are often struggling to find, engage and keep those workers at competitive market rates. Traditional sourcing methods are no longer optimal in the global economy, which demands a wide search for the best talent, increasingly without regard for the geography of that talent.

While sourcing this extended workforce is often managed through procurement, there may be required input from legal, HR and finance. These departments often operate independently, with limited communication and siloed business practices, creating inefficiencies and slowing the process.

Outdated technology (if any) and manual processes associated with extended workforce procurement, management and oversight create even more potential issues.

To find out how companies can enhance procurement, use data better, break down barriers between departments and have procurement improve overall business value, we talked with Jens Audenaert, General Manager at WorkMarket, ADP’s freelance management system provider that helps businesses unlock the power of their extended workforce.

Knowing your supply and demand before it happens is now possible with demand sensing

Forecasting customer demand for goods and services is not simply the territory of the supply chain manager, although it is a crucial operation for them. It is also the foundation for the intelligence on which business-critical assumptions are made by other stakeholders regarding budgets, profit margins, cash flow, capital expenditure, risk assessment, capacity planning and resource allocation.

So, demand forecasting — or demand sensing — gives an organization a prediction on which strategic plans can be made, and clearly that prediction must be as accurate as possible.

Before demand-forecasting techniques were employing AI and machine learning, a user would choose a single algorithm that could give them the best prediction, but now, powerful machines can run dozens of algorithms in parallel, allowing the system to pick the one best suited for a particular geography, customer, channel or any combination that can run into the thousands.

To cut business risk, tax problems need to be addressed in procurement’s digital transformation

Discussions about the digital transformation of business processes often go into great detail about things like the technology for matching invoices and purchase orders (PO’s) or how e-procurement catalogs can ensure on-contract buying and tame rogue spend — but the complexity of handling taxes is rarely addressed. And that’s a huge risk to businesses.

AI will shift our industry ​even​ ​more​ ​than​ the internet did 20 years ago. Here’s why.

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Julien Nadaud, SVP of Innovation at Corcentric.

There have been significant shifts in computing every 10 to 15 years, starting in the 1980s with personal computers, then the internet in the ’90s and more recently the advent of mobile in the mid-2000s. What’s next for computers and the digitalization of the world? After the internet, artificial intelligence (AI) looms large.