Process and Best Practice Content

Future 5 start-up winner Utmost talks extended workforce solutions

Utmost, a contingent workforce and services procurement specialist, has made waves in the contingent services market with its extended workforce system, and was recently named a Future 5 start-up by Spend Matters. We chatted with Utmost’s co-founder and COO, Dan Beck, to learn more about the solution and to get a first-hand understanding of just what it means to be selected as a Future 5 start-up.

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Three years down the line: How Amazon Business is revolutionizing procurement

Amazon Business UK Dave Brittain

In a nutshell, Amazon Business was created to make businesses’ lives easier by saving them time and money. It is essentially the convenience of an e-commerce site optimized for the needs of B2B businesses. It has various clever tools and features to help increase efficiency and improve productivity, and is expanding the use of machine learning to automate manual and time-consuming tasks, making processes more streamlined. In a short period of time, it has helped millions of companies in Europe reap the benefits of digital buying. Spend Matters talks to the head of Amazon Business UK.

Why you are thinking about direct spend AP automation all wrong

In light of all the disruption over the last year, businesses must re-examine how they operate, and bottlenecks in back-office operations are ripe for digital transformation that can make companies more agile and resilient. One of the key chokepoints where supply chain operations teams think about procurement technology the wrong way is believing that an indirect AP automation solution can solve direct invoicing as well.

The nature of what’s being bought in direct procurement is more detailed, so your solution needs to account for that. Learn more here.

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Hang on and hang in: The roller coaster won’t last forever

If the past two decades have taught us anything, it’s that the world is in a constant state of flux. We can’t afford to become complacent or too comfortable.

I often find that once the dust has settled and some time has elapsed, I look back at those “What else could go wrong?” moments and realize I’m now a more resilient person better equipped to confront the unknown. Each catastrophe pushes us and our organizations to be innovative and operate with tenacity.

The best we can do now is to prepare ourselves to come back stronger and smarter.

Can services spend for engineering/maintenance be helped by a new technology approach?

Services procurement creates so many headaches across companies, and business leaders’ frustrations with it have risen to a level that it needs to be addressed.

Spend Matters has heard from procurement pros that technology doesn’t properly address all services workflows, doesn’t offer enough spend visibility, can’t be easily used by anyone across the company, and doesn’t fully meet compliance and audit needs due to the complex requirements of services procurement across various groups.

With an estimated $1 trillion in annual services spent by U.S. firms, those are big issues — especially when trying to buy engineering/maintenance services for manufacturing facilities and equipment, large turnaround projects, capital-intensive projects and IT operations outsourcing.

Managing this process takes a lot of manual, time-consuming attention and often doesn’t efficiently result in the desired outcomes. The effort and time to get engineering drawings or big projects from an offline team into the source-to-pay process raises the question: Why not start the digital process sooner, in the engineering/maintenance phase so the workflow, like sourcing for materials and vendors, can begin sooner and with more visibility?

Women in Procurement Wednesday: Lisa Reisman advocates for women to stand up for their careers, especially when facing challenges

If you’ve been following our social media channels recently, you might have noticed a new weekly feature called “Women in Procurement Wednesday.”

We met with Lisa Reisman to discuss how women can advocate for themselves in the workplace, especially as women face heightened challenges with the COVID-19 pandemic. Reisman is the first of many empowering women to share her expertise as a woman in procurement with our audience.

Tax technology prep: Consider these 4 areas when digitally transforming your business


In the first article in our look at tax issues and digital transformation, we noted that problems with tax transactions include overpayments or underpayments, penalties for not complying with the patchwork regulations across state and national borders, the risk of audits, and the lack of tax expertise in departments that handle technology — like IT, sales, finance and procurement.

Tax technology can curb these problems, add visibility and boost confidence in the business. Let’s take a look at what businesses should consider when looking for tax technology.

The Sustainable Procurement Pledge Q&A: ‘It’s exciting to find out how we can contribute’

The Sustainable Procurement Pledge (SPP) has just turned one year old. It’s a community of like-minded procurement people from industry, academia and third sector who are committed to embedding sustainability into their procurement practices, and its ranks are growing.

"What we already do in the tech world is help hire people that can advance a company’s progress with technology, so if we can do that with tech, why can’t we do that with CSR and sustainability?" said Andrew Daley, Director at Edbury Daley, a specialist recruitment consultancy that focuses on hiring for the procurement tech and spend management world.

Supplier collaboration is key to coming out of disruption on top

In an effort to showcase the importance of supplier collaboration in SRM, Vizibl is hosting a webinar this month titled “The Future of Procurement: How Sanofi Are Reinventing Their Approach To Supplier Relationships.” Sanofi is a Vizibl customer that has real-world knowledge of how supplier collaboration works. The company’s CPO will provide first-hand experience of the Supplier Collaboration and Innovation solution. To learn more and register for the free Nov. 25 webinar, visit Vizibl’s registration page.

At SIG session, VSP Global shares tips on procurement becoming a trusted advisor

It’s not enough to be a procurement practitioner anymore, according to execs at VSP Global, an eye care provider with worldwide operations. Procurement teams should play important roles across their businesses, they said at a recent Sourcing Industry Group’s online “SIGnature event.” To VSP, procurement must become a trusted advisor in an organization because it has the visibility across all departments.

“Procurement’s 360-degree view of the business is its No. 1 asset,” said Nathan Haydn-Myer, VSP’s Head of Procurement CoE, Distribution and Mail Services. “It’s not savings, it’s not supplier management. It is 100% the view of the business we have. If you think about it, procurement is the proverbial water cooler.”

Read more about VSP's five steps to becoming a trusted advisor.

Conga’s new CEO, Noel Goggin, talks company culture after merger and the future of CLM

Conga’s new CEO says he’s ready to scale up to be the specialist in contract lifecycle management (CLM), especially after last spring when Conga merged with Apttus, a quote-to-cash provider and document management vendor.

“You will see a pretty material shift at Conga now to innovating even harder,” Goggin said.

In a recent Zoom call, Goggin shared his vision of Conga. He hopes to work on the culture that will continue making Conga a key player in the CLM market.

2020’s Future 5 start-ups: Spend Matters announces standout newcomers in procurement technology

Spend Matters has always been committed to covering the bleeding edge of procurement technology, highlighting not only the established market contenders at the table but also some of the most exciting procurement technology start-up companies in the world. We’re thrilled to announce the second annual “Future 5” today.