Process & Best Practice Content

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5 Essential E-Procurement Operations Capabilities

A wealth of information exists for companies contemplating the launch of an e-procurement platform. Yet learning about the capabilities needed to support ongoing operations has been extremely difficult — until now. Our latest eBook, E-Procurement Operations: Post-launch Capabilities to Ensure Your Success, provides insights on the capabilities needed for successful e-procurement operations.

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Working Capital Optimization: 3 Things to Avoid

In my last blog I outlined why you needed to reconsider your approach to working capital and why current programs are limited in their capabilities. In this blog I wanted to outline the things you need to avoid, or at the very least be aware of when approaching a working capital program.

A Big Green Idea: How Procurement Can Balance Profitability and Sustainability

External forces — from climate change to shifts in generational expectations — are causing businesses to take a hard look at the sustainability of their supply chains, and procurement organizations are uniquely positioned to effect environmental and financial change for the greater good, speakers said at Procurious’ 2018 Big Ideas Summit on Thursday in Chicago. In presentations from leading procurement professionals and supporting technology providers, speakers encouraged attendees to reconsider what was possible in the supply chain, including common misconceptions about sustainability.

How Can Procurement Find Savings When Commodity Prices Are Going Up, Up, Up?

Editor’s note: This is part of the Ask Spend Matters series, where readers send in their burning questions about procurement and supply chain.

While going through questions that our readers have sent us, we came across one regarding how and where procurement practitioners can find savings when commodity prices are going up. The reader, a senior procurement manager, had noted that procurement’s primary task of finding savings is becoming difficult. This is an ever-relevant topic, and we enlisted the expertise of Stuart Burns, editor-at-large at MetalMiner, in coming up with some concrete tips for other procurement professionals facing this challenge. Read on!

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How Procurement Best Practices Are Stifling Innovation — And What to Do About It

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Many companies have discovered that best practices for managing professional services spend have imposed financial discipline but have come at the expense of innovation and organizational agility. Now, growing interest in agile development methodologies — in which small, cross-functional teams are empowered to work independently on complex problems — is prompting procurement officers to wonder whether the on-demand talent marketplace could help them regain ground at a lower price point. After all, the push for agility is driven by a need for companies to respond more quickly to opportunities and threats by nimbly adjusting the assets — including human ones — they put against each one.

To Deliver Superior Field Services Outcomes, Businesses Should Look to the Freelance Economy

Managing a modern-day field service function presents numerous challenges to business leaders. Consistently getting the right person for a service request to the right place at the right time has only become more difficult in today’s hyper-competitive, on-demand business environment. To meet these challenges, businesses have increasingly looked to augment their current W-2 field service employees by engaging third-party vendors. But while diversifying beyond full-time technicians is a reasonable start, businesses should not stop at merely outsourcing field services functions to external partners.

These 3 Data Problems Could Be Draining Your Company’s Resources

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Brian Alster, global head of supply and compliance products at Dun & Bradstreet.

When you’re working on estimating the costs of your third-party relationships, the last thing you want to find are holes or inaccuracies in your data. It can leave you unable to make informed, data-driven decisions. This fear might explain why, according to Forrester research, almost a third of enterprise architects and chief data officers spend at least 40% of their time discerning the credibility of their data before using it to make critical decisions.

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The Imperative to Improve Working Capital: Driving Forces and Emerging Solutions

Improving working capital performance has become increasingly important to companies in recent years, yet few procurement and finance organizations have found truly sustainable, long-term solutions to support this goal. The problem is that immediate external forces are pushing businesses to make working capital improvements now, while the sound financial strategies to maintain these changes require more than a few “quick fixes” to ultimately succeed.

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How to Proactively Defend Against Supply Chain Risks from Section 232 and 301 Tariffs

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The escalating U.S.-China trade war has put billions of dollars of Chinese imports under tariffs — but thousands of Chinese products are about to fall under additional duties. Off the back of the Trump administration's Section 232 investigation, which resulted in steel and aluminum tariffs, the recently finalized Section 301 investigation has targeted numerous Chinese products. Many procurement organizations have been following the investigation and its potential effects on their supply chains, but knowing exactly how a decision could introduce risk on a part, supplier and regional level has been far from easy. To shield their businesses from uncertain trade risks, procurement organizations need to take a proactive approach.

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Working Capital Optimization: Why a Game-Changing Approach is Needed

Game changers are easy to spot. They are the ones who want to make sure that tomorrow is better than today. They are the dreamers, the innovators, the ones who think the impossible is a challenge waiting to be bested. And in today’s competitive marketplace, it will be the game changer, more specifically, the financial game changer, who will stand out from the crowd. How will they do this, you ask? They will understand that working capital optimization is so much more than jargon.

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E-Procurement Steering Committees: Gain Executive Support for Digitizing Procurement

reverse factoring programs

If you are getting ready to roll out an e-procurement platform and you don't have a steering committee in place, you could be in for a rockier road ahead than is necessary. If you have already celebrated your go-live launch, it’s not too late the pave the road ahead for subsequent phases of your procurement digitization program.

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Expanding the Social Safety Net in the Gig Economy

Within the next decade, over half of the workforce will be made up of independent contractors. Many of these gig workers are working in warehouses and construction sites or driving for courier services. Their industry ancestors spent the better part of the past century fighting for protections, but because this new wave of contingent workers aren’t technically employees, they can’t reap the benefits of those efforts. The numbers on a tax form don’t make a worker any less prone to suffering debilitating workplace injuries. Unfortunately, they do often mean the worker will have to face them alone.