Sourcing and Categories Content

Customer reviews for Field Nation are in the new SolutionMap Customer Insights report

This week’s SolutionMap Customer Insights report focuses on customer reviews for Field Nation, a provider of workforce management solutions. The applicable SolutionMap category for this report is in Direct Sourcing of Workforce and Services (DSW/S).

SolutionMap Insider members can read about Field Nation 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.

2020 Predicaments in Supplier Management: Top 3 Problems in SXM

LinkedIn ProFinder

(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 Magnus Bergfors lays out the predicaments faced in supplier management (SXM). And for our PRO subscribers, his other post today offers his predictions for 2020.)

Just before the holidays we published a PRO brief (The 5 Building Blocks of Supplier Management Capabilities) on the complexity of the SXM market and created a framework for how to define this space. That article highlights one of the lingering issues with supplier management: There is no one-size-fits-all solution here. That is, however, a very broad predicament, and in this article we want to break this down into a few more specific predicaments.

Givewith Q&A: How technology allows social impact to be ‘seamlessly embedded into transactions’

As social and environmental issues become more important to regulators, consumers, investors and C-suites, companies have begun programs to address sustainability, corporate social responsibility (CSR) and topics related to ESG — environmental, social and governance issues.

Besides satisfying outside interests, businesses also can find value in these pursuits — but they may not be getting all of the benefits that they could. So we interviewed the founder of Givewith, CEO Paul Polizzotto, to shed some light on the issues.

Givewith uses technology to help companies match their sustainability and ESG efforts with a nonprofit or social enterprise that benefits those areas. Givewith evaluates hundreds of nonprofits and social enterprises and works with companies all around the world to help turn everyday business into a social benefit.

2020 Predicaments in Strategic Sourcing: How to Make It More Strategic

(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 Magnus Bergfors lays out the predicaments faced in strategic sourcing. And for our PRO subscribers, his other post today offers his predictions for 2020.)

Strategic sourcing as a concept was introduced in the 1980’s and heavily influenced by consulting firms such as McKinsey (which gave us the famous Kraljic matrix) and A.T. Kearney — and is a process that is designed to help procurement organizations successfully source or renegotiate products and services in a deliberate manner.

While this process can deliver billions in savings, there is a larger problem. This approach is binary — you either run a strategic sourcing project or you don’t — and it’s very episodic in that once you have implemented the strategy, you then move on to the next project. This is the proverbial “drive-by sourcing” and “three bids and a buy and a cloud of dust.” This means that the follow-up and management of the contract is ignored.

Then there's the concept called category management. It has its roots going back to the Kraljic matrix (which profiles various spend/supply categories and then tailors the resulting supplier sourcing/management strategies), but the term “category management” really originates in retail, where the idea is to treat your categories as individual business units. Applied to procurement, it becomes a process to continuously manage your category.

In 2020, how should these two concepts be addressed by procurement technology vendors?

Commodities Roundup: Steel prices; commodities bear market; U.S.-China trade deal keeps tariffs for next phase

MetalMiner, a sister site of ours, scours the landscape for what matters. As MetalMiner’s Belinda Fuller noted this week, U.S. steel prices made gains in the first half of December. In other news, rare earths miner Lynas awaits a license to mine the material in Malaysia. And a look at the commodities market shows that it's not benefitting like the stock market and could be hurt if the dollar weakens. Also, the tariffs on China stay until phase two of the U.S.-China trade deal can be hammered out.

Supply chain outlook: Digital visibility, agility are needed for this year’s top 10 concerns for manufacturers

Global Risk Management Solutions

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Frank McKay, the Senior Vice President & Chief Procurement Officer for Jabil Inc., a global manufacturing solutions company with a focus on electronics.

After weathering volatility over the past few years, the business climate in 2020 is shaping up to be a better year for supply chain managers, thanks to increased market predictability, especially for sourcing materials. Still, the best defense — and greatest offense — for managing dynamic markets, product complexity and unpredictable supply conditions is an intelligent digital supply chain that delivers visibility, agility, speed and resilience. With that in mind, here are Jabil’s top 10 predictions for 2020:

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

This week’s SolutionMap Customer Insights report focuses on customer reviews for Scanmarket, a provider of strategic sourcing solutions.

The applicable SolutionMap category for this report is in Sourcing.

SolutionMap Insider members can click here to read about Scanmarket 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.

2020 Predicaments in Services Procurement — No Light at the End of the Tunnel

(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 Andrew Karpie lays out problems in services procurement. In another piece also published today for our PRO subscribers, he lays out his predictions for 2020.)

In some industry verticals, services is the largest and most poorly managed non-payroll spend category. But the buying and consuming of services is nearly always poorly managed and controlled within enterprises — leading to potentially billions of dollars of unnecessary spend and opportunity costs (lost value). A problem of such enormous scale and complexity is not going to be addressed overnight.

Various estimates suggest that, in the U.S., spend on temporary staffing services represents an average of only about 33% of total services spend across all enterprises (though that percentage can vary widely, depending upon the type of business/industry). But outside of spend on temporary staffing services, most enterprises have had, at best, fragmented and limited visibility into their non-staffing contingent workers and their complex services spend — to say nothing of control over the whole services source-to-pay lifecycle.

Part of the problem is organizational, as procurement and HR often view the contingent workforce segment of services spend very differently in terms of priorities and the strategies (and service/solution providers) used to manage it. Technology solution fragmentation is also a major problem. The inadequacy, fragmentation or absence of complete, fit-for-purpose technology solutions for managing the broad range of different services spend types represent one set of obstacles to making major gains in management of services spend in the short run. This set of obstacles is tied to the non-technological barriers of legacy enterprise architecture (i.e., silos, etc.), run-of-the mill organizational inertia and the difficulty of changing, even as the services world evolves.

As we head into 2020, thinking about the future of services procurement, what should we know about the technological obstacles and non-technological barriers to significant progress on addressing what must be overcome?

Commodities Roundup: Russia-Ukraine natural gas deal; auto sales down; U.S.-Iran tensions’ raise oil prices

For the buyers and category managers out there, especially those of you deep in the weeds of buying and managing commodities, here’s a quick rundown of news and thoughts from particular commodity markets. MetalMiner, a sister site of ours, scours the landscape for what matters. This week:

EcoVadis gets $200 million boost for its sustainability ratings and supply chain technology

EcoVadis, a provider of ratings on sustainability, CSR and ESG, today announced a $200 million investment from CVC Growth Partners that puts three CVC executives on the EcoVadis board and sets the company up to expand. “EcoVadis plans to leverage the funding to expand internationally, break into new countries and further invest in its technology platform, sustainability intelligence solutions and network of rated companies,” according to its press release.

Sponsored Article

Procurement Leaders: Hit the Refresh Button in 2020 at SIG’s Procurement Technology Summit 

They say April showers bring May flowers, but I wanted to let you know 2020 will be different. This April 20 to 22 in Championsgate, Florida, SIG’s Procurement Technology Summit will bring you an event you’ve never seen before that will pay dividends throughout the year (not just May).

SIG is committed to staying at the forefront of all the forces impacting our industry. It was from our unique sightline into sourcing we recognized that procurement technologies advance so quickly that many people simply aren’t able to stay in the know. Awash in information, many of us are uncertain which digital technologies deliver and which are hype. While none of us can predict the future, we can be ready for it. That’s why we’re placing digital procurement and emerging technologies center stage for three days.