Sourcing and Categories Content

Procurement in Practice: ‘It’s always the people at the end of the supply chain that get squeezed’

publishing supply chain

Spend Matters is running a series of interviews with senior procurement and supply chain practitioners to highlight and share common experiences with their peers. We are discussing their challenges, their thoughts on people, process and technology, and their concerns or hopes for the future, across many industries.

The publishing industry, like all industries in recent years, has seen huge shifts in technology to help them operate, particularly within the supply chain. Often thought of as part of the analogue age of the dusty printing press, the industry and the supply chain that surrounds it has moved on: books have moved to digital, inkjet has paved the way for shorter print runs that are closer to the location of sale, and print on demand has seen extended use.

We spoke with someone who has 25 years of experience working in various roles within the industry, but primarily as Head of Supply Chain Operations at Cambridge University Press (UK) and as Publishing Services Manager at Elsevier (MA US). Simon Crump, now with SGC Publishing Consultants Ltd., has faced the challenges of running geographically dispersed production and supply chain operations. He understands the challenges of keeping to budget, driving management teams, allocating people and resource to large projects, all while navigating risk – subjects all procurement and supply professionals with are familiar with.

Tell us about your experience with complex services procurement using technology: A Spend Matters and SIG Survey

Each year, organizations spend over $20 trillion globally on all kinds of services, according to some estimates. Services in the US make up, on average, nearly 60% of organizations’ total non-payroll external spend (and that can be significantly higher in some industry verticals). The effective management of services spend has been a perennial topic of discussion (and limited action) over many years. And technology used to address complex services in an organization is not well understood.

Spend Matters and SIG, the Sourcing Industry Group, have partnered to field a survey of procurement professionals (CPOs, procurement directors, category managers, etc.) that is described briefly.

The purpose of the survey is to better understand how and to what extent procurement is using enterprise procurement technology and other solutions to process and manage an organization’s service categories and with what level of satisfaction.

Commodities Roundup: Oil price movements; Brexit aftermath; aluminum import monitoring

commodities gold coffee coal agriculture

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, which this week includes analysis of oil price movements, a review of the Brexit trade deal and much more.

MetalMiner, a sister site of ours, scours the landscape for what matters.

2021 Procurement and Supply Chain Predictions from the market — Tradeshift

Tradeshift

Last year at the end of December 2019, we ran a series of predictions about procurement and supply chain trends for 2020 from expert tech and service providers in the market. But who could have foreseen what happened in 2020! This year, the market again provides its predictions for the next 12 months and beyond, using learnings from the past year. Today we look at what digital B2B network, supply chain marketplace and spend management platform Tradeshift has to say.

Commodities Roundup: Gold prices; rare earths supply chains; Brexit down to the wire

commodities gold coffee coal agriculture

Here’s a quick rundown of news and thoughts from particular commodity markets, including gold prices, European efforts to strengthen rare earths supply chains and the ongoing Brexit drama.

MetalMiner, a sister site of ours, scours the landscape for what matters.

Neighborly procurement is the answer to individual efforts for diversity and inclusion

If you take a look around the US today, you see a lot of division, hurt and hardship. It’s no secret that COVID-19 has placed hardship on all of us — from physical to emotional to economic harm. Add in the civil unrest and division from last summer’s protests in the States and it’s enough to leave one feeling powerless to make change.

A few months ago, Spend Matters’ Founder Jason Busch collaborated with Daryl Hammett, a leader in supplier management, and proposed the idea of how procurement can help empower diverse suppliers and small businesses. They specifically talked about the role leadership plays in promoting diversity efforts through supplier inclusion.

But it’s not enough to rely solely on businesses and procurement to do their part. It’s about how individuals can make a difference too.

In a new follow-up paper, Busch and Hammett advocate that real change can come from neighborly procurement — which focuses on the tangible steps you can take as an individual to help promote economic growth and well-being for your neighbors.

SolutionMap Fall 2020 new vendors (Part 3) — Symfact, AvidXchange, ProcurePort, SourceDay, graphiteConnect

On Oct. 1, Spend Matters launched the Fall 2020 update of its free-to-use SolutionMap, which evaluates procurement technology solutions on their technical capabilities and how customers rate them.

Twelve new vendors participated in the latest release, which has grown to evaluate 77 providers. Read our SolutionMap Fall 2020 launch post for more details, like how to use the benchmark tool for tech selection or how to get your solution into the mix.

We’re excited to introduce you to a few of the vendors who entered SolutionMap this time around:

  • Symfact
  • AvidXchange
  • ProcurePort
  • SourceDay
  • graphiteConnect

In our bios of the recommended new vendors, we will detail in which of our 13 technology categories they compete and where they rank (see the chart below), share some our analyst research written for subscribers to our PRO content, give feedback from our subscription SolutionMap Insider content called the Provider Scoring Summary reports (subscribers can use the summaries to compare vendors and their scores in more detail — see a sample summary). You’ll also hear from some vendors about being part of the SolutionMap benchmarking process.

Commodities Roundup: Tata Steel looks for buyers; Asia-Pacific nations ink massive RCEP trade deal; oil price gains

commodities gold coffee coal agriculture

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, including Tata Steel and its plans to spin off its European assets, a European steel survey and more.

MetalMiner, a sister site of ours, scours the landscape for what matters.

Sponsored Article

Integrations for a truly connected technology ecosystem: A conversation with VNDLY’s Chief Technology Officer

As companies continue to adapt to the dramatic changes brought on by the global COVID-19 pandemic, one major shift sweeping the industry is a faster move toward creating technology ecosystems that increase the pace of digital transformation. Organizations that had long-term plans are speeding those up, and companies that were still undecided have chosen to act now.

These swift changes, in response to the unpredictable nature of today’s workforce needs, must be supported by technology that helps users effectively manage their extended workforces across their entire organizations. They may also require platforms that can share data with other systems, ensuring accuracy around all manner of contractor and traditional employee data.

When companies invest in large, sweeping platforms, like Workday, to manage company-wide departments and worker populations, they look for other platforms that integrate seamlessly and do not require engineering or maintenance provided by internal IT teams. Adopting those additional technologies that can integrate and become part of the ecosystem saves time and money, making the initial investment more valuable. For more insight into technology ecosystems and integrations, and specifically those between VNDLY and Workday, we talked with VNDLY’s Chief Technology Officer, Chuck Mobley.

Commodities Roundup: Metals gain steam; Brent crude price bounces back; up-and-down gold

commodities gold coffee coal agriculture

Here’s a quick rundown of news and thoughts from particular commodity markets, including metals prices, the Brent crude price and gold's gains and losses.

MetalMiner, a sister site of ours, scours the landscape for what matters.