Sourcing and Categories Content

Commodities Roundup: Tesla-Panasonic Partnership Cools, Indian Steel Exports to U.S. Fall, Oil Market Primed for Growing Deficit

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. This week: Tesla-Panasonic Cooling, Indian Steel to U.S. Falls, Oil Market

From Watch to Know in 2019: Upwork Serves the Contingent Workforce Market

independent workers

Each year, some companies on Spend Matters’ 50 Providers to Know list and the list of 50 to Watch honorees here in the Spend Matters Almanac push themselves beyond simply a standout performance.

They earn the recognition that they are not only bringing innovation into procurement organizations but also leading the charge to change the way we do business for the better. These are the providers who shifted from Watch to Know in 2019, like Upwork.

To learn more about these providers, we reached out to a few such cases in our 2019 50/50 lists, asking how they’ve changed over the years and what differentiates them from the competition. Today’s Q&A features Upwork's Eric Gilpin, SVP of Enterprise.

3 Reasons Why Public Sector Tenders Should Use Dynamic Purchasing Systems

procurement software

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Marko Rossi, product manager for Cloudia, a source-to-pay provider.

Dynamic purchasing systems have advantages over the venerable framework agreement, which has been the go-to structure for public sector authorities looking to procure goods and services for many years. Designed to remove uncertainty, traditional framework agreements typically bind vendors and authorities into four-year relationships that ensure all parties within the agreement commit to each other for the long term.

This works perfectly well — if the pace of societal and economic change is serene. The world today doesn’t quite fit this picture. A supplier that meets buyer requirements today may go out of business tomorrow, or their circumstances may change so drastically that they may struggle to fulfill their contractual duties.

Dynamic purchasing systems (DPS) were purpose-built to address these flaws. Read on to find out the three reasons public sector tenders should use DPS.

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Busting B2B E-Commerce Myths for Suppliers

If your B2B e-commerce system is not yet capable of digitally integrating with your customers' procurement systems, you are leaving a lot of business on the proverbial table. And we mean a lot of business. So let's dispel four common myths about the benefits and challenges of developing and maintaining a punchout-enabled e-commerce storefront. If not done well, it can derail the supplier journey before it even gets started.

The Digital Transformation of Services Sourcing: What It Is and Why It Matters

gig economy

Remember when you could only book a flight by calling a travel agent? Or do a banking transaction by visiting the nearest branch? Buy insurance only through an agent? Shop for a new house only by reading the local newspaper classifieds, or search for a plumber or doctor only in the Yellow Pages?

The way consumers buy services now has been massively digitized, with the enormous benefits of great selection, convenience and value for all of us. Yet most business-to-business services are bought today in the same way they were bought 20 years ago. That still largely depends on a phone call between a business stakeholder who has a need and someone they trust to broker the work. That someone is often a senior executive in a large firm, who then rallies a team to prepare a proposal that will be presented to the buyer in person.

But change is coming.

Why Well-Run Hospitals Need Tailored Technology to Care for Patients, Business

healthcare

As one of the nation’s largest nonprofit health systems, BJC HealthCare needs to provide consistent, high-quality patient care across all of its hospitals while maintaining operational efficiency. When the St. Louis, Missouri-based healthcare provider began its search to upgrade how it supplies its facilities, it found the healthcare marketplace provider Prodigo Solutions, which knows what hospitals of all sizes need because it provides online shopping and other services to more than half of the top 15 hospitals in the U.S.

Today, BJC uses ProdigoMarketplace to requisition a range of medical items that have been negotiated for price and vetted for compliance. To understand how the Marketplace helps, the staff at BJC answered some questions about working with Prodigo.

Commodities Roundup: Iron Ore Prices, Steel Demand and Steel Capacity Utilization

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. We scour the landscape for what matters — from price movements to policy decisions. This week: iron ore prices, Norway aluminum maker Norsk Hydro upgrading, updates on U.S. steel.

Easier-to-Use Sourcing Optimization Can Put the Power in the Hands of Everyone, Scout RFP Says

Sourcing optimization holds much promise for crunching the vast amount of data that procurement organizations increasingly face — as well as cutting costs, saving time and guiding buyers and suppliers to better decisions. But to date, the tools used for optimization have been too complex for most professionals to easily examine and understand the wide range of sourcing events presented.

That’s starting to change as procurement technology modernizes and customer-experience expectations rise.

To understand how the barriers to using sourcing optimization are dropping and to see the wider adoption of dynamic negotiation and sourcing optimization tools, we asked Scout RFP Co-Founder and President Stan Garber to shed some light on the latest developments.

“Today, we can optimize the entire sourcing process with a click of a button. We’re going from the days of manual Excel modeling and email juggling to a collaborative application that is as simple to use as an iPhone,” Garber said for this Q&A about the future of the procurement and sourcing technology.

Ivalua NOW Paris event: A Dispatch on the Art and Science of Procurement

Spend Matters analyst Michael Lamoureux attended Ivalua’s customer event, Ivalua NOW Paris: The Art of Procurement, last week and found several advancements in the provider’s offerings, saw some improvements to its capabilities and learned about plans to upgrade its solution.

Public Sector Services: What a ‘Person Year’ is and Other Work-Hour Quirks for Government Contracting

In writing up government contracts for public sector services instead of goods, companies have to calculate the hours of work to be done, and that requires estimating an employee’s full-time equivalent (FTE) hours. And because public sector contracts can last years, the language often must be given in “person years,” the amount of work a person can do in a year. It seems simple, but as Public Spend Forum reveals in its look at the issues, it can get complicated in a hurry.

Commodities Roundup: Aluminum Semis, Cobalt Futures and Auto Emissions

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. This week: aluminum semis, cobalt futures and Missouri cobalt mining, and auto emissions.

How to Get Independent Professionals into Your Company’s Contingent Workforce Plan

In a look at the contingent workforce, MBO Partners' “Client of Choice Report 2019” explores the changing needs and expectations of the independent professionals and what corporations are doing to attract and retain the best talent in this emerging labor market.