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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.

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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.

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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.

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5 simple truths about category management

Category management may not be known as simple, but it doesn’t need to be complicated either. Whether you’re a procurement leader who has implemented category management or are thinking about it, here are five simple truths about category management.

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Why supplier financial health is vital to supply chain resilience 

healthcare

A financial health assessment helps determine how fiscally stable — and therefore how reliable — a supplier is, which ensures better supply chain resilience. By identifying risky suppliers, you can avoid violated contracts, credit damage and project delays. Here are some of the key reasons it’s critical to perform financial health assessments with contractors.

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Can your company benefit from procurement consulting?

Capgemini IBX Business Network

Is it worth it to pay for a procurement consultant? ProcureAbility argues that hiring a procurement consultant or consulting agency can help a company save time, find perspective and gain expertise in their procurement efforts.

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Supply chain finance: 3 core components for a best-in-class SCF solution

The value of a supply chain finance (SCF) solution has never been clearer than in recent months, with many companies opting to boost the resilience of their supply chains and support their suppliers in volatile trading conditions.

But while SCF has much to offer, it’s important to remember that not all solutions are made equal. With that in mind, here are three components that buyers should focus on when setting out to implement a best-in-class SCF solution:

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Top 5 Strategies to Optimize Costs for the Energy Supply Chain

Complexity is rampant in energy sector supply chain processes, and this guide can help those experts respond to increased pressure from CFOs and CEOs to lower costs and streamline processes.

Digitalizing is one solution. Digitalizing doesn’t mean roads, factories, and power plants of the future will cease to exist as physical entities. But it does mean that our physical and digital infrastructures will become increasingly integrated, resulting in an improvement in economic, environmental and social outcomes across our fundamental systems.

This includes digitalizing the all-important energy sector. Each day you’re pushed a little further outside of your comfort zone and forced to rely on your ingenuity to solve complicated problems. Building end-to-end capabilities and solutions that ensure supply chain reliability, efficiency and innovation are at the center of everything you do. Now, more than ever, the ability to analyze cross-functional processes against existing systems is critical to make fast, intelligent value optimization decisions.

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Inoculating supply chains against disruptive events with a resiliency strategy

Dhaval Buch is the Group President for Technology at the Mahindra Group

Recent events have clearly highlighted the importance of supply chains for individual businesses — and for the global economy. As enterprises seek to prepare themselves for other future unknowns, it’s vital that they inoculate their supply chains against similar disruptive events.

In this Q&A, Bristlecone — a global provider of supply chain strategy, planning and operations consulting, and product engineering services — looks at how savvy CPOs can go about implementing this “inoculation.” Dhaval Buch, Group Technology President at the Mahindra Group and former Chief Procurement Officer of one of the largest global Fortune 500 CPG organizations, shares his thoughts and insights on this topic.

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Demystifying the role of technology: Automation

Many companies are tapping into the opportunities presented by new and emerging technologies, which have the potential to enhance productivity even further. Automation is one such concept that has plenty to offer, both now and in the future. Whether it's improving your cash forecasting process or streamlining invoice processing, we explore some of the use cases and benefits for automation.

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In a rapidly changing world, companies need API-integrated technology ecosystems to meet immediate needs and be ready for the future

The way we work today is different, even from how many of us worked only a few months ago, which means operational practices must keep pace. The global economy continues to shift, with workers requiring more flexibility and employers evaluating alternative engagements for specific projects that can spur savings and outcomes. Companies that make the decision to embark on a digital transformation journey have a brighter outlook, maximizing their chances of success.

Digital transformations require companies to make honest, clear evaluations of their existing technologies, some of which may work well. In other cases, legacy platforms may not integrate with modern tools, hampering progress. So choosing the right technology platforms becomes the linchpin in the change process. When an organization’s systems can fully integrate with one another, the resulting ecosystem alignment brings formerly disconnected departments together. This creates an atmosphere where operational practices can be revised or replaced to become more comprehensive, which can be especially important with regard to managing a company’s workforce.

With COVID-19 presenting unforeseen challenges, companies are trying to optimize their internal and external workforces. Organizations have to remain nimble, recalibrating quickly to respond to unexpected situations, whether that means scaling worker numbers up or down. When pressures like these act upon organizations, there is a significantly increased demand for them to adopt cloud-based workforce management platforms that allow them to integrate seamlessly with other departments, including HR, finance, IT and legal.

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Using bridge solutions to speed up the consumerization of procurement 

ProProcure

What is a bridge solution and how can it help speed up the consumerization of services procurement — and why is that important?

Bridge solutions (or stop-gap solutions) are simply solutions that solve specific problems. These are typically problems that have not yet been addressed by P2P solutions because they are too niche or specific. Bridge solutions can tackle the problem differently and often come alongside laser-focused expertise and knowledge from the providers of these solutions.

Although the issue of consumerization certainly isn’t a niche one, there are many individual aspects that need to be addressed and automated to make true consumerization a possibility. For example, the larger more end-to-end P2P solutions (such as Coupa) do a fantastic job at automating the requisition-to-approval process and invoicing, but what they are not doing is providing the tools to automate the piece before the requisition gets raised. Bridge solutions can essentially act as a plug-in to cover any areas that are still being handled offline or by heavy manual data entry.