Best of 2017 – Five Principles of Sourcing and Spend Analysis Insight

Continuing today our review of the papers we published this year, let’s turn to Trade Extensions. We have worked extensively with the firm over the years, and in 2016/17 we published a series of papers that Peter loved writing. He spent the first nine years of his career at Mars Confectionery, and makes no secret of the fact that he thinks it was the best firm he ever worked for by some distance.

Garry Mansell, who was CEO of Trade Extensions, was also a colleague of Peter’s at Mars, so between them they dreamt up the idea of taking the Mars “Five Principles of Mars “ credo and developing the “Five Principles of Sourcing”. The Mars principles genuinely provide a guiding philosophy for staff, and the idea with these papers was to do the same for anyone involved in sourcing activities.

The five papers were (and you can download them via the links):

Part 1 – What and Why?

Part 2 – Coherence and Alignment

Part 3 – Rigour and Openness

Part 4 – Commerciality

Part 5 – Looking to the future

In mid 2016, we also started working with Spend 360, a mid-sized and technologically advanced spend analytics firm in Guildford. Little were we to know that by the middle of 2017, both Spend360 and Trade Extensions would be acquired by Coupa! Coupa itself has grown in the 7 years we’ve run Spend Matters UK/Europe from virtually nothing to a  >$1 Billion valuation unicorn, now rivalling SAP Ariba as the leader in our sector in tech terms.

Anyway, our paper (and recent webinar) for Spend360 / Coupa had the snappy title of “Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Your Spend Data … (but were afraid to ask)”

In this briefing paper we take a look at how spend analytics can help organisations answer some of those tricky or complex questions relating to procurement expenditure. Some of those questions could be construed as somewhat ‘embarrassing,’ like ‘How much fraud and corruption really goes on in my organisation,’ which is why we based the paper’s theme loosely on the very funny 1972 Woody Allen film of a similar name.

We look at not just where spend analytics is today, and what it can do for procurement functions and organisations more generally, but where it might be going in the next few years as artificial intelligence and machine learning kick in. With input from Paddy Lawton, founder of Spend360 and a guru in this area, we hope the paper is both immediately useful and thought-provoking in terms of the future.

You can download this paper free by following the link here.

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