Meet the Team – Today Let’s Meet Nick

Many of our readers in Europe aren’t aware that we have a network of super clever analysts, commercial, business and tech experts, researchers and editors behind the analysis, reporting, opinion and news that we publish daily on Spend Matters and Spend Matters UK/Europe. It’s a bank of knowledge available for procurement and supply professionals of all levels to tap into - much for free, some by subscription.

So we thought it’s about time we introduced our readers to the very real, and brilliant, people who make up the Spend Matters machine that generates all of the vendor, product and service deep dives that make up our daily content on the main site, and the SolutionMap and PRO ingeniousness we keep bringing you.

In what we like to call their ‘alternative bios’ (see the site here for the serious ones) we have already introduced you to Andrew, Michael and Sheena. Today let’s meet Nick ...

Nick Heinzmann is an associate analyst covering niche and new technology providers for Spend Matters. His coverage spans solutions that don’t neatly fit into any of the boxes we use to bind our SolutionMap analyses (e.g., e-procurement, e-sourcing), along with vendors new to the procurement technology market or ones that need validation of capabilities before entering the rigorous SolutionMap RFI process. He also has a growing interest in contract lifecycle management and related risk management solutions, which he plans to address in expanded coverage for Spend Matters PRO as this critical market continues to grow.

A native of Tri-State area Connecticut -- he likes to mention that his home town participated in a Revolutionary War battle that was “a tactical victory for the British but a strategic victory for the American colonists” -- Nick found his way into the world of procurement by indirect means. He started out as a music student at Northwestern University, completing an undergraduate degree in cello performance. But dismayed by potentially dismal career prospects and the fact that his peers across campus were developing life-saving, crank-operated backpack fridges for vaccine preservation while he was trying to learn Popper etudes, he decided to jump ship into journalism, completing the master’s programme at Northwestern’s Medill school the next year. Trading counterpoint studies for the real-world “thrill” of covering agricultural derivatives at the Chicago Board of Trade, Nick got his first whiff of global commerce that, he would later learn, is in large part orchestrated by procurement professionals.

Armed with that minimal procurement knowledge, he decided to take a job out of grad school copy-editing for Spend Matters, spending many hours spelling out acronyms and deciding whether he should be typing e-procurement, eProcurement or eprocurement. The minutiae of grammar and style eventually led to more writing-focused roles within the Spend Matters editorial team, including a stint as the lead writer for our client content programmes within Spend Matters Brand Studio (enquire about that here). In 2018, years of digesting thousands of words of procurement technology copy on a daily basis culminated in a shift to the analyst team, where he continues to find fascinating topics he had never before considered.

In addition to following a path he could never have predicted 10 years ago, Nick lives in Chicago with his wife and similarly public-transport-obsessed toddler (see below).

The interesting stuff:

Likes:

Public transportation, public libraries, public radio (are you noticing a pattern here?), anchovies, Beethoven, manga, John Steinbeck, magazines.

Dislikes:

Small talk, the frequent misuse of hyphens in the place of n- and m-dashes, automobile supremacy, the notion that markets operate independently of governments (he’s a fan of Karl Polanyi), ketchup, sticky things.

Would most like to meet:

Sufjan Stevens. I have so many questions about so many songs and so many albums and so many themes that run through all of his music. He was honestly the first artist I really got into after I stopped studying and playing music full time, and he reminded me of what got me into it in the first place.

How he fell into procurement:

Assumed that writing about corn and soybean prices in grad school would make it easy for me to write about procurement. (It did not, especially about enterprise software!) That and putting my nametag on upside-down at a career fair, a story our CEO Lisa Reisman still loves to tell when introducing me.

The topic he could discuss for hours on end:

The majesty of the Great Lakes (did you know it’s actually all one big river emptying out into the Atlantic?) and tinfoil-hat projections about water scarcity. Seriously, I’ve lived in and around Chicago for nearly 10 years now, and I’m still floored by the lakes every time I see them. On the flip side, learning about the Great Lakes has made me think a lot about how having 20% of the world’s fresh water in one region is such a major asset — or a risk if we don’t manage it well.

 

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