More on Magnus – Our New Spend Matters Analyst

As you likely heard yesterday, Spend Matters has procured a new analyst – Magnus Bergfors – and we are thrilled about working with him. One of the reasons we in Europe are so excited to have Magnus on board is the huge contribution he will make to our research and analysis of the European procurement and supply chain market, to strengthen our global coverage.

Our global analyst team is based out of the US, Canada and Mexico, and while they are all superbly experienced and, in fact, unrivalled, in their deep procurement technology and vendor intelligence, it’s good to have an expert on the ground who can focus his wide knowledge of sourcing technologies and vendors, across-industries, across Europe.

Our Nova Scotia-based lead analyst and consultant on strategic procurement, Michael Lamoureux, with his profound knowledge of advanced technologies, including AI, ML, RPA, optimisation and analytics, will continue to be a regular visitor to Europe, attending the big Europe-based procurement conferences. He is one of our North America-based analysts you have probably come across the most and who understands the European marketplace well. Magnus, as VP European Research and Lead Analyst at Spend Matters Network, with extensive knowledge of strategic sourcing, will round out our Europe coverage and bring a native’s eye to our global analysis of technologies, solution providers and challenges affecting the CPO community. Magnus’ knowledge of our regional markets will also bring valuable insight to our procurement technology benchmarking solution, SolutionMap.

Jenny Draper, as General Manager Europe, with her knowledge of the procurement vendor landscape and long-term vendor relationship portfolio, will continue to head our commercial offering, with a strong focus on the Spend Matters SolutionMap, Spend Matters Pro and Brand Studio range of products and services.

Together, we will be working to bring you even wider coverage of European procurement vendors, products and technologies, along with news, research, analysis, and market trends. So let’s get to know Magnus a bit better on Day 2 of being a Spend Matters analyst and find out what it is about procurement that makes Magnus tick.

Which aspects of the job fascinate you the most?

“All of them” – is his answer. “I think it’s the combination of discussing with and helping both end users and technology providers that makes it such a fantastic job. Helping end users make the right choices and advising them on maximising the value of their investments is great, but it’s also great to talk to the progressive organisations out there that are pushing the boundaries in new ways. It’s interesting to work with the vendors, on the one hand to understand their solutions and visions, and on the other, to help them understand the needs of the market.”

So what attracted you to Spend Matters?

“Spend Matters’ focus on procurement technology and the world-leading crew of analysts is hard to beat. It has the perfect balance of being large enough to have critical mass, but not so large as to lose agility. In fact, if you look at how many analysts Spend Matters has, I would argue that it’s the biggest analyst firm in the procurement tech space; others may have more analysts, but not in our space alone.”

Where do you think Spend Matters' opportunity lies in Europe and how will your skills impact it?

“The opportunities are everywhere, especially in the European market where there are tons of interesting vendors, and also in the end-user practitioner space. Spend Matters’ level of knowledge and detailed insights into the capabilities of various vendors is unmatched. I hope to be able to contribute with my European focus, and bring more of an end-user perspective too. My background is more in the strategic sourcing space, and I will likely focus a bit on this, even though I will continue to cover the full S2P space”

On a more personal note, as most people don't go via a considered route into Procurement, how did you fall into it?                                                               

“I might be one of the few that actually targeted procurement! I studied logistics and procurement as part of my degree in Industrial Management and Engineering and my older brother (who nowadays is the VP Supply Chain and Procurement at GN Audio A/S) worked in procurement when I graduated and it seemed like a lot of fun. (I think that’s the first time we’ve printed the words fun and procurement in the same paragraph!) My very first job was in S&OP but very soon I moved over to a role in direct materials procurement at AstraZeneca, from there I moved to a procurement technology vendor called IBX (now part of Tradeshift), then back into the industry before moving to Gartner as an analyst.”

Given how enthusiastic you are about Procurement, what do you think is attractive about the profession today for anyone considering a career move?

“First of all, if you like doing business, procurement is a great place to be - while not new, that’s still true. And with the increased automation and adoption of technology this will become even more central. In fact, the opportunity to focus on building relationships and foster innovation to increase total value is increasing as a result of this. It feels like we have been talking about procurement making it into the big leagues for ever, but given the current focus on sustainability and risk management (of all sorts) I think that we are now at a point when there is a good chance of realising it.”

And what is life like outside of procurement?

“I live outside of Gothenburg in Sweden. I’m 44 years old and have two daughters aged 8 and 12. Outside of work I enjoy sports and reading. In the sports area I play golf, or perhaps I should say I’ve recently picked golf up again after a 10 year hiatus. I’m also something of a rarity as a Swedish rugby player, even if nowadays I only make very rare old boys appearances … When I lived in the US many years ago, I also picked up an interest in American football, unfortunately for me, I’m a fan of the Washington Redskins! When I’m not reading (or writing) procurement research and reports, I’m a big fantasy nerd. I started reading A Song of Ice and Fire (aka Game of Thrones) way back in the nineties (and no, I didn’t like the last seasons of the TV show either!).

It’s a delight to talk with Magnus; his depth of knowledge and sheer passion for procurement is immediately obvious. We look forward to all the insight into the European market that he will bring to Spend Matters at large, to his participation in discussions and to the regular columns you can look forward to here on Spend Matters Europe, as he dives into the main topics affecting the procurement tech market and its users.

As our GM Jenny Draper said: "We’re thrilled to have Magnus join the Spend Matters analyst team. It’s a huge advantage for us in Europe to have a Sweden-based expert who knows first-hand the positive disruption that Europe-based S2P tech vendors are having on the landscape. To be so closely aligned with the updates and new developments in this market not only supports the vendor community but also the procurement professionals who need to know what opportunities exist for them from a highly trusted third-party source."

And look out for Jenny's interview with Magnus as part of our series of “The Procurement Analysts’ Reel” where he will be quizzed on strategic sourcing in the European market, warts and all!


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