US Procurement News: Ariba, SAP, and Supplier Diversity, 2012 Commodities Review, 2013; “The Year of Networks?”

Choosing the right localized suppliers.

Ariba, SAP, and Supplier Diversity (Part 1) -- We often spend a lot of time on the notion of supplier diversity in choosing the right set of localized suppliers (see recent coverage hereherehere, and here, as examples). We've even seen supplier diversity strategies reflected in accounts payable and working capital programs designed to get smaller, more vulnerable suppliers paid early without the types of onerous APRs charged by card providers. Yet it's rare that supplier diversity thinking extends to generalized source-to-pay tools selection, especially in the eProcurement arena. However, perhaps it should, given that providers like SAP and Ariba are increasingly turning to supplier fees to offset lower costs for buying organizations purchasing P2P systems. (Part 2 here)

What makes an ideal category manager?

Finding the Right Category Manager -- A thought crossed my mind after reading a short missive by Procurement Leaders' Paul Teague about what makes an ideal category manager. Paul starts his note by suggesting that an ideal background for category management often includes "extensive knowledge and even experience within the category; a deep understanding of the market the category represents, especially including the supply base; a handle on where technology, pricing, and other business trends in the category are heading; analytical skills; project-management skill."

Up and down and round and round...

2012 Metals Commodity Review: A Sourcing and Procurement Rollercoaster -- 2012 was a rollercoaster for many commodities, including several of the metals and metals-related indexes we track on our sister site MetalMiner. In the latest MMI report from December 2012, we see a continued commodity seesaw: "This past month (December's reading of November data), we have seen every single index value buck the previous month's trend. Only one index declined from the prior month (Renewables MMI®), one remained flat (Global Precious Metals MMI®) and all of the others improved (Raw Steels, Aluminum, Stainless, Copper, Automotive, and Rare Earths MMIs). However, only one index reading currently stands higher than our January 2012 baseline - the Automotive MMI®."

A quick look at what Iasta's been up to:

Iasta: A New Analytical Orientation (Part 1) -- Earlier this fall, Spend Matters sat down with the Iasta team for a demonstration of their new visualization and analytical capabilities. To call this new focus "spend analysis" or "spend visibility" is not exactly accurate. The broader "procurement analytics" doesn't necessarily capture the breadth of the type of diverse inputs that Iasta is now helping capture for procurement organizations with its "Executive Analytics Suite" either.

2013: The year of the network??

Social Collaboration and Information in Procurement Applications -- Over on Spend Matters PRO, we're busy wrapping up four-part analysis exploring the future of social collaboration and information within procurement applications, including an current available capabilities and those which more advanced providers are planning for tomorrow. It's a useful primer on the topic for technology providers, practitioners and consultants alike keen to explore and learn about social media, social tools and social collaboration in the context of procurement applications, routine and process.

GPO: the way to go?

GPOs: An Emergency Response Role for Sourcing and Procurement -- When it comes to group purchasing organizations (GPOs) in healthcare and beyond, most procurement professionals first think about how such organizations can potentially bring value through leveraged contracts/agreements. Yet GPOs are fighting to differentiate themselves and their value in new ways. Over on HC Matters, our sister site, we recently ran a guest post by John Sganga exploring how GPOs can bring value in cases of emergency response.

And with that, Happy Holidays, all! This is our last week of full-time content for 2012, and I plan to be here working on a nice goggle burn until 2013:

- Sheena Moore


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