Procurement News from the US – Weekly Round-Up

It was a short week here in the states because of Labor Day, but a VERY busy one -- and we’ve loved having Peter around (what we’ve seen of him, at least!) Lots of great stuff:

Jason does a spotlight series on DSSI: DSSI -- Redefining MRO Distribution and Outsourcing (Part 1) “It's rare at Spend Matters that we come across a provider organization (e.g., software company, solutions integrator that combines multiple vendor capabilities, BPO firm, GPO, consulting firm, systems implementation shop, boutique expert advisory firm, etc.) that we can't classify into one or more categories, usually with a single designation leading the way. Yet DSSI (AKA, Direct Sourcing Solutions), a company that brings particular MRO (and beyond) expertise and a highly unique and specialized offering to the world industrial manufacturing, is truly difficult to slot into a single area. They defy categorization. On some levels, DSSI looks most like a specialized hybrid BPO/GPO that leverages spend to maximize discounts and improve vendor management programs by consolidating multi-company spend with fewer suppliers.” (See Part 2 and Part 3 as well.)

Who doesn’t love chocolate?? Understanding the Chocolate Market -- “In the last year or so there has been a lot of discussion surrounding the cocoa markets, with two presidents in Ivory Coast and "Choc Finger" cornering the world bean market. Rather than breaking down the cost factors behind a market, it might be interesting to explore cocoa itself -- the basis for chocolate.”

Here’s a guest post from Coupa’s CEO: Retail Industry Spotlight: Forget Spend Reports and Look Toward Real Technology It's a shoppers market and unless you are Apple, it's tough to protect the bottom line. The rising popularity of e-commerce, smartphones and deal sites, coupled with a downturn economy, has forced shoppers to become more like detectives -- looking for great merchandise at low prices. In fact, just this week USA Today discussed the "new rules" for back-to-school shopping, which included "pre-shop online" and "bring your smartphone."

Some internal diagnostics: A Procurement Health Check Have you ever had the opportunity to stop, take a deep breath, and ask yourself: "How are we doing as a procurement function?" Many consultants, my current firm included, offer comprehensive benchmarking and opportunity assessments that will provide a very clear picture of just where an organization stands in terms of its peers, corporate goals and industry standards. These assessments take a substantial commitment on the part of your organization to gather accurate data (frequently at a detailed level) and aggregate it in a manner that allows for consistency across organizations and functions.

And finally, it’s one of our favorite columns to write! Best of Spend Matters: Friday Rants

Wish us all luck as the Spend Matters team runs in the Chicago Half Marathon and 5K this weekend. If we can hobble into the office on Monday morning I might post some photos!

- Sheena Moore

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