Procurement News from the US — Weekly Round-Up

***This post will go up before the US site’s further coverage of the IBM/Emptoris acquisition, so check back on later in the day if you want to see more! If you missed yesterday’s coverage, check it out here and here.***

Our March 19/20 conference is open for registration.

Announcing Commodity Edge -- a New Type of Sourcing and Procurement Conference: I'd wager that among Spend Matters readers, I've probably attended more procurement and supply chain conferences than most. Yet virtually no events I've been to have had a consistent focus on economic and commodity outlooks specifically tied to the daily sourcing and supplier management decisions that procurement and supply chain professionals need to make. Every year there are good general session keynotes covering general economic trends at certain events, but almost always, the economist or management consultant presenting fails to make the leap to what such trends mean for strategic and tactical procurement decisions. The only event I've been to that did an excellent job of bridging the procurement, commodity and economic divide was the Purchasing Smart Sourcing Summit, although it was cancelled after its inaugural excellent showing when the overall publication folded.

Spend Matters Lead Analyst Thomas Kase discusses “the cloud.”

New Research: Sourcing/Contract Management/Supplier Management in the Cloud -- Beyond BI Benefits We're excited to announce our latest Spend Matters Perspective: Sourcing, Contract Management, and Supplier Management Cloud -- Business Users Benefit From Savings Enablement (Dining with Procurement, Not with IT). Authored by Spend Matters' Thomas Kase, the paper takes a close look at functional and business integration of cloud solutions in the sourcing, contract management and supplier management areas. Specific SAP business integration use and customer cases are included. Our findings suggest that cloud capabilities typically result in quick implementations with limited or no IT involvement and that the approach has empowered the procurement community in a range of ways, including ease-of-use and general front-line business user accessibility, permitting experienced sourcing experts plus more traditional "buyers" to walk up to a tool set and be productive with little or no training.

This week’s technology coverage:

Capgemini Procurement BPO: Realizing Platform/Category Returns From the IBX Acquisition (Part 1)

Infosys Procurement BPO: Services Expansion/Platform Growth as Proxies for a Broader Market (Part 1)

Some advice on supplier networks/marketplaces: sink or swim.

Supplier Marketplaces/Sourcing Discovery Networks: Abandon Hope, Average Suppliers Who Enter Here Since Ariba Discovery began to make a name for itself as a prototypical supplier search tool in the past 12 months, I've gotten a number of questions from both the purchasing community and investment types about the economics of such models, especially for vendors. Personally, as a supplier, I think advertising in such environments is not necessarily a bad investment. In fact, if you excel in responding to requests online and have a ready-made product for a highly-transactional situation, it can be a great investment. Without question, suppliers that excel in an online environment like MarkMaster can do exceptionally well. According to the above-linked press release from Ariba, MarkMaster's CEO suggests that 80% of its "business comes to us through Ariba Discovery."

I’m abandoning music today in favor of a seasonal cartoon that is the story of my life right now, but with two cats instead of one:

- Sheena Moore

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