Procurement News from the US — Weekly Round-Up

What a week: of webinars. Jason and our new lead analyst, Thomas Kase, spoke with Tom Flynn of Lavante on why spend analysis alone can’t take care of your dirty supplier data (view the recording here), and Jason spoke on two others as well, one with Corporate United and one with SAP and Shell. Whew!

As far as the news goes:

ICG Commerce Acquires Neuwing Energy Ventures -- Unlocking the Many Sides of Green -- Earlier today, ICG Commerce announced it had acquired Neuwing Energy Ventures, a boutique yet highly focused services and intellectual property-rich firm with expertise in helping large organizations maximize potential energy cost savings through creative, environmental approaches. While the terms of the deal were not disclosed, Spend Matters believes the most important impact in terms of BPO and sourcing services will be to enable ICG Commerce to immediately up-sell its current and perspective client roster with a differentiated set of services that can both drive cost savings and help organizations become more environmentally friendly through reducing their energy footprint. In the press release, ICG Commerce suggests that "Neuwing brings deep expertise in energy and renewable energy projects to help companies actively manage their energy usage and take advantage of grants, rebates and incentives that provide hard dollar savings...the acquisition also adds an active energy management capability focused on reducing energy spend through ongoing monitoring and evaluation of electricity, water, and gas consumption." Read more about the implications in this post, and look for more coverage next week.

In further solution provider news, Basware Expands, Introduces New BPO Offering -- From P2P Software to AP Outsourcing (Part 1). Basware (one of the most capable invoice automation/electronic invoice presentment payment software providers in the market) recently announced it was entering the AP outsourcing market with a new BPO offering of its own. This marks an important shift for the vendor, which has expanded into the broader P2P applications market. The announcement also creates competition for BPO firms that might be considered for similar types of transactions where companies want to hand over the tactical components of the AP equation. According to the news, Basware has launched its new InvoiceOut solution, "a process outsourcing service designed to fully automate key aspects of the Accounts Payable (AP) function." The offering combines "process expertise" with Basware's software capability, focusing on automation rather than labor cost arbitrage. (See Part 2 here).

Two fantastic guest contributions this week:

Sandra Higgison of asks, What Does “Innovation” Mean in Terms of Outsourcing? When the invitation to an Innovation Day run by the National Outsourcing Association appeared in my inbox a couple of months ago, I didn't think twice about registering. As a word, innovation is alluring, it promises to reveal secrets and give you a peek into the future. As a subject it regularly crops up at our events and in conversations with practitioners so I was interested to hear what NOA members, both end users and suppliers, were doing.

And Kurt Albertson of The Hackett Group discusses The Evolving Scorecard for Supplier Diversity Programs. While The Hackett Group research shows that the economic recession did not severely dampen executive enthusiasm for supplier diversity programs (unlike broader sustainability initiatives), most companies continue to be misaligned in their stated objectives and how they measure the performance of their supplier diversity efforts. Most rely on overly simplistic measures to evaluate the progress of supplier diversity programs, and never truly assess whether programs are meeting corporate objectives.

Finally, there’s a Spend Matters/MetalMiner wedding today!!

Esteemed colleague and MetalMiner journalist extraordinaire Taras Berezowsky is marrying his long-time college sweetheart this evening. Here’s the happy couple, and we wish them all the best:

- Sheena Moore



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