SpendLead Update and Procurement in Difficult Times

SpendLead, as we have mentioned previously, is a tool that enables buyers and sellers to link up in a targeted, efficient and effective manner. Buyers and supplier register (free) and describe the spend categories that they are interested in supplying or buying. Buyers then receive short messages informing them when suppliers have a new item of interest available in terms of new product information, a case study, webinar or similar. Buyers can then choose whether to get more details about the item.

Since the initial launch last October, Fabrice Saporito (pictured here) and his team have developed a range of improvements to the solution. For example, there are now more options in terms of retaining your privacy as a buyer. You can get access to the material provided by a firm on the supply side without exposing your identity, even to that specific supplier, for instance.

There are a growing number of firms now using the platform, so if you haven’t seen it before, please take a look here. The overall aim is to take friction out of the relationship between buyers and sellers and out of the sales process, with benefits to both sides. It also opens up markets, enabling buyers to see a wider range of potential suppliers.

Do take a look if you haven’t already; indeed, if you investigated back in the autumn then it is worth another look given the latest enhancements. I have also written a “guest article” for the SpendLead website; here is a brief extract, but do go and read the whole thing on the site here.

Procurement in Difficult Times – Don’t Use Your Hammer, Use Your Brain!

“The new year has started with very dramatic movements on the world’s stock markets.  Concerns about an economic slowdown in China, and what looked like a “bubble” in share prices in that country, have driven the Shanghai market down by over 20% in 2016 already. Other markets followed, with concerns about debt levels, the inability of central banks to stimulate economies further given very low interest rates, and “experts” in leading bank RBS telling their clients to “sell everything” ...

But when times get tough, there is always a danger that procurement reverts to the most basic of approaches. Under pressure from the CEO or the CFO, the function looks to cut costs and improve cash flow. Get out the big hammer, threaten to beat up the suppliers, demand price reductions, extend payment terms … the depressing list goes on. To some extent, this is easy stuff to implement, although of course it has longer term effects in terms of supplier relationships, risk and security of supply and so on. (“We want to be your strategic partner and you must give us all your best ideas for new products. Oh yes, and a 5% price reduction across the board please”).

However, there is another type of approach…”

(You can read the rest here)!

 

Note: Jason Busch and Peter Smith are small shareholders in SpendLead.

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