Author Archives: Nick Heinzmann



Afternoon Coffee: Amazon Confirms Final HQ2 Locations, California Wildfires Disrupt Supply Chains

Ending its more than yearlong process of searching for a second corporate headquarters, Amazon announced Wednesday it had officially selected New York City and Arlington, Virginia, as the winners. The three active wildfires in California are disrupting logistics operations in the state, closing warehouses and blocking transit routes. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news.

Disrupting the Source-to-Contract Cycle: Putting Contract Management at the Start of Sourcing

contract

The sequential source-to-contract cycle is an accurate representation of how most procurement organizations identify and select suppliers. But it’s not necessarily the best way to approach this process. The typical sourcing cycle begins by searching for and evaluating suppliers on two key criteria: capability and price. Yet evaluating suppliers on these criteria alone does not provide a complete picture of whether that company can and should win the business. For many reasons, contract management should not be considered a final step in the sourcing process. Instead, procurement should include contract compliance at the beginning of the cycle, defining it as an essential reason alongside capability and price.

Afternoon Coffee: Toys R Us Could See Revival in 2019, UPS Freight Prepares for Possible Strike

After closing the last of its physical stores in June, Toys R Us could return to world of living retail chains as a standalone operation next year. UPS announced Monday it would stop picking up shipments from customers and suspend all service beginning Nov. 7 in preparation for a possible strike. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news.

Supplier Relationship Management Needs a Jolt of Technology, State of Flux’s SRM Summit Finds

Procurement has made significant strides in supporting supplier relationship management initiatives, but poor investment in technology could limit the potential benefits those programs can deliver in the years to come, according to State of Flux, a consulting firm that specializes in SRM and which held its annual SRM summit in Chicago on Oct. 23. Over the decade that State of Flux has monitored SRM maturity, procurement organizations have made considerable improvements in several areas — but not in adopting and using technology dedicated to SRM.

Afternoon Coffee: IBM Acquires Red Hat, Pepsi and Nestle Break With Palm Oil Supplier

IBM announced Monday it would acquire Red Hat, a provider of open source enterprise software and cloud services, for $34 billion. Nestle announced earlier this month it would end its joint venture with Indofood Group in response to alleged deforestation and human rights abuses. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news.

Afternoon Coffee: Resilinc Targets SMBs with Streamlined EventWatch Offering, Microplastics Found to Pervade Global Food Supply Chains

Resilinc announced Monday it would begin offering a streamlined version of its its EventWatch news monitoring service tailored for use by small and medium-sized businesses. A new study by revealed that eight subjects from Europe and Japan have an average of 20 particles per quarter pound of microplastics in their bowel movements, a finding that carries major implications for global food supply chains. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news.

How to Inspire a Cash Flow Revolution: Insights from Taulia’s Working Capital Summit

Investors, CEOs and suppliers are pushing procurement and finance organizations to improve working capital performance, and this renewed interest in the state of the balance sheet is poised to create a revolution in how businesses approach cash flow, according to Taulia, a provider of financial supply chain solutions. There is $14 trillion in annual spend volume trapped in global supply chains, and for every $1 billion in revenue, working capital programs can create improvements totaling as much as $70 million, Taulia said last week at its 2018 Working Capital Summit in Chicago.

‘Just Coupa It’: By Buying Aquiire, Coupa Targets Google-like Search and the End of Punch-Outs

Coupa announced its latest acquisition Monday with its purchase of Aquiire, a provider of e-procurement and procure-to-pay software. The deal brings to Coupa’s business spend management suite — which now includes support for e-procurement, P2P, source-to-pay, travel and expense management, and services procurement — many of the latest features for front-end shopping and catalog management, particularly several patents related to real-time search and third-party-hosted catalog integration capabilities. Viewed as part of Coupa’s larger strategy, however, Aquiire is just one piece of a larger puzzle that Coupa has been trying to assemble for the last decade.

The purchase of Cincinnati, Ohio-based Aquiire, along with Coupa’s own innovations in the guided buying area and the company’s 2017 acquisition of Simeno, forms the basis of a shift away from one-to-one, proprietary “punch-out”-based B2B e-commerce models and toward a streamlined, almost touchless approach to finding and buying goods and services. This entails far more than creating a friendly user experience that’s “Amazon-like.” Coupa wants to go one step further, making the search for a corporate purchase as easy as answering a question with Google: one question (sometimes auto-suggested) into the box, numerous answers delivered within the next screen, in real time, prioritized by relevance, price and desired procurement controls.

Coupa’s goal is to make B2B purchasing as easy and reflexive as everyday information retrieval on the broader web. Said another way, when you need to know something, you Google it; when you need to buy something at work, you would Coupa it. Obviously, Coupa is not going to become a verb anytime soon on the scale of Google. The key is to provide a B2B buyer-relevant search that is tuned to the “persona” of the individual buyer to quickly get him or her the needed goods and services from the preferred supply sources and buying channels.

This Spend Matters PRO research brief explores the feasibility of the “Google-like” search concept, as well as how Coupa’s acquisition of Aquiire enables it. It also touches on how Coupa’s approach to front-end shopping enablement compares with the broader e-procurement market, as well as what this means for competitors.

The Road to Cognitive Procurement: LevaData Models a New Standard for Sourcing Maturity

Most procurement groups are coming around to the idea that they need digital transformation. Yet even with a convincing case for taking an AI-based “cognitive” procurement approach to processes like sourcing, excuses about bad data and poor backing from management inevitably stop organizations from taking the first step. LevaData, like other solution providers, is increasingly trying to help procurement not just take on technology but create the roadmap for organizational maturity that leads to better business outcomes.

Coupa Buys Aquiire, Adding to Its Lead in Catalog Search and Front-End Shopping Usability

Coupa is buying Aquiire, a provider of e-procurement software that brings notable capabilities in real-time search and catalog management, for an undisclosed sum, the company announced Monday. In purchasing Aquiire, Coupa gains not only additional modern front-end shopping capabilities (some might argue among the most advanced) but also a complement to the industry-leading catalog management technology it gained from acquiring Simeno in December 2017.

APICS Becoming ASCM: CEO Abe Eshkenazi Details the New Direction

marketing procurement

APICS announced recently it was launching a new supply chain organization that would push the industry association out of its niche for talent development and into corporate transformation strategy. Called the Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM), the new organization seeks to create a fully encompassing group for all professionals who touch the supply chain. More than a rebrand, the creation of ASCM signals a shift in strategy at APICS as well as within the businesses of the customers that the association serves, APICS CEO Abe Eshkenazi told Spend Matters in a recent interview at the APICS 2018 conference in Chicago.

Afternoon Coffee: U.S.-China Trade Talks May Resume in December, Sievo Launches Dynamic Benchmarking Solution

With NAFTA renegotiated into the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), trade watchers are now turning their attention to China. Sievo announced Wednesday the launch of its dynamic benchmarking solution, which allows procurement and finance organizations to compare their sourcing and spend management performance against industry peers in real time. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news.