Process and Best Practice Content

Public Spend and Riding a Bike: A Fresh Look at Successful Buyer-Supplier Relationships

In Spend Matters’ effort to examine public spend, we came across an article on Public Spend Forum that highlights a universal truth — while also leading into a lesson on rethinking how to source a project. The truth is that having the knowledge about something doesn’t mean that you can understand it enough to use it effectively. Kate Vitasek, a professor at the Haslem College of Business Administration at the University of Tennessee and founder of the Vested business model, learned a similar lesson when studying why some buyer-supplier relationships were more successful than others. Along the way she studied these transactions — even looking at U.S. Air Force procurement deals — and developed the Vested business model, which has five steps. Check out the details in this story and hear her on a podcast.

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Ensuring a Positive Return on Technology Investment

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A recent Efficio survey of 225 procurement leaders found that technology is driving significant activity in their organizations. Indeed, 63% of survey respondents admitted to completely rethinking their procurement approach as a result of new technologies, while 78% believe digital transformation should be a boardroom priority. Transforming processes with technology was also the single most popular procurement objective in 2018, indicating the level of focus currently on digitalization.

The same survey revealed that 82% of organizations prefer to make better use of existing technologies before investing in new ones. This implies that the benefits of technology investments made to date are yet to be fully realized and that, so far, technology is failing to meet expectations. In our view, companies can take a number of steps to ensure they get the best return from their technology investments.

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Insights into Supply Chain Cyberattacks: From Ports to Production

While cyberattacks have taken place in a variety of forms since the 1990s, the threat has become more palpable and acute in the past decade with businesses increasingly relying on networked systems and the internet of things (IoT), especially in the logistics and supply chain space. In a recent survey conducted by the American cybersecurity technology company Crowdstrike, 66% of IT decision makers said their companies had suffered a supply chain cyberattack in the past 12 months, bringing to light a threat that many considered an abstract concept. Whether the risk stems from a virus, internal bug or insider threat from within one’s organization, the effects on production line, distribution network, shipping, supplier communication or even residual risks left over from a terminated vendor relationship, pose considerable danger to firms and beyond. Moreover, the scope with which cyberevents must be observed and mitigated require an ever-more invested and communicative approach to ensure that when the inevitable does occur, all parts of one’s supply chain can effectively work together to defend and keep operations on track. Check out five recommendations to get you prepared.

Streamlining Supplier Management to Scale Globally: A Case Study of Geosyntec Consultants and AdaptOne

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Geosyntec Consultants, an engineering and consulting firm, needed to upgrade its supplier management system so it could streamline and improve its business. The Florida company works with public and private sector clients across the U.S., Canada, Malaysia and the U.K. It employs more than 1,200 consultants (engineers, scientists, technical personnel) and manages more than 8,300 suppliers, many of which require stringent safety certifications and compliance requirements that come from their clients.

As Geosyntec expanded its practice, it looked for a supplier management solution that could streamline its manual and disjointed processes, all while maintaining needed organizational accountability. Find out what it learned in the process and how it made its choice: AdaptOne.

The Ultimate Guide to Subcontracting in Government Procurement

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Public Spend Forum, which is helping us look at the world of public sector procurement.

Entering the world of government contracting requires considerable effort and education on the complicated process. Once you’ve overcome all of the hurdles and secured your first government contract, you may find you’ll require additional assistance to fulfill the job. Before you begin your search for the appropriate subcontractors, you’ll want to review the applicable regulations and compliance requirements. And you'll want to read the tips in this guide.

ERP vs. Best-in-Class Spend Management Solutions: Making the Tough Choice

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from RiseNow Managing Partner Matt Stewart.

With an endless list of options in the procurement software space, how is it possible to choose between spend management solutions like Ariba, Basware, Coupa and Jaggaer? Should you even consider such options when your existing enterprise resource planning (ERP) system is capable of handling basic spend management needs?

If you’re reading this, you’ve likely considered or are considering whether best-in-class source-to-pay (S2P)/procure-to-pay (P2P) solutions are worth your time, money and effort. You’ve probably wondered how the benefits compare between the solutions, whether one far exceeds another in ROI, what is best for your end users and suppliers, and if the rate of adoption is greater with one solution over another.

This story offers a few good places to start when determining whether your ERP provider or a best-in-class spend management solution is best for your organization.

For 2019, Fintech Faces More Automation, a Rise in Early Payments and a Marriage with Regtech

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Chen Amit, CEO and co-founder of Tipalti.

Automation will be a key driver for companies in 2019, especially in a space like fintech. Robotic process automation (RPA) became popular in 2018 and will only continue to rise in the ranks as companies are seeing the lasting benefits for a range of applications, including data management, accounting and payroll management.

Another strong trend is early payments. And also in 2019, fintech will no longer be fintech anymore. Regtech, the concept of using technology to address increasing regulatory requirements and business risks, is marrying with fintech.

Maverick Spend Has a Perception Problem — on Its Causes and Its Solutions

Many of the most effective ways to curb maverick spend — like using e-procurement tools with approved supplier catalogs or better contract management tools integrated into the buying process — still have not been implemented by more than half of most organizations, a survey by The Hackett Group found. And it found that perceptions of the causes and solutions for maverick spend can vary depending on a worker’s role.

Procure-to-pay technology provider Basware used the research for its study, “Perception and Reality: A Report on Maverick Spend,” which examined the practice of making purchases outside the compliant procurement process. Maverick spending can take many forms, including purchases made outside a preferred channel or supplier, or those that do not follow contract terms and miss out on negotiated savings. Some of the rogue purchases happen because employees or their managers consider the transaction to be too small to matter.

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Preparing Supply Chains for Climate Change: Top Risks and Strategies for Adaptation

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On Nov. 23, the Trump administration released the findings of the fourth National Climate Assessment, which detailed a dire set of predictions for U.S. businesses over the next several decades.

In addition to the headline statistic projecting that the U.S. economy will shrink 10% by the year 2100 due to effects from climate change, the report, which was compiled by leading climate scientists and 13 federal agencies, warned that numerous facets of global supply chains are at risk for disruption. These include not only common problems from natural disasters such as wildfires and hurricanes but also breakdowns in critical logistics infrastructure, geographic shifts in resource availability and volatility in global trading relationships, to name a few.

The report paints a bleak picture, but it also offers several takeaways that can help businesses get a grip on how to understand the supply chain risks of climate change and begin addressing them. Key among these is the suggestion that material, facility and logistics planning will all need to begin adapting today to effectively tackle climate change-related effects in the near and long terms.

To help you get started, here are the top three areas that procurement and supply chain organizations should examine when assessing the risks that climate change poses to their supply chains, as well as the NCA report’s key recommendations about how to address them today.

B2C E-Commerce Has Some Lessons for B2B Platforms Being Built, Report Finds

As B2B e-commerce platforms try to match the level of maturity found in B2C systems, a recent report takes a snapshot of how CEOs, chief digital officers and innovation executives are investing in technology, which innovation they’re pursuing and how they’re making those decisions.

In addition to that benchmarking aspect, a trend emerges in how B2B customers want their online shopping experience to be — and they want many of the same bells and whistles that consumers get when using B2C marketplaces online.

The survey found that technology that can seem cold or off-putting — like artificial intelligence (AI) or machine learning (ML) — is actually playing a role in connecting people and the products or brands they want.

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The Case for a Freelance Workforce in 7 Stats

The world of work is evolving right before our eyes. Some of today’s biggest brands have started incorporating freelancers and contractors into their growth strategies in an effort to build a more nimble, competitive and specialized workforce. Workforce transformation initiatives have become key topics of discussion in enterprise boardrooms around the country.

Some businesses aren’t buying the hype — while others have begun investing in new tools and technologies that are empowering them to work better, faster and smarter than ever before.

Let's look at seven stats that illuminate the benefits of a flexible workforce.

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Procurement Digitalization Has 2 approaches: All or Some

In an increasingly digital world where manual processes are transformed into bits and bytes, the challenge for Procurement Organizations is to stay relevant. Many companies struggle to decide whether a dedicated Procurement function is “good to have” or a “must have,” according to Rahul Devarakonda, Beroe Inc.’s head of product.

Procurement Digitalization” promises to offer an abundance of solutions to multiple problems. But the pressing question is: Can Procurement teams achieve the much-needed centrality if they jump onto the Digitalization bandwagon?

While expectations are high, so are the complexities in implementing digitalization in one’s organization. For example, questions could range from as simple as “where to start” to as complex as “what mix of solutions can bring in more value to operations.” There are solutions in the market that envisage complete overhaul of processes and systems, but Procurement Organizations also can take an alternate approach, which uses a plug-and-play model to digitize certain processes that otherwise consume too much time and effort.

Industry experts weigh in with their assessments for when to do a vast Digitalization switch and when it makes sense to digitalize parts of a company's operations.