Sourcing and Categories Content

Scanmarket Sells 90% of the Strategic Sourcing Vendor to Verdane

Global Risk Management Solutions (GRMS)

Scanmarket, a strategic e-sourcing provider, announced it has sold a 90% stake in its source-to-contract (S2C) company to private equity firm Verdane. The founders of Scanmarket, CEO Betina Nygaard and CCO Ole Nielsen, will retain a 10% share and continue to lead development at the Denmark-based software firm, according to the announcement. Spend Matters lead analyst Michael Lamoureux said the company has “a lot of potential, and a track record to back it up.”

Commodities Roundup: EU Steel Quotas, a Mid-January Review and More Brexit Drama

Brexit

For the buyers and category managers out there, especially those of you deep in the weeds of buying and managing commodities, here’s a quick rundown of news and thoughts from particular commodity markets. From price movements to policy decisions, we scour the landscape for what matters. This week: EU imposes steel quotas, mid-January review of metal prices, a new auto alliance and the Brexit deal goes bust, giving way to more uncertainty.

Freelancers and Fintech — Follow the Money

Companies’ use of freelancers has become a hot topic of discussion as well as a source of considerable confusion among contingent workforce professionals and other human capital personnel in procurement and HR over the past several years.

It is a chaotic discourse. But there does seem to be something of a consensus that the number of individuals performing some type of at least “part-time” freelance or short gig-work has been materially increasing.

While there has been discussion of various potential drivers of this trend (e.g., business cycle, technology, personal income sufficiency, etc.), less attention has been paid to the state of ICW payments and financial services as a potential driver of ICW supply-side growth. And this is the case, despite that multiple surveys of workers have shown that payments is one of the top problems (along with development of new business and securing health insurance) that is gating ready-and-willing workers’ propensity to engage in part-time or full-time independent contract work.

But despite the lagging attention in the industry, market forces have been at work on solving the problem of payment and financial limitations that may be constraining the growth of part- and full-time independent work being performed. Developments in this particular area have become visible over the last year, as we will discuss in this article.

A Look at Barclaycard’s Virtual Card for Coupa’s Business Spend Management Platform

Small Business Credit

Last year, Coupa unveiled its vision for business spend management (BSM), and it added products throughout the year. One of those was a virtual credit card with international reach that’s from Barclaycard, a Coupa partner. We recently caught up with Barclaycard to get a look at the offering and find out more about the deal. In an interview, Barclaycard's Rob Tuckwell walked us through the partnership and talked about how the card works. Spend Matters UK/Europe recently caught up with Barclaycard to get a look at the offering and find out more about the deal. In an interview, Barclaycard Rob Tuckwell walked us through the partnership and talked about how the card works.

Tuckwell, the director of partnerships & B2B at Barclaycard Commercial Payments, said the first thing to know is that this service shouldn’t be confused with P-cards, the physical cards used for procurement purchasing. He said Coupa is using virtual cards that generate a one-time credit card number that’s specific to the purchase order, not a person — allowing greater control and reconciliation benefits.

“This is a much more efficient way of dealing with high-volume, low-value, and one-off suppliers,” he said.

Commodities Roundup: Palladium’s Hot Streak, a Down December and Great Wall’s Affordable EV Play

For the buyers and category managers out there, especially those of you deep in the weeds of buying and managing commodities, here’s a quick rundown of news and thoughts from particular commodity markets. This week: palladium up, copper down and electric vehicle from China may crush prices.

CSR Update: Corporate Social Responsibility Can Lead Customers to Spend More, Study Says

BuyerQuest

Consumers are hungry for more information of all kinds when it comes to corporate social responsibility practices, and many are willing to pay more to companies that can provide it, according to a report in the Manufacturing and Service Operations Management Journal. The study, "Supply Chain Visibility and Social Responsibility: Investigating Consumers’ Behaviors and Motives," identified a strong preference among at least 70% of consumers for advertisements with more precise information about corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities compared to ones with vague information if the price did not change.

2018 in Review: Top Strategic Procurement Technology Posts of the Year

As 2018 draws to a close, Spend Matters is looking back on the top stories of the year: leaps forward in technology, consequential acquisitions and more. As the main source of procurement solution intelligence for the market, we have our finger on the pulse on strategic procurement technology (SPT), which includes sourcing, supplier management, analytics and contract lifecycle management (CLM). Here are the biggest stories, according to reader interest, about strategic procurement tech in 2018, which demonstrate several trends about the state of the industry.

A ‘White Christmas Paper’ — with THE Chief Procurement Officer

Once upon a time, Spend Matters Europe Editor Nancy Clinton and the UK site’s outgoing leader, Peter Smith, were asked by Trade Extensions, now with Coupa, to interview a very special customer and write a case study about the firm’s work with him. So after a magical flight, they sat down with him to learn all about the particular distribution problem he was facing this year. They learned how the Trade Extensions optimization/market informed sourcing system helped him and his business meet quite incredible seasonal demand, by engaging a wide range of distribution sub-contractors. That was done in an optimized manner, despite the great complexity of the problem to be solved.

So sit back and listen as Nancy and Peter share how Father Christmas — the Chief Procurement Officer — comes to grips with sourcing software …

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How to Increase Supplier Collaboration: Where to Start Today

Only 23% of procurement leaders plan to increase the level of supplier collaboration as a lever to deliver value in 2018. We know the days of squeezing suppliers for every penny of savings are gone and that procurement teams recognize supplier relationships as being key to success — so why are only 23% of procurement leaders planning to increase the level of supplier collaboration this year compared to 26% last year and 39% in 2016?1 My hypothesis is that the mandate to “increase supplier collaboration” is easier said than done. 

So, in this post let’s focus on six steps you can take now to kick off your initiative to increase supplier collaboration. 

Addressing CSR and Sustainability Goals Through Improved Indirect Spend Management (Part 1): Background and Challenges

The list of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability risks in the physical supply chain is long. When securing direct materials, procurement organizations must assess factors from restricted or hazardous substances to the kind of labor that went into raw material extraction and even political restrictions like sanctions on whether companies from certain countries are even allowed to do business with you. Because of these and numerous other potential issues, many companies have begun to focus on identifying and eliminating such risks from their supply chains with the help of third-party CSR data sources and risk-monitoring platforms. But while the value of assessing CSR risks for direct materials spend has gained prominence in recent years, the other side of the procurement coin, indirect spend, has not received nearly as much interest. That’s a shame — and a risk in itself.

Category management survey offers benchmarking in exchange for your time, insight

The category management experts at Future Purchasing have a request and an offer as they prepare their global 2018 benchmarking survey. People in procurement can give feedback to help take the pulse of the industry, and they’ll get a copy of the survey and benchmarking feedback for their company. The survey drills deep into current category management usage and patterns, and it gives CPOs and category managers concrete evidence of what works — and what doesn’t. Now, there are just four weeks left before access to the survey closes, and 10 minutes of your time is needed to give your input.

4 Seismic Events for Contingent Workforce/Services in 2018 — A Whole Lotta Shaking Going On

Japan earthquakes

Based on my discussions with people in the contingent workforce and services (CW/S) industry in the past months, it seems that many are thinking that 2018 was a year in which, relative to past years, something quite different was happening. But it was hard to put one’s finger on it. Perhaps it was a year when new technology became more of an exciting opportunity to better serve clients and talent and less as something to fear or be cynical about? Or a year when the industry embraced innovation and change more than it resisted it? Maybe even a year that would mark when a seismic shift in “industry structure” began?

This post provides an overview of four potentially seismic developments in the CW/S technology-based solution space, with references to corresponding 2018 Spend Matters research coverage. Armed with all this information and a sprinkle of analyst commentary, we will leave it to you to form your own perspective about the movers and the shakers in 2018.