News

Why are procurement and supply chain job markets more robust than other professions?

There is a theory that the procurement, supply chain and associated spend management technology sectors are more robust than many other professional job markets during difficult economic periods.  It appears to have been supported by some evidence that the market conditions are noticeably improving in recent weeks.

For the procurement and supply chain profession, the thinking behind the theory is that these functions move up the corporate agenda in challenging economic circumstances because there is pressure for cost savings, and concerns about managing risk across the supplier base.  

It, therefore, follows that these professions are more secure when companies are looking at reducing headcount if job losses are on their agenda.  Furthermore, an increase in workload for these departments often leads to additional staff, whether they be full time or contractors, because a business case can be made that the hire is vital even when headcount is a sensitive issue.

What does this mean for the companies that provide tech solutions and others services to the procurement and supply chain profession?

Well, we observed much more recruitment activity in the final quarter of 2020 than had been the case earlier in the year, and anecdotally this compared favourably with recruitment conditions in other professional sectors in the UK.  Furthermore, we have already seen a positive momentum to activity early in 2021 with increased headcount in several vendors for revenue-generating roles, mainly for sales and presales roles so far.

With recruitment activity often seen as a key barometer of economic health, what does this tell us?  Knowing how many tech vendors faired last year against their revenue targets and also how their sales varied over the course of the year, we believe there is evidence to support the theory that the Covid pandemic has, and will continue to be a catalyst for increased digital transformation of procurement and supply chain in a number of industries.

This is further supported by significant hiring activity from the leading transformation consultancies who partner with the tech vendors on implementation and adoption of solutions like Coupa, SAP Ariba and Ivalua.

So are companies feeling bullish about their prospects in 2021 because of the nature of what digital transformation in procurement and supply chain can deliver for organisations?  It would appear so and would tie in nicely to the aforementioned theory that more is expected from procurement and supply chain functions in challenging times.

We will examine the details behind these trends in our forthcoming edition of The Procurement and Spend Management Insider report which is due for publication at the end of January 2021.  For those of you who missed the previous edition, it is available here. If you download it you will automatically register to receive the new edition.  

Besides the usual summary of news from the sector, the report particularly focused on what various procurement tech vendors were doing for their customers when the Pandemic first hit.

The forthcoming Insider will also feature some fascinating insight into what the procurement and supply chain communities have been demanding from their tech suppliers in the second half of 2020, how that has impacted on the market, and what that means for the spend management sector in 2021.

Based on our research so far, the hot topics include a real emphasis on better use of spend analytics along with managing major issues in the supply chain including risk, security, sustainability and traceability.

Furthermore, in order to help both hiring managers and professionals working in our specialist sectors, we are also researching what has changed in the job market, specifically how have people’s attitudes to career moves changed given factors like economic uncertainty, different work demands, increased home working and a reduction in business travel.

Please find 2 minutes to give your views in this short survey here, it will really help us to get the best possible data insights on this important subject.

Thank you

Andrew Daley

Director 

Edbury Daley

Growing momentum for The Sustainable Procurement Pledge

The Sustainable Procurement Pledge has recently celebrated its first birthday. It is nearing 3500 followers on LinkedIn and enjoys a growing number of Ambassadors who have pledged their commitment to the cause.  Here’s a little information from the website:

Our Purpose

We are Procurement. ​Sustainability in supply chains is our responsibility.

We will build a sustainable future for people and our planet.

Our Vision

All supply chains across the world ​have embedded sustainable procurement practices by 2030.

Based on my own experience and the reaction across my network to me joining the cause, it really seems to be growing in momentum and it’s great to see so many procurement professionals from high profile, influential organizations involved, particularly companies in the pharmaceuticals industry (e.g. Bayer, Roche) and the consumer world (Unilever, Mars, P&G, Henkel etc). 

I have joined the pledge myself and am proud to have updated my LinkedIn profile with the Ambassador role as a current job. I mention that because I think it’s a very clever way to build awareness of the campaign on LinkedIn (which is full of so much noise these days) and one of the many things that the founders deserve great credit for.

All of our team will join and help to raise awareness as our initial contribution in the short term. In the future we would like to find a more influential way to contribute to the initiative as explained in this very interesting article from Spend Matters – https://spendmatters.com/2020/11/17/the-sustainable-procurement-pledge-qa-businesses-can-make-a-massive-difference/

One thing we at Edbury Daley are particularly excited about is the possibility of helping companies who are actively developing their capability in this area hire people with a passion for the cause and/or great experience of procurement sustainability projects. 

We’ll also learn from these people so that we can put sustainability at the heart of our sourcing decisions next time we have to go to market for new suppliers. 

We are also interested in the technology angle that can help facilitate greater achievements in the whole CSR space. We supported the “Procurement with Purpose” initiative when working with SAP Ariba when they put it at the heart of their message back in 2018, and have several other tech clients who are working on solutions that help drive the CSR agenda, protect organisations from risk in their supply chain and promote suppliers who embrace the sort of values that are common in this world.

On that subject, we are in the process of partnering with Australian Spend Analytics firm Robobai who themselves have demonstrated their commitment to this area. In a recent article for Australian website Financial Review, Robabai Founder Julian Harris explained what they can offer:

While there are other AI-driven procurement platforms claiming to save enterprises money, Harris said Robobai was different because it added the introduction of laws and the ability to check for diversity and ethics in supply chains. which name-and-shames corporates.

By pulling in third party databases to its “data lake”, Robobai could for instance suggest suppliers to accord with a corporate’s wish to spend more on female-owned or Indigenous-owned suppliers. 

Robobai also claims to help businesses avoid the ignominy of having slavery embedded in their supply chains. 

“For instance if your business is buying batteries, they’re likely to have cobalt in them, and 60 per cent of the world’s cobalt comes from mines using child labour in the Congo,” Mr Harris said. 

Robobai can also collate country-of-origin data to help businesses avoid or manage COVID-19 hotspots in their supply chains, Mr Harris said. AirTree partner John Henderson, who has joined Robobai’s board as part of the investment, saw global potential for its platform. “Supply chain risk is a critical, board-level topic in large organisations. Procurement officers are struggling to manage thousands of supplier contracts, are often double-spending, and are rarely able to trace key risks like modern slavery,” he said. 

“Robobai… changes the way organisations buy from suppliers.” 

If you would like to join the Sustainable Procurement Pledge or arrange an introduction to Robabai please contact Andrew Daley on LinkedIn or via andrew@edburydaley.com

Andrew Daley

Director – Procurement Technology & Spend Management 

www.edburydaley.com – Putting Procurement Technology Talent Within Your Reach

And now a Proud Ambassador of The Sustainable Procurement Pledge

Tel: +44 7711 715258

The Procurement & Supply Chain Technology Market – what’s been happening?

If you, like us, like to know what’s going on in the world of procurement, finance and supply chain technology then you’ll enjoy this quick summary of recent developments, not all of which are general knowledge!

So, in our day to day networking across the sector we are hearing some really interesting information.  In summary, what I am seeing and hearing across the procurement, supply chain and data technology space in that the companies that are doing particularly well this year are offering greater insights, visibility and scrutiny across the supply chain, often using spend data and analytics which clearly ties in with the impact of Covid as supply chain planning and swift, often drastic, cost cutting measures become top of many agendas. 

Conversely, the picture for those companies whose solutions typically require major procurement/finance transformations is mixed as several have seen their growth plans hit by Covid.

Both Tradeshift and Tungsten have recently restructured operations resulting in  redundancies, whereas Coupa continues to hire and of course make significant acquisitions.

On that subject,  the big, recent news in the market of course is that Coupa have bought Llamasoft for around $1.5 billion in a deal that brings supply chain planning into the portfolio of Coupa solutions, something that could be a real game changer for them.  Spend Matters is the place to read more about that deal if you are interested.

One high profile move worth noting is the return of Henrik Smedberg to UK in his role as Head of Intelligent Spend Management UKI (i.e. SAP Ariba & SAP Fieldglass).  This role was previously held by Stephan Beeusaert (now Smartsheet) and before that Justin Sadler Smith (now Basware). Henrik is well respected with the business having previously work in the Nordics (2011-2013) and more recently leading sales for ANZ out of Sydney before moving to the UK. 

The mixed picture in the vendors is reflected to a degree in the consultancies that inhabit the partner ecosystems of the likes of Coupa, Ariba and Ivalua.  For example there is news from  Accenture that their UK practice leads for both Coupa and Ariba have recently left the business in moves that appear to weaken their offering in that space.  However KPMG, seen by many as the lead partner for Coupa, go from strength to strength with some excellent recent project wins (Astra Zeneca and Nationwide to name two) and impressive hires strengthening their capability.

As we head towards the end of the calendar year, there is hope that some technology vendors can finish the final quarter (traditionally the best quarter of the year for sales at the big players) on a high.  The reason being that with so many potential projects/sales placed on hold in the Spring as Covid first took hold in Europe, the message from the sales people in our network is that clients now want to get things moving again.  So we can expect a strong performance towards the end of year and maybe some deals dragging into early next year given the general pace of progress in the market.

Of course the procurement events calendar is still severely affected by Covid unfortunately and the companies that focus on this sector are having to work hard to reinvent themselves to a degree.

One interesting development that caught our eye came from the innovative Matthias Gutzman, founder of Digital Procurement World.  Besides his online awards that effectively replaced this years event (they featured pitches from several start up vendors competing in various categories)  he appears to be reinventing DPW or certainly adding to their service offering by using the likes of LinkedIn to post about major corporates looking to source vendors in areas like e-invoicing, spend analytics etc.  So far there have been opportunities with the likes of Shell and Roche so this is definitely something that sales people from vendors should be keeping a close eye on.

Procurement  Leaders held their virtual World Procurement Congress last week.  Normally one of the highlights of the procurement events calendar, the three day conference usually ends with the black tie dinner and awards.  This year CEO Nandini Basuthakur and guest host, comedian Sindhu Vee, did their best to celebrate some great achievements from the profession this year with another virtual event.

In terms of the categories involving procurement technology, the prize for the best P2P Specialist went to Ivalua for the second year in a row whilst the Ecovadis CSR award went to Mondelez.  The Procurement Technology award went to the regular sponsor of the World Procurement Congress GEP.  Whilst anecdotally we are hearing that GEP have had a productive year in Europe winning several new clients, I wonder if there are people working for other vendors that would suggest a degree of favouritism!  

Here’s a list of all the companies that were shortlisted for awards.

We hope you’ve found this news summary interesting. If you want any more information or would like to discuss any aspect of the market, whether you are thinking about hiring or your own career, please do get in touch with me via andrew@edburydaley.com

 

Andrew Daley

Director – Procurement & Spend Management

+44 7711 715258

Edbury Daley – Putting Procurement Talent Within Your Reach

www.edburydaley.com

What’s happening in the Procurement Technology job market?

There is evidence that activity in the procurement solutions market is picking up as companies consider accelerating the digitisation of their procurement and finance functions.  Consulting and software business leaders talk about their target clients regretting not having had digital procurement and supply chain solutions in place during the pandemic.  

In the finance world, P2P solution providers are encouraged by talk of reshoring and the problems they can solve for clients who are still on-premise in an age of increased home working.

Many expect buying/sales cycles to be even longer than before with additional stakeholders brought into the decision making progress but at least we have some positive signs.

So what does that mean for the job market in the procurement tech sector? We thought it would be useful for you to know whether you are planning to hire, trying to keep your best people or considering your own options.

We’ll look at some data for professional job markets as a whole before sharing some anecdotal evidence from the procurement, finance, and supply chain tech markets.

Firstly let’s consider some interesting data seen by Edbury Daley from a report produced by Vacancysoft in conjunction with APSCo.   The research looked at trends across all professional job markets (with salaries of £40k upwards) in London and offered sector by sector trends. It told us the following:

“Prior to the COVID-19 crisis we would expect on average that there would be between 500 and 600 professional vacancies per day in the capital, across all sectors. With that in mind we can see that at the beginning of Q2, the five day rolling average was 167, understandable given that we were in the early stages of lockdown. In contrast, on July 31st, this had increased to 358, and, in fact, there were multiple days in July where daily totals exceeded 400. While there’s certainly still some room for improvement, the capital’s hiring is clearly heading in the right direction. 

When analysing activity by sector, Technology continues to dominate in terms of vacancy numbers, with activity up 33% compared to June. However, while it accounts for a significant proportion of the capital’s hiring, Technology was far from the best performing sector when measuring month on month change, with other specialisms outperforming it including Consumer Goods & Services (up 58%) and Real Estate & Construction (up 46%.) 

The fact that so many other sectors outperformed Technology in this regard has resulted in the share of professional vacancies in the sector dropping to under 30% of all roles posted in London, for the first time since before the outbreak.”

The top six sectors for hiring activity in London are Technology, Banking, Retail, Consumer goods, Professional services (accounting & consulting), Real estate and construction and Insurance.

Now let’s look at what’s been happening recently in the procurement, supply chain and finance technology markets:

Hiring understandably slowed in recent months with many software firms placing all but absolutely essential hiring on hold.  

With sales targets seeming a long way off, new hires in sales were hit hardest along with presales.  There have already been some redundancies in these teams and we expect more to follow.

In some cases, companies have clearly taken the opportunity to rationalise by moving their poorer performers on.  Others have cranked up the pressure to deliver in difficult circumstances on their best people resulting in some disenfranchised staff who are still in roles, but are more open to moves than was previously the case.

Customer Success and Account Management roles have been more commonplace because vendors have seen more activity from within their existing customer base.  This has been most notable in spend analytics and other solutions that can accelerate cost saving projects.

The bigger, established players have typically been more inclined to place a total hold on hiring whilst smaller, best of breed companies have been more likely to be flexible and make key strategic hires when the right person becomes available.

So what can we expect for the rest of 2020?

Limited hiring activity in sales and presales as many companies tread carefully and realign both expectations and budgets.

Some very good people coming to the job market but potentially frustrated by the limited options available to them.

Certain companies, the more bullish ones, will demonstrate their financial health and belief in their long term prospects by taking advantage of the lack of competition for top talent. Such companies will be able to snap up some great people who might previously have been reluctant to move.  

We are talking to a network of people who fit this description and value our specialist expertise in the procurement, finance and supply chain tech markets. If you want to understand how you can access this network please get in touch using andrew@edburydaley.com

New Hiring Challenges

For those companies that are recruiting or thinking about their plans for later this year, it’s worth thinking about the questions that are facing hiring managers in this unique set of  market conditions:

How do you make effective hires without meeting candidates face to face?

How do you onboard people if your offices aren’t open or have limited capacity?

Are people reluctant to move jobs for security reasons?

What are employers’ work from home policies and how are they going to change?

We’ve been working with clients to address all these questions so if you want to hear how other companies are managing these challenges we’d be happy to help.

Andrew Daley
Director – Procurement & Spend Management

www.edburydaley.com

Are the lights coming back on? Is recruitment coming back on the agenda?

The professional recruitment world completely ground to a halt for much of March, April and May as the Covid pandemic took hold of the global economy.  The recruitment industry was decimated as a substantial proportion of recruiters were placed on furlough schemes and various major players announced drastic reductions in revenue.  Of course, we are still hearing about predictions of mass unemployment when the furlough schemes end, but we are pleased to say that we are just starting to see some positive signs in the market after such a difficult period.

Staffing industry analysts (SIA), the global advisor on Staffing and Workforce Solutions have just reported that “the pandemic continued to weigh heavily on recruitment activity at the end of the second quarter of 2020, with clients implementing recruitment freezes or cancelling hires until the outlook brightened.”

This analysis was based on the latest UK Report on Jobs by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation and KPMG which reported that “permanent staff placements and temporary billings both fell at notably weaker rates than in April and May when the Covid-19 pandemic was at its most severe”

James Stewart, Vice Chair at KPMG, said, “Despite an inevitable further drop in hiring activity for permanent and temporary staff, it is encouraging to see they both fell at softer rates than seen in April and May. However, the air of uncertainty around the Covid-19 pandemic will linger – and rebuilding confidence in the UK jobs market will take time.”

One more interesting statistic for you SIA also report that “the number of job adverts posted across the UK increased 20% in the week ending 5 July compared to the previous week, this is the first positive increase in weeks according to the latest real-time statistics from Broadbean Technology, the network of job boards”.  

Now week to week statistics can be misleading, especially when you consider the baseline position that this information starts from, but as we head into the third quarter of the year it seems that things are gradually improving although it’s still clearly very early days. 

Another positive to be aware of is that there is some evidence that the procurement and supply chain world enjoys one of the more robust job markets supported by the theory that the profession becomes more important during the tough economic times – there was certainly evidence to support this in 2008-10.  So expect the procurement world to be ahead of many other professions.

For the vendors and consultancies in the procurement solutions sector, they are relying on their target clients realising the value of their solutions when the pressure is on for savings and efficiencies.   Hopefully, this faith is well-founded as some niche procurement tech firms have told us that existing clients are leaning on them more than ever and in some cases, they are actually ahead of this year’s sales targets – an amazing achievement in the circumstances!

If your company is fortunate enough to be in a strong position, it’s actually a great time to hire as those organisations who are still very nervous about the future aren’t hiring at present so there’s less competition for good people.  There’s also clear evidence that there is some outstanding talent on the job market including top performers who are concerned about job security and interim specialists seeking the perceived security of a full-time job on a permanent contract.

The problem for HR and Talent departments is that the responses to these adverts will be through the roof given the number of job seekers and someone has to sort through all those responses from people who aren’t suitable for the role in the hope that they can find a few strong candidates for interviews.

I’d say its quicker and easier to make successful hires through a specialist recruiter but I would say that because I am a specialist recruiter.  Thankfully our clients who are back in hiring mode agree.

Andrew Daley

Director – Procurement Technology Practice

Edbury Daley

andrew@edburydaley.com

+44 7711 715258

For more information and analysis on the Procurement and Spend Management job markets, you can access regular reports here.

Edbury Daley publish their latest Procurement Insider Report

Procurement Technology Recruitment Specialist Edbury Daley has just published the Spring 2020 version of their well-respected Procurement and Spend Management Insider Report. It is available for free download from their website (link below).   One of the authors, Andrew Daley told us:

“The world has become dominated by the Covid-19 outbreak with the business world changing in ways that many of us could never have imagined.

So rather than just providing commentary on what has happened in the procurement and procurement technology job markets over the previous six months as past editions, this report is slightly different.

Firstly, we focus on sharing some examples of how the procurement supply chain and spend management communities have stepped up to help deal with the crisis with valuable contributions from SAP Ariba, Rosslyn Data Technologies, HICX, C2FO, Risk Methods and Sievo. 

Secondly, and not forgetting the history of this publication, we report on the job market trends dating back to our last report in October 2019 and take this commentary up to the point where it became clear that Coronavirus was going to have a significant impact on Europe.

Finally, we report on what we are doing as a business for our clients and how our unique offering is still proving valuable and will continue to do so in the future.”

You can download the report here: The Procurement and Spend Management Insider, Spring 2020

What is Oracle offering the Procurement profession?

Oracle Open World was the first big technology conference of the new decade that caught my attention.

I’d heard rumours for a while that they were in the process of stepping up their capability and presence in the market.

Going back a couple of years they were regular contributors at eWorld but they weren’t at either event in 2019.

However, people in my network, mainly experienced sales people, mentioned that they had received approaches on Oracle’s behalf and for a while, people in the sector talked of them as the most likely company to buy Coupa.

That talk quieted down last year, probably due to the Coupa share price, but I thought it well worth attending the event at London’s ExCel conference centre to see where procurement (and supply chain) features on their agenda.

I think it’s important to state this event was very much covering the entire Oracle technology stack so it was never going to be all about procurement.

However, there were very few familiar faces from the procurement world at any of the lead sponsors’ stands, the likes of Deloitte, Accenture and IBM all of whom are regulars at the likes of Procurement Leaders, Ariba Live and Coupa Inspire.

And despite a large number of sponsors and partners spread across a very large area (I hit my step count for the day by 10.37am 😁) there was little evidence of anyone with a clear procurement or supply chain focus.

So I searched the event app to see what I could find.

Early in the day, there was a supply chain presentation led by a US based FD, which I thought was a strange choice. Unfortunately, it clashed with an opening keynote covering diversity in the workplace. Looking at the solution later on the stand (see enclosed pic) it is clearly focused on transport and planning.

However, during lunchtime there was the only dedicated procurement session I could find on the app. It featured Nina Junehead, Merchandising & Replenishment CIO of Swedish retailer ICA.

There wasn’t much time to dig into the capability of the solution in a 15 minute presentation, but the discussion around how ICA is going to manage its Supplier and SKU data going live on the Oracle data hub in the next few weeks was the most interesting element.

Obviously it’s difficult to judge the capability of the solution on so little evidence, but it didn’t feel like they are ready to go head to head with the likes of SAP Ariba, Coupa and Ivalua. It occurred to me that this could be an opportunity for some of the best of breed tools to target Oracle’s install base.

So I have to conclude that the amount of time dedicated to procurement at this event perhaps tells its own story about Oracle’s priorities.

Those priorities were in sharp focus when the CEO gave her opening keynote.

She talked about Oracles second-generation cloud being “like no other” with the emphasis on greater security. She told us how not even Oracle can see your data. She referred to an architecture driven by people who understand the criticality of customer data.

In an effort to reassure customers still operating in premise she told everyone that even Oracle is running public cloud and that the true digital enterprise benefits from using the vast quantity of data held privately and securely. Other comments that got my attention included:

>> AI and ML don’t just sit on the side, they’re implemented throughout the tech stack and being used in many ways.

>> Supply chain planning that once took weeks now takes an hour.

>> HR can analyse employee performance using it in their HCM solution.

>> Finance is operating with virtually no manual entries and all sorts of analytical tools.

She asked the audience “Are you truly in the cloud? Are you getting updates every 90 days, patched and upgraded without you touching all on the same code. Otherwise you are faux cloud.” A statement that felt like it was aimed at some of the competition.

She told us that they are investing $6bn dollars a year on R&D for its cloud solutions. Let’s hope some of that goes on procurement!

What happened in the Procurement Tech sector in 2019?

This article summarises the high profile job moves of the year, along with mergers and acquisitions and key developments in the sector. 

The following section is taken from our most recent Procurement and Spend Management Report, the Autumn 2019 edition.

The last few months have seen some significant moves in the UK spend management market, particularly in sales leadership. It’s been all change at Basware where Country Manager Louis Fernandes left the business in the summer whilst Stephen Cleminson, their UK Alliances Director, also moved on, joining Ivalua in a similar role covering the UK and Nordics.

In early October news emerged that Basware had appointed Justin Sadler-Smith, previously of IBM Emptoris and most recently UK Sales Director at SAP Ariba, as their new Country Manager. SAP moved swiftly to cover Justin with the internal appointment of Fieldglass UK Sales Director Stephan Beeusaert to cover both Ariba and Fieldglass, which is consistent with their plan to integrate the two businesses alongside Concur into the “Intelligent Spend Group” as announced at Ariba Live in Barcelona back in June.

Outside of the UK, Basware has also lost two respected senior leaders in their overseas businesses with US General Manager Eric Wilson joining GEP in July and Senior VP Ilari Nurmi leaving their European team, and the sector in general, when he joined DevOps business Eficode in August as CEO.

The other big news in the UK is that Ivalua recruited former Tradeshift Sales Director Ian Thompson to lead the growth of their business across the UK and Nordics. They’ve also added Stephen Carter, formerly of Basware.

Jaggaer made a key appointment to lead their eInvoicing compliance capability across Europe when they hired Ken Clarke from Open Text. They now appear to have fully integrated their acquisition of BravoSolutions (first announced in November 2017) into the business judging by their recent activity in Europe.

Simon Thompson, a respected member of the sales team at Ivalua and previously Proactis, has joined SAP Ariba in another move which, as those previously mentioned demonstrate, the software vendors almost always favour hiring people from competitors in the sector who understand how to articulate the value proposition to procurement and finance leaders. More on that later as we look at the key areas of demand in the market.

On the corporate front, Coupa’s impressive growth continued as they announced record quarterly revenues of $95.1 million, up 54% year-over-year.

Rob Bernshteyn, chairman and chief executive officer at Coupa told investors: “These results demonstrate our continued momentum in delivering measurable and repeatable value to our customers. By extending our leadership standing in Business Spend Management (BSM), we feel well-positioned on our path to $1 billion in revenue.”

However, Ivalua can claim to be the fastest-growing privately held company in the market following its move to “unicorn” status (defined as start-ups reaching $1 billion in valuation) after it attracted $60m in funding from a new PE investor in May.

The majority shareholding still sits with the management and founder/CEO David Khuat-Duy, who was quoted at the time of the investment as follows: “This additional capital will allow us to deliver ever more value to our customers and secure future growth.” He also said the investment will fuel product innovation, global business growth and, possibly, strategic acquisitions.

Back to Jaggaer. In mid-October the always excellent Spend Matters reported the appointment of a new CEO as follows: “Jaggaer today announced that it has a new CEO, effective immediately and that it created the new position of chief operations officer. Jim Bureau becomes the CEO after being Jaggaer’s executive vice president. The new COO for the North Carolina-based spend management software provider will be Vic Chynoweth, the current CFO, Jaggaer said.”

Bureau will succeed Robert Bonavito as chief executive. Bonavito will be available as an adviser to the board, Chairman Euan Menzies said in a press release. Menzies said Bureau was vital to Jaggaer’s sales and marketing efforts, as well as “formulating a company culture that supports our current and future goals.”

“During the next several months, Jim, Vic and I will be working together with the rest of the leadership team, to redefine our vision and strategy to capitalize on the exciting opportunities ahead,” Menzies said.

Elsewhere AI-based finance solution provider AppZen, now a regular presence at Procurement (and Shared Services) events like eWorld and SAP Ariba Live, announced $50 million of PE funding from investors who were “impressed by their ability to analyze 100% of spend and its use of artificial intelligence.” We expect to see more of them in the UK market in 2020. 

Back in May this year, we reported the following developments in our Spring 2019 edition of the Insider report.

Coupa continued their growth by acquisition in October last year when they bought Aquiire, who are described as ‘the Leader in Real-Time Supplier Catalog Search’. This was followed up recently when they announced their intention to acquire contract lifecycle management (CLM) leader Exari in mid-April.

With 14 acquisitions in total now, it will be interesting to see how Coupa integrates all this different technology into a unified platform.

The other big news from the past few months was that the proposed acquisition of Basware by Tradeshift, which first came to light in November 2018, was officially terminated at the end of February with this announcement: “Tradeshift has recently informed Basware that it will be unable to proceed given conditions in the capital markets.”

Despite the negotiation of a ‘standstill agreement’ between the two companies until November 2019, several people have speculated to us that they think this deal could still be revived. For now, both parties will press ahead with their growth plans independently.

The other notable deal in the sector, which was also announced in February, was the acquisition of Determine (formally Iasta, B-pack etc.) by procurement and financial process automation solutions provider, Corcentric.

Following some disappointing results last year, Determine was widely known to be ‘in play’ with speculation across the market focusing on who would buy the business rather than whether they would be bought. With a relatively small presence in Europe, it will be interesting to see what their plans are for growth in the region.

There are more details and analysis on all these deals from the excellent Spend Matters website.

Here’s another summary of what happened earlier in the year from our Spring 2019 report.

In terms of high profile moves, these have been relatively few and far between in the last couple of quarters. Dean Pathak, formerly of SAP Ariba, has joined fast-growing finance automation business Rimilia as Chief Revenue Officer joining CEO and former SAP Head of Cloud, Kevin Kimber.

Ragnar Lorentzen, formerly of the Procurement Leaders organisation, has joined supplier master data specialist HICX Solutions.

Lance Younger, high profile former Partner of Deloitte’s digital procurement practice left in January to join Inverto, a subsidiary of The Boston Consulting Group.

Dan Quinn, formerly the leader of the Bravo Solutions Emirates business Tejari, left the company following the Jaggaer acquisition last year. He has recently joined Tradeshift to lead their business in the region.

Another former senior leader of BravoSolutions is Hannele Palge-Rossi who recently joined Risk Methods as their Nordic Region Executive. Hannele was previously leader of BravoSolutions’ Nordics operation. Now Jaggaer, of course, moved to strengthen their local team by appointing Hannu Tikkanen, formerly of Basware in Finland, as their Nordics Sales Director.

At the middle management and experienced SMEs level, several key players continue to be active in the hiring market, particularly SAP Ariba building on their growth with more recruitment into sales, delivery and implementation teams across EMEA. Ivalua remain active in the UK in particular, as were Tradeshift in the latter part of 2018.

Smaller best of breed organisations are typically seeking to strengthen their sales capability but competition for proven performers with knowledge of technology value propositions for procurement is intense with several attractive roles open in the sector at the time of writing. 

THESE ARTICLES ARE EXCERPTS FROM OUR HIGHLY ACCLAIMED PROCUREMENT & SPEND MANAGEMENT INSIDER REPORT WHICH IS PUBLISHED TWICE A YEAR.  

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