Our anniversary! And more on Spend Matters UK & Europe – how it will work?

by Peter Smith on October 13, 2010

I was thinking that it must be about a year since I started this blog, but hadn”t got round to checking the date.  So, at 7 am this morning I looked back to my first post and…. it is  today!  The blog is a year old.   So we’ll wish ourselves happy birthday and take the opportunity to say a bit more about our exciting and imminent plans.

We announced recently our link up (early next week is the target go-live date) with Jason Busch to launch  Spend Matters UK & Europe (incorporating Procurement Excellence).  Our focus initially will be heavily UK based but we will as quickly as possible develop more content of interest to a continental European audience.  And in time we may look at variants on the blog for different regions or countries.  We’ll see how it goes.

Why are we doing this?  Well, apart from the fact we think it will be fun, we believe there is a real need in Europe for intelligent and freely available procurement opinion and analysis.  We will report news, but what has brought Spend Matters its huge readership is the quality and depth of its analysis of procurement issues, technology, products and vendors. Jason has a background with procurement software and technology vendors, and I was blown away by the quality of the Spend Matters research into technology issues in particular.  All available free of change to readers I should say.

My background as many of you will know, is as a procurement practitioner; 15 years or so as a Procurement Manager / Director in several organisations, then 10 years consulting in the field.  So what we want to do is combine our strengths, in a UK and European context, and provide a resource that provides analysis and insight into procurement technology, products and vendors; useful thinking about procurement best practice; analysis of procurement issues and news, all leavened with a bit of humour (and the monthly music review).  Jason will write for the new site and I hope to do a bit more for the US Spend Matters site.

Now, about the business side of things.  After 15 years plus on the procurement side of the table, I developed (how can I put it politely) a healthy distrust for many service providers, consultants and so on.  And one of my pet hates was lack of transparency; not knowing that the consultant was getting a kickback from the software provider, or the logistics firm was in cahoots with the raw material supplier.

So I was pleased that Jason shared my views on this and has a principle of total openness about how Spend Matters works – which is how we are also going to operate in the UK and Europe.  We will be ‘monetising”  (that’s been a new word for me to learn…) the operation; I will be putting around half my working time into this so it does need to become somewhat commercial, although I wouldn’t be doing it if I didn’t really enjoy it, as I suspect it will never be as lucrative as strategic consulting or indeed being CPO of NatWest!

So, Spend Matters in the US gets income from sponsors (of the overall site or individual products, such as research papers) and we will do the same.   But there is one golden rule; the editorial content and opinion is independent of the sponsorship and finances.  And I know Spend Matters has stuck to that absolutely; and we will as well.  We will write about firms who don’t pay us a penny if we think they are interesting to the procurement audience; and we’ll be honest about those who do support the site.  Feel free to chastise us if you ever see evidence that goes against this,  but we know we won’t be credible and therefore successful if we don’t do this.  We will feature our sponsors regularly IF they have interesting things to say; but we will do the same for other firms as well.  Audience interest is the key driver for the content basically.

We believe that sponsorship will offer access to a strong, senior-level procurement readership, the ‘advertising” benefit of featuring on the site, with links to sponsors own material and websites; direct advisory support from Jason and I, and other benefits.  We have some excellent sponsors lined up now; but still have some opportunities.  So if you are interested in being part of this exciting development, please drop me an email and I will send you some relevant information by return;  psmith@procurementexcellence.com

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