The Procurement Analysts’ Reel – An Interview with Nick Heinzmann
As we explained in our post last week, we are running a series of podcasts we have named The Analysts’ Reel – in them we speak to each of our analysts about their areas of expertise, their thoughts on current market trends within their procurement domains, and find out a little bit more about them generally.
We thought it was about time our readers got to know our analysts better to understand who is behind our vendor and tech research and analysis and contributes to the famous SolutionMap vendor and platform benchmark rankings. The analysts have a deep understanding of the procurement market which can help procurement practitioners and leaders with their business challenges.
In a nutshell:
Nick Heinzmann is an associate analyst based in Chicago covering niche and new technology providers for Spend Matters. Simply put, Nick helps buyers make optimal decisions about technology and solution offerings and services, whether that be procurement organisations, software providers, consultants or investors and corporate development teams.
How did Nick become involved in the industry?
Nick’s journey into the world of procurement followed an untraditional path. After completing an undergraduate degree in cello performance at Northwestern University, Nick transitioned into Northwestern’s graduate programme for journalism. He decided he wanted to cover something connected to “the real world,” and set out to report on agricultural derivatives at the Chicago Board of Trade. When Nick went looking for his first full-time job, he met Lisa Reisman, CEO of both Spend Matters and Metal Miner and began working as a procurement copyeditor. Through that he invested a lot of time working with analysts, expanding his knowledge of the procurement industry and discovering how procurement related to the broader world. He went from that to developing a deep interest in procurement analysis, eventually graduating into the analyst role he holds today.
What specific areas does Nick cover, and what industry topics interest him?
Nick’s coverage includes solutions that do not fit neatly into the categories that comprise our SolutionMap analyses of e-procurement, e-sourcing and so on, along with vendors that are new to the procurement technology market or ones that need validation of capabilities before entering the rigorous Solution Map RFI process. He also has a growing interest in contract lifecycle management and related risk management solutions, which he plans to address in expanded coverage for Spend Matters PRO (our in-depth subscription service) as this critical market continues to grow.
What global developments and trends are catching Nick’s attention?
Nick is fascinated by the ways the procurement industry relates to the world as a whole. In relation to our Spend Matters UK/Europe audience, he is particularly interested in the broader implications of two procurement facets: the evolution of the Prompt Payment Code and the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) move to end modern-day slavery. Firstly, he has been paying close attention to the role technology has played in facilitating the relationships between smaller and larger businesses and ensuring all parties are held accountable through the prompt payment code. Secondly, he has keenly observed the sections relating to supply chains within the UK’s 2015 law intending to combat modern slavery, in which companies must report on their efforts to eliminate slavery within their supply chains. Overall, Nick believes procurement is more than simply buying, selling and cutting-costs and he is passionate about the ways the industry connects the world at large.
What does Nick believe is the power of SolutionMap?
One of the largest advantages to working with Spend Matters’ SolutionMap tool, he says, is its ability to provide a persona-driven approach, rather than using a one-size-fits-all analysis, to help organisations find the best software fit. This helps cater to the unique processes and needs of organisations of all sizes. Nick especially loves delving into Spend Matters’ Nimble persona and the simplicity of the technology which allows organisations to be at ease while navigating the software. He has written more about this topic here.
Where does Nick think Spend Matters’ biggest opportunity lies
Nick knows people tend to think of Spend Matters as the technology geeks who have all of the functional requirements ‘down to a T,’ know what exactly is happening in the market and have a huge network of connections with technology providers both new and established. However, he notes that Spend Matters also has advanced advisory capabilities and a huge body of knowledge on the specifics of procurement processes. “We’re not just the tech guys, but we function on the customer and procurement organisation side as well,” he said. “It’s about bringing both aspects together and creating new and valuable insights from that process.”
What does Nick think everyone should know about Spend Matters?
Though Spend Matters originated as a blog and is still run as a blog post-style website, Nick believes many readers are unaware of Spend Matters’ true scope. From our journalists who are writing about the latest trends in the field and deals in the technology sector, to the analysts who cover the full spectrum of procurement with specialisation in each area, Nick has seen the information available through Spend Matters develop immensely. He hopes everyone in the procurement industry will become aware of the level of research and expertise, codified into SolutionMap, that Spend Matters makes available.
Listen to the podcast to get to know Nick better.
Tune in next week for our interview with contingent labour services analyst – Andrew Karpie