When I first started blogging on Spend Matters nearly three years ago, industry analyst coverage of the Spend Management sector was in the trough. Pierre Mitchell had left AMR and the firm had yet to hire a team of new analysts to take on the sector. Forrester and Gartner were in the midst of significant analyst turnover (and they weren't exactly outstanding with their coverage to begin with). And we all know the history of the Aberdeen story at the time. In other words, it was a bad time for all of us, as the sector lacked enough credible third party analysis to help practitioners make the best decisions. But my how things have changed. In the past couple of years, we've seen AMR rebuild a first rate team. Aberdeen has maintained coverage of the sector despite losing an analyst every few months or so (hopefully this is changing, BTW). And Forrester and Gartner are upping the ante with their coverage as well. But now we can add a fifth firm into the mix as well. And that's ChainLink research.
Bill McBeath, who has been leading the research charge for ChainLink in the Spend Management area, recently published an in-depth report that looks at some of the more nuanced aspects of supplier management and nurturing from a case study basis. In it, McBeath digs into significant detail (24 pages, to be specific) of how Dell, P&G and others are deploying innovating techniques and training to improve their supplier management efforts. While a bit short on recommendations for a report of this length, it's still a great read if you're curious about what the best of the best are doing. This report, which costs $295, happens to be the latest in a series of ChainLink publications looking at SRM and Spend Management. All of these reports are for sale on ChainLink's site, and judging from what I've read, I'd say they represent high value for the money. I base this observation on the fact that Forrester, Gartner and others get similar amounts for much shorter pieces of work with less depth if you opt to read them on a pay-as-you-go basis.