When it comes to naming different modules in an end-to-end Spend Management suite -- or supply management or SRM depending on your persuasion -- there's still quite a bit of confusion around what some modules actually do. Take this recent SciQuest announcement (as reported on in Supply and Demand Chain Executive). In it, SciQuest positions its new "supplies manager" module as the bridge to "integrate e-procurement systems with inventory management and internal supply centers, including storerooms, supply closets and lab freezers, to quickly locate in-stock supplies for faster acquisition." Fair enough, but how different is this than the "supply manager" or "supply management" modules that other vendors trumpet? Completely different, in fact. These module descriptions refer to a general portal of cockpit to manage supplier information (e.g., vendor certifications, insurance / accreditation certificates, scorecard data, etc.) But it would be easy for just about anyone to confuse a "supplies manager" module with this type of offering (only 2 to 3 letters are different). In my view, just as the industry coalesced around the terms "e-sourcing, contract management and eProcurement" we need a similar consolidation of terms to refer to different modules so as not to confuse a market which in many cases does not even know all that is available to them. And let's make sure that each module does not sound exactly like another one that does an entirely different thing.
- Jason Busch