Earlier this year, Spend Matters conducted an extensive interview with a Capgemini procurement BPO customer -- one using both the Capgemini/IBX procurement technology platform next to supporting category management and sourcing services. Our findings from these discussions suggest a number of overall strengths of Capgemini in the platform's marketing around supporting SAP SRM initiatives. Without question, the two closest competitors when it comes to the capability to enable SAP SRM deployments with additional search, catalog management and electronic invoicing capability are Capgemini and Hubwoo. Spend Matters analysis suggests that other SAP BPO partners using SAP SRM technology have not developed their similar own, organic capabilities to complement SAP's own native ECC and EBP capabilities for direct and indirect spend automation.
In our discussions with a user of IBX's requisitional buying capabilities (for indirect spend), we learned that the combination of being able to search and purchase in an Amazon-like free-text search environment, combined with the underlying SAP support of the broader application and Capgemini's unique capabilities around shopping, high quality content, requisitioning, approvals and a closed-loop requisitioning process combined to offer a unique opportunity to drive new levels of adoption and compliance with this organization. Moreover, the implementation of outsourced procurement technology went beyond transactional procurement to include capabilities to track and report savings, delivering results that would measure up to the metrics and standards of both finance and the business.
But for this organization, SAP SRM-enabling technology ultimately proves key. In this case, the IBX Search Engine became "the core piece for end users" to manage the "search-to-requisition process where buyers can find specific items or conduct open-ended free-text searches with open supplier selections." One of the benefits this organization discovered was that there was now no need for users to step outside the solution at any point in the buying process, saving time as well as ensuring compliance and audit trails around procurement policy.
IBX Cloud Procurement SRM February 2012 UI Release Preview
Outside of technology, Capgemini brought other capabilities (and ideas) to the table to address business culture and change management within the context of broader category procurement. This included establishing new "sourcing councils" within the organization. These councils collaborate with an internal review board whose purpose is to review and suggest course corrections to the global category team within Capgemini Procurement Services. The client we spoke with suggested that these multi-layered category governance structures are already proving essential to ensure savings are identified, contracted and implemented.
This effort includes routing all sourcing decisions through a formalized structure to assure quality and to embed best practice tips and category nuances (shared by both organizations). It also includes category council structure, category-specific strategic sourcing approaches (with templates), category management and contract implementation processes. Moreover, it focusing on surfacing a means to generate new savings ideas from all stakeholders, creating an integrated feedback loop that can lead to incremental savings numbers and gains.
Stay tuned for the third post on Capgemini's procurement BPO capabilities as our series continues.