PRO Review: Supplier Selection, Procurian Acquires Utilities Analysys Inc., IQ Navigator, Tradeshift

This week on PRO, we focused on what we're seeing from IQ Navigator and Tradeshift. Thomas looks at the implications of Procurian's recent acquisition of Utilities Analyses, Inc., an energy management firm. Peter goes into a bit more depth around a paper he just finished, titled Is your Supplier Selection Process a Source of Competitive Disadvantage?. Plus, solution providers: check back on Spend Matters PRO today for some advice on how to give a better demo (hint: ditch the superlative language and cut to the point!)

Is Your Supplier Selection Process a Source of Competitive Disadvantage? -- So, in the paper we look at the four purposes of the pre-qualification process – supplier identification, registration, verification and selection. We discuss those four factors in some detail. Selection is interesting, for example, as it's the area that often confuses suppliers who assume because they're "qualified" they should automatically be able to tender. Not always so. We may have more qualified suppliers than we want to take through to tender stage. So it is key to carry out that selection properly.

Procurian adds Energy Capabilities to Portfolio – Acquires Utilities Analyses, Inc. -- On Aug 6, Procurian announced their acquisition of Utilities Analyses, Inc. (UAI), a specialist energy management firm with a history going back to 1986. The UAI acquisition brings 60 net-new clients to Procurian and gives the company a full range of supply and demand-side energy services. The result is the Procurian Energy (PE) offering, supported by 30 energy category specialists and a proprietary market intelligence database, which currently manages $3 billion of energy spend.

IQNavigator – Opening up the SOW Kimono (Part 1) -- Earlier this year, Spend Matters had the chance to go through the latest demonstration of IQNavigator's statement of work (SOW) capability. As with other SOW capabilities from fellow providers, the tragedy of what IQNavigator has to offer is not what it's lacking (it's one of the most functionally deep and broad SOW enablement solutions out there) but the fact that it isn't more broadly adopted with the targeted customer base. It's difficult to fathom that there are any customers in the VMS space that have come close to successfully managing the majority of their contingent labor spend through a toolset (or better) without having adopted an enabling SOW capability as well.

TradeShift's Supplier Enablement Strategy for E-Invoicing – Should Ariba and OB10 Be Worried? (Part 3) -- One of the unique elements of Fast Track relative to Trade Shift's e-invoicing peers is that companies can sign up for it online without having to work through a salesperson (just be sure you really want to activate it when prompted!) The self-service mentality extends to the TradeShift sales process itself, not just supplier enablement, which in fact is reminiscent of SaleForce.com. The approach of both vendors is to make the initial buying and provisioning a simple process with the ability to then upgrade to a broader solution at the enterprise level later. But if you never want to talk to a salesperson to get basic use and value out of the system, you don't have to.

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