In an analysis of technology for supporting tactical buying requirements, Hackett suggests the following elements to include: tools that review and analyze request patterns, user-friendly interfaces, supplier discovery capabilities and integration of RFX, supplier discovery, and contract creation solutions. While this is a near-complete list, it is our experience that sourcing technology itself matters less than technology integration when it comes to enabling spot-buying success.
For example, our research confirms the importance of integrating spot buying activities with req-to-pay technology that can flag potential requisitions (based on a combination of categories, dollar amounts, G/L coding, contract requirements, etc.) and route them into a tactical sourcing scenario. This “intercepting” of spot buying activities that might have gone the traditional requisition or “three bids in a box” route is truly a critical first step to institutionalizing spot buying success.
Advanced tactical-sourcing integration-use cases might focus on tying together sell-side requirements that involve buying on behalf of a customer to include competitive sourcing based on certain contract thresholds and requirements– although enabling this type of scenario is rare today. More common approaches to using technology to enable tactical sourcing success rely on Hackett’s suggested tools as well as the type of P2P integration we’ve outline above.
No doubt Ariba, with the integration of Discovery into P2P, is well positioned to support tactical buying in cases where organizations need to identify the right universe of potential suppliers. Coupa also recently introduced an integrated sourcing product that is tightly integrated with eProcurement workflow (see: Coupa Inspire: Release Updates and Product Goodies – Sourcing. )
Pierre Mitchell (our Chief Research Officer) suggested that readers interest in the subject check out the full-research report on Procurian’s website which can be found here. The study is based on research Pierre conducted while still at Hackett. We’re keen to cover this area at Spend Matters and we would like to request that any services providers in the area reach out to us. We’re interested in exploring how spot-buying relationships work with third-parties today, pricing models, service levels, general approaches, etc. Please reach out to pierre (at) spendmatters (dot) com