The e-sourcing market is one of our foundational coverage areas. It forms a core application area that can be purchased from multiple sub-sectors as we’ve written about here, but it also is available in large sourcing & supplier management suites (providers who offer everything except transactional P2P processes), source-to-pay suites, and ERP providers.
The sourcing market is focused on sourcing solutions and supporting content and services (e.g., spend category specific templates) for driving process-thinking, efficiencies, visibility, and structure into strategic sourcing & tactical sourcing activities. Such sourcing “mini-suites” and modules support areas such as spend analysis, supply base analysis, market analysis, category strategy, cost/value modeling, supplier discovery, supplier qualification/certification, and sourcing execution that includes multi-round RFx events, a.k.a. bidding (including e-auctions of various varieties and bid optimization support for constraint modeling, scenarios, conditional/bundled bids, etc.), supplier surveys, bid analysis, and post event negotiations / awards.
Some level of master data management for suppliers, categories/commodities, cost types, etc. is expected. Further differentiating functionality includes project management, savings/value tracking, commodity management, category/industry specific functionality & templates/content, supplier management, contract management, and support for adjacent functional areas (e.g., product design, EH&S, supply chain). In terms of some of the solution capabilities that we assess in our sourcing SolutionMaps™, we evaluate areas such as:
- Qualitative assessments
- Quantitative assessments
- Post event analysis & optimization
- Supplier collaboration processes and projects
- Knowledge repositories
- Workflow support and automation
- Access restrictions and audits
- Event creation & export/import functionality
We provide additional details on the above areas in yesterday's Spend Matters Plus post.