Spend Matters 50/50: State of Flux – A Provider to Watch
As our Spend Matters 50/50 coverage continues (see Providers to Know and Providers to Watch), we’re excited to introduce our readers to State of Flux and also State of Flux Technologies. State of Flux is a consultancy and executive staffing/managed services firm that specializes in supplier management. Perhaps best known to non-clients for their annual SRM Survey, State of Flux’s footprint and reach is global (although they’re based in the UK).
Over many years, the firm has also developed a set of technologies to drive supplier relationship management implementation and success centered upon a supplier management platform that tracks suppliers and categories with executive dashboards, task assignments, approvals, and other workflow. It recently spun this technology out into a separate organization that goes under the umbrella of “State of Flux Technologies” — though for the purpose of the Spend Matters 50/50 listing, we are grouping them together.
Implementing State of Flux Technology takes approximately eight to ten weeks – which by our experience is quite quick for a comprehensive supplier management tool of this scope. But the supplier management platform clearly requires a client who has their ducks lined up given how the solution forces definitions and types of engagement with suppliers. For companies that have not focused on supplier management holistically, it can take a considerable amount of time for a company to agree internally on how to assess suppliers. But of course we know the services arm of State of Flux would be happy to help with that area – and do a truly expert job at it.
More broadly, outside of technology, we’re impressed with the State of Flux grounding and global expertise in supplier management – and the tenacity with which its founder, Alan Day, goes back and forth to Australia and New Zealand to build a rapidly growing practice in that part of the world (we doubt he even knows what time zone he is on half the time). We also think the hybrid model of traditional consultancy services combined with staffing executives in supplier management and related roles inside companies, while being able to leverage internal State of Flux IP, is a smart model in today’s professional services climate. Last, their annual report on SRM, while dense, is always an engaging read.
Later this week, we’ll have a more in-depth piece on State of Flux Technologies for Spend Matters Plus readers. In the meantime, we welcome State of Flux to our 2014 Spend Matters 50/50 list.