E2open recently went private, allowing it to focus more intently on customers and not have to worry about quarterly earnings. E2open started as an industry-sponsored e-marketplace in high tech back in the dot-com era, but has slowly expanded its role to become one of the pre-eminent supply chain information networks in the market serving multiple industry sectors (with a strength in discrete manufacturing).
For a deeper dive on the supply chain information network concept, check out our 2-part research series here and here. But to summarize, such a network provides not just supplier discovery and hosted integration services for connectivity (that an indirect-spend focused supplier network performs), but also layers in support for multi-tier collaborative supply chain planning (with a single view into multi-echelon supply/demand) and execution. Collaborative execution simply means providing supply chain monitoring/status, rule-based alerts and other capabilities that support meeting supply chain plans of various forms across the supply chain.
E2open supports such end-to-end multi-echelon supply chain planning. Specifically for direct procurement groups at manufacturing firms, this capability translates to cloud-based application functionality for collaborative supply planning and execution with upstream contract manufacturers and suppliers (and logistics providers) – paired with robust transactional “integration-as-a-service.” This makes E2open tailor-made for large global manufacturers (and their suppliers), although it can scale down to regional and country-level supply chains.
To truly support end-to-end direct procurement needs though, E2open needs to add functionality (internally or via partnership) for strategic sourcing, supplier management and risk management. But even with its current capabilities today, E2open brings unique capability at the intersection of direct procurement and supply chain.