Spend Matters 50/50: Pool4Tool – A Provider to Watch in 2015

100 companies - 100 days

Pool4Tool is an Austrian-based powerhouse of an e-sourcing and e-procurement platform that aims to please the direct side. And we mean all of the direct side, whether a company needs to engage their customer relationship management (CRM), aka sell-side, with the product management (quality), to a supplier network and managing its own suppliers via full supplier lifecycle management (SLM) and, of course, sourcing projects, contracting and post-contract follow up, ongoing supplier development, etc. Risk management, onboarding, and third-party data augmentation (i.e. DnB) are also available. The company also does catalogs and transactional procurement management. It is a company at the forefront of the convergence between direct and indirect – or maybe pointing out the irrelevance of these labels.

Fairly unique (among e-sourcing firms) features or modules from Pool4Tool include: product lifecycle costing, APQP (and many other quality management features like initial sample inspections reports), kanban (production reorders) and even vendor-managed inventory. Not your typical source-to-pay (S2P) company. The company's roots in the German automotive sector clearly shows and has helped the company grow into quite a different platform than what is usually presented by providers that have grown up in the indirect space of large US corporate procurement teams.

Pool4Tool has a strong offering that delivers an end-to-end solution for most of the challenges faced on the direct side. It is applicable to the needs of the indirect side as well, and the platform has over the years grown to be more "inclusive" of all corporate procurement needs. That said, there is no denying the company's strengths on the direct side, and for manufacturers, this is a company well worth looking into. It also is worth exploring not only at firms with SAP as their main ERP, even if this is a common denominator for most of Pool4Tool's clients and a core strength of the company – the firm can also handle integration with other platforms.

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