Rethinking Procurement Technology Maturity Models: An Introduction

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Every year or two, I put a ton of thought into a single research project or paper — and more nights and weekends than I care to think about. One such effort resulted in the recent Spend Matters Perspective, Reframing Maturity Models: Empirical Perspectives
 On Radically Improving Procurement Performance.

This was one of those efforts that ended up taking an entirely different direction than originally intended. I had planned to write a research brief that included a single source-to-pay technology maturity model to allow organizations to figure out exactly where they stand today from a maturity perspective without going through a formal benchmarking process. But as I embarked on my research, I realized that procurement organizations today are too varied in where they are from a technology adoption perspective (and general maturity) to benefit from a single model alone. So I pivoted and ended up researching and authoring not only a single cohesive model, but also writing three individual ones: transactional procurement (e-procurement), accounts payable and invoicing (e-invoicing) and supplier management.

In a series of posts starting today and exploring the findings on our site, I’ll share some of the highlights of what I learned in the process and the models themselves. On Spend Matters PRO, I’ll share even more detailed functional models for our practitioner subscribers. (Our Advisory clients can also reach out to discuss their own situation in more detail, or that of their clients in the case of consultants.)

Before I go into the weeds on the topics (and different areas of procurement), let me explain why I did this. At Spend Matters, I work alongside the most metrics-oriented analysts and advisors in the procurement business. My colleague Pierre Mitchell practically wrote the book on procurement benchmarking and survey work while working at The Hackett Group and AMR Research. And my better half, our CEO Lisa Reisman, has forever changed commodity management practices through introducing new types of pricing indexes, forecasting approaches and maturity curves to the manufacturing and metals markets to help companies manage cost and risk collectively with incredibly deep, data-driven approaches.

Given that, it is important to note this paper is not based on an endless set of quantitative benchmarks or key performance indicators. There are people far better suited than I am to conduct this type of analysis on our team and beyond. Rather, the effort you’ll be learning about in the coming weeks is based on my own empirical observations from surveying our current body of research, third-party research and, perhaps most important, observing how procurement organizations actually leverage — or fail to fully realize value from — investments today.

Stay tuned!

This post is based on content from the Spend Matters Perspective:Reframing Maturity Models: Empirical Perspectives
On Radically Improving Procurement Performance.

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