Been Stuck in a Cave? Well, ICYMI: Spend Matters’ P2P SolutionMap

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Unless you’ve been stuck in a cave, sheltered from procurement and supply chain industry news for the last three weeks, you may have noticed Spend Matters’ rollout of the Procure-to-Pay SolutionMap — comparative rankings of technology vendors offering e-procurement, invoice-to-pay and procure-to-pay suite solutions.

To help quick-guide you through the SolutionMap, we’re offering you a couple Choose Your Own Adventure-style options.

  • Option #1: “I’ve been stuck in a cave! What’s a SolutionMap?”
  • Option #2: “I have seen the light! So what have industry folks been saying?”

Option #1: “I’ve been stuck in a cave! What’s a SolutionMap?”

Bone up on the basics in our latest and most comprehensive release in this article on the Procure-to-Pay SolutionMap.

The main reasons it’s different:

  • Comparative analysis based on vendor solutions and their customers’ feedback, using six custom “personas” (detailed in this article)
  • Will be updated quarterly

Here’s a sample graphic:

 

In a nutshell, here’s why the industry needs a SolutionMap approach: we’re moving toward a mass customization of procurement and procurement solutions.

“The inherent challenge of any single graphical comparative view of vendors — whether done by an analyst firm, a consultant for a client, or a procurement organization itself in analyzing any supply market — is that it can’t capture the complexity of individual company requirements,” Spend Matters analysts wrote recently. “Imagine if everyone had a generic Facebook feed or if Snapchat did not curate videos, photos and other content based on what we individually would find most useful.

“That’s a world hard to imagine in the 21st century.”

Option #2: “I have seen the light! So what have industry folks been saying?”

 The inaugural SolutionMap release began delivering an interesting performance right after the curtain speech.

“It’s been a mammoth team effort to get SolutionMap off the ground but we could not be more pleased with industry responses,” said Jason Busch, founder of Spend Matters. “Especially the persona-based approach and planned quarterly updates were met with enthusiasm from procurement executives and providers alike.”

For example, the day Spend Matters released the first E-Procurement SolutionMap, a consultancy in Switzerland called a team member directly to say that the persona approach is “an absolute game changer where European companies are often looking for the Nimble or DIY solutions.”

(If you need a primer on the six personas and the thinking behind them, see Option #1 above.)

However, at least one element we will continue working on is refining the personas to help procurement practitioners clarify where they fall on the spectrum.

Another firm noted that the personas could be made a bit simpler, as in their current forms they are a bit too “blurry.” They suggested making each persona more concise and succinct, ultimately leaving it to the reader to interpret which one is most similar to them.

In a couple other points of feedback, we’ve heard that using both solution scoring and customer feedback scoring is much more relevant to certain clients than other scoring dimensions, such as innovation, featured in similar products.

Also, the E-Procurement and Invoice-to-Pay SolutionMaps specifically were met with positive feedback, regarding the comparative per-product nature — rather than per suite. One comment we received indicated that suites’ days are numbered, and that practitioners are expecting product integration to get easier and more efficient.

Stay tuned for more SolutionMap updates!

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