ConnXus: What Makes It Great (Supplier Management SolutionMap Analysis)

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Editor’s note: This “What Makes It Great” column is normally reserved for SolutionMap Insider Subscribers, but ConnXus has generously agreed to support access for readers who are not yet members.  

Supplier management technology has traditionally been a bit like Beaujolais nouveau: developed quickly (in certain cases on an ad hoc basis to meet specific needs) but not necessarily prone to aging well. ConnXus, a relatively recent entrant on the supplier management and supplier diversity scene (see our three-part Vendor Snapshot on the provider here, here and here), is a case in point, rapidly eclipsing previous generation solutions.

ConnXus’ recent Q2 2018 SolutionMap performance provides compelling evidence that it sets the standard not only for what to expect in a modern supplier diversity solution but also what organizations should look for overall when searching for a Nimble supplier management technology provider. Join us in exploring what make ConnXus great, based on the latest functional and customer SolutionMap benchmarks from Q2 2018.

“What Makes It Great” is a recurring column that shares insights from each quarterly SolutionMap report for SolutionMap Insider Subscribers. Based on both our rigorous evaluation process and customer reference reviews, each brief explains how the provider excels and where it beats the SolutionMap benchmark, concluding with a checklist for ideal customer scenarios in which procurement, finance and supply chain organizations should consider the vendor.

ConnXus: Quick Facts

  • Year founded: 2010
  • Company name: ConnXus
  • HQ: Mason, Ohio
  • of employees: 30
  • Total annual revenue: $1 million+
  • Customers: 16, including The Coca-Cola Company, Cummins, McDonald’s, Cox Enterprises, Caesars, Dell
  • Active users (buy-side): 350
  • Active users (supply-side): 9,100
  • Regions Served: Globally
  • Other App Integration: SAP Ariba (Ariba Discovery), BuyerQuest

Where ConnXus is Great (Supplier Management SolutionMap)

It might be easy to dismiss ConnXus as just the next generation of supplier diversity technology. But this shortchanges the supplier management capabilities that ConnXus has built, which are applicable to broader areas of supplier management. Moreover, the provider is an ideal fit for the SolutionMap Nimble persona, the most common buying type Spend Matters observes across source-to-pay technology selection scenarios.

Here’s where ConnXus excels in SolutionMap:

User Experience Including Supplier Collaboration

  • Sets the standard for organizations wanting a Nimble approach to supplier collaboration that is easy to use (overall) and can be deployed quickly
  • Presents a walk-up user interface built to be used without training. Drillable data (not just “front page” dashboards) is pushed to both program administrators and business users via an information rich and configurable user portal
  • Offers integrated messaging platform capabilities between procurement/stakeholders and suppliers (configurable by category, groups/type, individual and more). All users (registered and authorized) can message participants on the cloud-based platform, based on permissions at the company and supplier level
  • Supplier discovery and collaboration (for searching, qualifying and on-boarding new diversity suppliers) is fully integrated for those that want to extend their own supplier master (or diversity program) to an expanded set of potential vendors
  • Offers broader support ecosystem

Supplier Management Configuration

  • Delivers above-the-benchmark configurability for overall supplier information management, supplier performance management and supplier relationship management capability (including granular configuration based on users, departments, roles, supplier groups and approvals)
  • Supports a supplier network data model, including best-in-class support for multi-tier supplier management and capability for data gathering and management requirements
    • While used in support of supplier diversity today, ConnXus presents one of the only capabilities Spend Matters has observed that could be used more broadly on a multi-tier basis
    • In addition, while the world seems fixated on future blockchain-based supplier management approaches, ConnXus presents a more compelling and real-world capability that organizations can implement today in support of multi-tier supplier management
    • Not only is ConnXus the only provider with a score of “5” — the top score that is possible with SolutionMap ratings — for multi-tier capabilities, it is the only provider with a score above a “3” in this area in the rankings. This suggests the gap between it and all other ranked supplier management providers is considerable
  • Provides superior supplier portal configurability and sets the benchmark for all vendors. (ConnXus is tied for the highest score in this area.) In support of driving efficient/effective supplier collaboration, both to enable stronger supplier relationships and to provide efficiencies/savings in support of supplier enablement and ongoing management, ConnXus helps set the mark for a key requirement

Best-in-Class Turnkey Support for Supplier Diversity, Nimble Buying Requirements and a Customer Favorite

  • Sets the standard for best-in-class supplier diversity capability, including associated supporting content and services (based on the SolutionMap benchmark). This includes the ability to accelerate new diversity programs or enhance existing ones with extended capabilities, including information (e.g., a supplier database), core templates and embedded metrics, KPIs, and best practice components to help users accelerate their program success
  • An ideal fit for the Nimble buying persona for supplier management generally:
    • Nimble organizations are dynamic and results-focused, often with limited IT department involvement in technology buying considerations. They are risk-tolerant of new approaches and providers. Many are decentralized, rapidly growing and from the middle market
    • These organizations value speed to value, low pricing, and modern, intuitive, cloud-based software with optional value-added services
  • The highest rankings (of all providers) for customer reference scoring in the Nimble and Turnkey SolutionMap personas

Top-Tier Performance

Based on the Q2 2018 Supplier Management SolutionMap benchmark featuring 15 different providers, ConnXus scores in the top tier for supplier management areas, including:

  • Supplier Information Management
    • Integrated off-line reach out
    • Supplier qualification
    • Auto-document identification and verification
    • Financial data/ACH integration
    • Certificates/insurance
    • Supplier collaboration
    • Real-time messaging
  • SXM (supplier program/initiative management)
    • Measurement
    • Formulaic metric definition on raw data
    • Scorecards with automatic updates
    • Integration with CAR/CAM
    • Risk management (general)
    • Risk identification
    • Out-of-the box scorecards (general)
  • Supplier Portal
    • Single view & sign on
    • Deep on-boarding support
  • Configurability
    • SIM/SPM/SRM configurability
    • Network data model
    • Multi-tier
    • Supplier portal configuration
    • Multi-currency and multi-lingual enablement
  • Services
    • Supplier onboarding
    • Data/document management services
    • Supplier management services (general)
  • Customer Reference Scoring
    • Recommend this provider
    • Level of value perceived
    • Meet the expectations
    • Quick deployment
    • ROI
    • TCO
    • Business value innovation
    • Overall customer summary score

Best Fit Customer Scenarios

  • A best-in-class supplier diversity solution (either as a standalone set of capabilities or as part of a broader supplier management deployment) is desirable
  • Organizations that identify with the Nimble buying persona for supplier management, including desire for ease of use and modern collaboration mechanisms
  • Procurement and supplier diversity teams that value expert supplier management services to enable and extend deployments
  • Top performing customer satisfaction metrics are a significant consideration
  • Organizations that value the capability that a specialized technology solution can bring (compared with a generic source-to-pay suite) in support of supplier management and supplier diversity

To learn more about ConnXus, check out our three-part Vendor Snapshot below or visit the provider's website

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