Michael Porter’s five forces provides a useful comparative framework to understand the competitive dynamics of markets. I recently authored a five forces framework exploring procurement technology suites based on Porter’s model. In this post, I’ll consider one of Porter’s five forces in more detail: suppliers.
The Analysis Category
A friend asked me the other day if I had ever written a five forces diagram from the perspective of the procurement technology suite market, spanning product areas including spend analytics, sourcing, supplier management, contract lifecycle management, e-procurement, e-invoicing and supplier connectivity. I had not, but I told him I’d take up the challenge and put something together.
Gartner recently announced its list for top supply chain undergraduate programs in North America. At the top sits Pennsylvania State University, followed by Michigan State University — supply chain programs that have received top nods in various rankings in recent years. The two schools also tied for first place the last time Gartner released its Top 25 list back in 2014.
Are Catalogs Fleecing Procurement of the Best Deal? 5 Arguments in Favor and Against the P2P Catalog
This is the second installment of a series in which we are rhetorically going to war against catalogs (kind of like a certain presidential candidate bulldozing over everything and everyone in his path – for the better or the worse, we might add, depending on your perspective!). When we first gave the topic of killing the catalog some thought, we came up with a post in which we ending up sharing the pros and cons of catalog-based procurement today — and some of the options we would wager are coming down the pike. But let us take aim at catalogs in a different way today by positing arguably the most important procurement assumption of all: namely that catalogs are fleecing procurement of the best possible pricing in numerous ways...
It’s official: The planned merger of Staples and Office Depot is not going to happen. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) argued that there was "reasonable probability" that the merger would "substantially impair competition. Staples will not appeal the case and will have to pay Office Depot a $250 million breakup fee. The planned marriage has been left at the altar of Judge Emmet G. Sullivan’s gavel, as Sullivan upheld the FTC lawsuit blocking the planned merger announced last year.
Supply chain data analytics solution provider FusionOps recently added additional “prescriptive” data analytic capabilities to its existing cloud platform that can help companies improve specific supply chain challenges such as inventory management. The prescriptive capability can be added onto FusionOps’ existing data analysis tools in its Supply Chain Intelligence Cloud solution. FusionOps previously offered what CEO Gary Meyers described as three levels of data analysis: descriptive, diagnostic and predictive.
Economists like to point to the German Mittelstand as an example of how manufacturing and export economies can thrive without necessarily depending on the direct support of larger companies and conglomerates around them. But what fascinates me about the Mittelstand is not looking at this group of middle market firms as an archetype overall for manufacturing renewal in the West generally but rather specific procurement lessons we can learn from it. What I found when investigating this wide range of organizations during a recent trip to Germany took me off guard. In short, the Mittelstand in Germany is generally more advanced and standardized within procurement. There are both general procurement lessons to be learned from this group as well as technology-specific lessons, the latter of which we’ll focus on today.
I recently spent three days on a scouting and fact-finding mission in Munich and Frankfurt. During the trip, I had the chance to talk to a broad range of organizations — technology vendors, consultants, practitioners, financial services firms — about the current state of procurement and supply chain in Germany. In particular, the lessons I learned about the state of the Mittelstand, or what we would term “middle market” procurement organizations in the U.S., really took me aback in a positive way. For the sake of argument here, let’s define middle market as ranging from $250 million to $2.5 billion in annual revenue. On the flight back, I jotted down 10 lessons from the Mittelstand I thought would be applicable to procurement practitioners everywhere. Today we start with 5 general procurement lessons. In the second installment of this PRO series, we’ll cover technology lessons.
In September, the Spend Matters analyst team had a briefing with the executives at Determine (previously Selectica), which included discussion on the provider’s future plans and challenges it expects to face in rolling out its new integrated source-to-pay (S2P) global offering. But how close is Determine to truly becoming an integrated suite versus a loosely coupled set of assets? Today, we analyze some of the challenges and opportunities the provider faces overall and what types of organizations are likely an “ideal” customer for Determine compared with Coupa, Ariba and other providers. We also provide a succinct Q4 2015 SWOT snapshot of the provider.
The march to procurement suites is inevitable, and Selectica (now known as Determine), is headed down this suite path. Earlier this month, Selectica announced its rebrand to Determine — a move the company says signifies the M&A strategy that Selectica has been executing over the past two years. This two-part Spend Matters PRO analysis examines the past, present and future of Determine, starting first with offering a current window into the state of the organization and where it is headed, as well as our 2015 graphical CLM market snapshot and how Determine fits into this complex market segment. We analyze Determine’s rebranding, exploring whether this is primarily a marketing exercise today — or something more. We also take a look at who the “new” provider’s ideal customer is, and how the company can gain their attention.
...Long live the e-procurement catalog (for now). The debate surrounding the future of catalog management right now is a healthy one to have. Some argue that catalogs, as configured today, are not dynamic enough to support capturing the long-tail of spend nor the frequent information and SKU updates necessary to make sure the business can buy what it needs. I am officially declaring the catalog dead ... at least it will be in the next 10 years — here's why.