The Category Management Category

BravoSolution: Vendor Snapshot (Part 3) — Competitive and Summary Analysis [PRO]

ra2 studio/Adobe Stock

BravoSolution, a procurement technology suite provider, has undergone significant transformation on the product level in recent years. It emerged from a replatforming effort in the source-to-contract area, after which it expanded the breadth of its suite by acquiring procure-to-pay from Puridiom (this followed a time of partnering with providers such as Basware and Verian). While Q1 2017 will see the introduction of BravoSolution’s first integrated source-to-pay suite under its own control, the more important differentiation in capabilities and approach arguably comes not from P2P but rather its core analytics, sourcing and supplier management capabilities (as well as integrated contract management).

This third and final installment of the Spend Matters Vendor Snapshot series on BravoSolution provides an objective SWOT analysis of the provider and offers a competitive segmentation analysis and comparison. It also includes recommended shortlist candidates as alternative vendors to BravoSolution and offers provider selection guidance. Lastly, this installment provides summary analysis and recommendations for companies that may consider the BravoAdvantage suite or individual modules. Part 1 of this Vendor Snapshot gave an in-depth look at BravoSolution as a firm and its specific solutions, and Part 2 provided a detailed analysis of solution strengths and weaknesses and a review of the product’s user experience.

BravoSolution: Vendor Snapshot (Part 2) — Product Strengths and Weaknesses [PRO]

digital

BravoSolution currently delivers a benchmark set of capabilities for procurement organizations in the “upstream” procurement suite area. It is not without weaknesses, (which we will also explore in this analysis), but BravoSolution stands apart in how it has constructed and how it delivers integrated suite components to support real-world procurement needs by country, industry and procurement organizational structure. With an emphasis on analytics, sourcing (core and advanced/optimization) and supplier management, BravoSolution provides one standard by which to measure the market from an upstream suite perspective. The provider also offers P2P capabilities (“downstream”) today and will be releasing its own solution, gained through acquisition, in 2017.

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot explores BravoSolution’s product strengths and weaknesses, providing facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations decide if they should shortlist the vendor. It also offers a critique (pros/cons) of the user interface. Part 1 of our analysis provides a company and detailed solution overview and a recommend fit list of criteria for firms considering it. The remaining parts of this multipart series will offer a SWOT analysis, user selection guide, competitive alternatives, and additional evaluation and selection considerations.

BravoSolution: Vendor Snapshot (Part 1) — Background and Solution Overview [PRO]

Oracle

The procurement technology and solutions market, inclusive of source-to-contract (S2C) and procure-to-pay (P2P) technology segments, is one with a wide degree of choice for customers. Procurement organizations that want to prioritize absolute capability in specific functional areas (modules) or technology innovation (e.g., platform as a service) can have their pick of providers. Organizations that want integrated suite capabilities also have an array of choices, and those that want to prioritize usability and adoption have choices, too.

But if you want a broader combination of these capabilities in a single provider, the choices narrow significantly, especially at the suite level. At the intersection of these requirements is where BravoSolution comes in. This source-to-contract provider that historically has partnered for procure-to-pay capabilities — and will soon have its own P2P solution based on initially integrating and enhancing and ultimately re-platforming Puridiom, a recently acquired asset — excels compared with its peers.

For procurement organizations looking for more advanced, single-suite source-to-contract functional capability from a single provider that includes integrated spend/ procurement analytics with core sourcing, sourcing optimization and both basic and advanced supplier management capabilities, BravoSolution is likely to be a strong shortlist candidate to consider. Today, BravoSolution has limited suite competitors that can closely or fully check the box in these areas. Even fewer still are the competitors that can demonstrate the value of a suite approach by showing the benefits at the intersection of these areas rather than just the modules themselves, while still covering all the other ground it does.

This Spend Matters PRO vendor snapshot provides facts and expert analysis to help buying organizations make informed decisions about BravoSolution’s source-to-contract capability, as well as limited background on its procure-to-pay capabilities and roadmap. Part 1 of our analysis provides a company background and detailed solution overview, as well as a summary recommended fit suggestion for when organizations should consider BravoSolution in the procurement technology area. The rest of this multi-part research brief covers product strengths and weaknesses; competitor and SWOT analysis; user selection guides; and insider evaluation and selection considerations.

New Category Intelligence Coming to Spend Matters Plus

Accenture

I’m excited to announce a new relationship with Accenture that I know our Spend Matters Plus+ readers will be excited about. Accenture currently publishes a broad set of category intelligence and analysis to its community of procurement clients. These Spend Trends insights offer some of the latest thinking, from strategies for third-party management to optimizing MRO spend and risk management approaches in critical categories like energy.

UNSPSC Adoption at eir: Benefits & Lessons Learned

telecommunications

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Anthony Ryan, head of procurement operations at eir, in which he discusses overhauling the telecommunications company’s commodity structure to the UNSPSC taxonomy.

Our spend analysis process was not easily extensible, difficult to administer and did not deliver the clearest picture of spend. The need for a standardized method to categorize items was obvious, moving to a structured taxonomy such as the United Nations Standard Products and Services Code (UNSPSC) presented a logical solution.

ISG SpendHQ: Vendor Snapshot (Part 3) — Summary & Competitive Analysis [PRO]

Analytics

What happens when you cross the expertise and tenacity of one of the largest independent sourcing and procurement consultancies in North America with a long-enough time horizon to construct a purpose-built analytics application for both their own purposes and to serve their customers with a highly competitive streak that says, “We can do this differently and better that software companies.” You get SpendHQ, that’s what. SpendHQ is a spend analysis solution designed by sourcing and spend experts that blends a SaaS-based deployment model with managed services. SpendHQ manages the entire process of implementation, data integration, spend normalization, classification and enrichment, as well as regular refreshes and the creation and maintenance of savings opportunity reports.

SpendHQ designed its spend analytics as a complete package for procurement organizations that want third-party oversight, guidance and deep insight into “what to do with the data.” The provider’s parent company, Insight Sourcing Group, has been doing spend analysis projects for almost 15 years. While perhaps the largest differentiator of SpendHQ comes from how it unearths different types of savings opportunities and spoon feeds this information to users, the solution is particularly suited for those organizations with a “portfolio” of spend that want to be able to roll-up and roll-down different views of data (e.g., private equity firms, holding company structures, distributed P&Ls).

This final installment of our multipart Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot series covering SpendHQ offers a competitive analysis and comparison with other similar or related vendors that companies may wish to shortlist. It also includes a user selection guide, user interface and user experience (UI/UX) analysis and summary evaluation and selection considerations. Part 1 and Part 2 of this PRO research series provide a company and deep dive solution overview, a SWOT analysis, product strengths and weaknesses and a recommended fit analysis for what types of organizations should consider SpendHQ.

Market Dojo: Vendor Snapshot (Part 3) — Summary & Competitive Analysis [PRO]

jedi-master/Adobe Stock

Sourcing suites today compete in a fragmented global marketplace with everyone from large ERPs to well-funded startups to bootstrapped ventures competing for a growing pie, consisting of Global 2000 organizations often going to market for a second or third time (or buying an alternative technology), as well as a growing number of middle market organizations adopting and digitizing strategic sourcing processes for the first time. Market Dojo is one of dozens of providers in this large market, but when you consider how many of its peers represent pure-play sourcing providers versus broader source-to-pay (S2P) and procure-to-pay (P2P) suites, the market thins considerably — and does so even more if you narrow the list of e-sourcing providers to those with a strong middle-market track record and orientation.

This final installment of our multipart Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot series covering Market Dojo offers a competitive analysis and comparison with other vendors that companies may wish to shortlist that compete in the same markets. It also includes a user selection guide, user interface and user experience (UI/UX) analysis and summary evaluation and selection considerations. Part 1 and Part 2 of this PRO research series provide a company and deep dive solution overview, a SWOT analysis, product strengths and weaknesses and a recommended fit analysis for what types of organizations should consider Market Dojo.

Future Purchasing Category Management Survey: Please Contribute To Useful & Important Research!

ISM

Pretty much every consulting firm has its own process and tool-kit, too. Whether it’s seven steps, nine steps or 17 sub-processes, there is plenty of advice from those who will tell you how to implement CatMan successfully. But there is less in the way of hard, evidence-driven thinking and research that can bring objectivity to the questions around how organizations can succeed with CatMan. That's why the Future Purchasing Category Management survey is so valuable.

Market Dojo: Vendor Snapshot (Part 2) — Product Strengths & Weaknesses [PRO]

jedi-master/Adobe Stock

For a startup — or any technology company, for that matter — to build out a full-featured procure-to-pay (P2P) capability is something that takes more than funding and scale alone. Yet e-sourcing (and upstream suites) present a different case, and when enough ingenuity, passion and capability come together, success has a much higher probability of happening, at least when it comes to developing standard capabilities. Such is the case of Market Dojo, which has not only developed an e-sourcing suite but also done so in a bootstrapped manner. Market Dojo has grown from a provider of “pay-per-drink” auction events to a full sourcing suite with RFX, document and template management, supplier information management, innovation management and category (analysis and strategy) management. Founded in 2010, Market Dojo is now a viable shortlist candidate in the e-sourcing market and one of the leading vendors centered on capability and delivery/cost models aimed at middle-market procurement organizations. This Spend Matters PRO vendor snapshot explores Market Dojo’s strengths and weaknesses, providing facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations decide if they should shortlist the vendor as a potential provider. Part 1 of our analysis provided a company and detailed solution overview and a SWOT analysis, as well as a summary recommended fit suggestion for what types of organizations should consider Market Dojo. The remaining parts of this multipart series will offer a user selection guide, user interface (UI/UX) analysis, competitive alternatives and evaluation and selection considerations.

Market Dojo: Vendor Snapshot (Part 1) — Background and Solution Overview [PRO]

Market Dojo

E-sourcing is becoming more democratic. What used to comprise a sector featuring expensive tools, complicated tools aimed at Global 2000 companies has morphed into a core enabler of strategic sourcing for companies of arguably any size with sufficient spend concentration to warrant a standardized or competitive process. U.K.-based Market Dojo, one of the handful of standalone sourcing platforms targeted at the middle market, has quietly played an important part in this transformation, especially considering its boot-strapped roots. Not without limitations, Spend Matters' analysis of the Market Dojo platform positions it as a shortlist candidate to fill the sourcing needs of middle market procurement organizations that require a simple, but solid, platform to transform their sourcing efforts and bring it into modern times.

In addition to providing RFX, Auction, and supplier information management capability, Market Dojo also offers an innovative category management application that can help an organization analyze its categories, prioritize opportunities and identify the sourcing strategy that is most likely to be the most effective. This is a unique application that is not even present in the suites of many larger providers, at least not as preconfigured as in Market Dojo’s case. This Spend Matters PRO vendor snapshot provides a company and detailed solution overview and SWOT analysis of Market Dojo, as well as a summary recommended fit suggestion for what types of organizations should consider the provider. The series also provides insight into detailed product strengths and weaknesses, offers a user selection guide and user interface (UI/UX) analysis, suggests competitive alternatives and offers summary evaluation and selection considerations.

POOL4TOOL: Vendor Snapshot (Part 1) — Background and Solution Overview [PRO]

manufacturing

The market for direct materials-centric procurement technology is just beginning to take off in North America and the Middle East. Yet POOL4TOOL is one of only a handful of technology vendors developing specialized solutions for procurement manufacturing environments. Although not without weaknesses, POOL4TOOL is without question the “breadth” leader from a suite perspective in this market and surprisingly deep in certain functional areas. Read this Spend Matters PRO analysis to get expert analysis on whether POOL4TOOL is right for your procurement organization, as well as which other providers to consider in an evaluation alongside of it. This multi-part research brief provides a POOL4TOOL company and solution overview, a company-level SWOT analysis, product strengths and weaknesses, a competitor analysis, user selection guides and insider evaluation and selection considerations.

How to Make Category Management Do Supply Chain Risk Management

risk

Category management is about segmenting supply markets to optimally formulate sourcing and supplier management processes to drive savings and other financial rewards. But what about managing the other side of reward — risk? Well, category management can do that too, and to illustrate this, consider the Kraljic Matrix, circa 1983, which plots supply categories against two dimensions: supply impact and supply complexity.