Category Archives: Category Management

UNSPSC Adoption at eir: Benefits & Lessons Learned


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


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

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!


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

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

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


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


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.

The 3 Main Challenges to Managing Event Spend

Spend Matters welcomes this sponsored article from Trista Hannan, senior vice president of client solutions at Eved.

Each year, finance and procurement professionals are met with the same challenges and pressures — save money, reduce risk and improve efficiencies. Your meeting and event category may just be the diamond in the rough that can help you achieve significant wins in each of these areas.

Success Starts with Inventory Visibility – A Case for Comprehensive IT Asset Management

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Avotus.

CIOs and other executives are well aware of the fact that the IT and telecom infrastructures within their organizations are growing at an exponential rate, and access to clean, current and accurate inventory is essential. Yet, how do you optimize IT infrastructure for the firm if you don’t have the tools to accurately capture data and gain visibility into all that a CIO is expected to manage? New users — new network connections and hardware — are introduced constantly. Conversely, circuits and assets are disconnected regularly, yet many continue to be billed to clients. Management of these components and associated charges is imperative to efficiently managing costs and obtaining visibility. Currently, much of IT asset management (ITAM) cost reconciliation and allocation is performed manually using spreadsheets with “rear view” information, which does not provide organizations with timely actionable business intelligence.

What Last-Minute Travel is Costing Companies, and How Travel Policy Monitoring Can Help

travel and expense

A new report from Concur shines light on just how much last-minute business travel is costing companies and provides evidence for how organizations can save money when travel policies and travel management technology solutions are adopted and monitored. Travel and expense management solution provider Concur parsed through data from roughly 22 million U.S. domestic round trip airline bookings made through its travel solution between 2011 and 2015 to identify some key areas businesses can focus on to reduce costs.

Advanced Approaches: Getting a Grip on Category Management (Part 3)

category management

In the first part of this series, we introduced category management, which is much more than just grouping products into categories and category sourcing. Proper category management, we concluded, is a strategic approach to managing supply that transforms the procurement organization from a cost saver to a value generator using advanced strategies and workflow processes that connect external customers to internal customers and collect all of their requirements, connect internal customers to sourcing and work with them to develop the best strategy for the category, as well as connect sourcing to downstream procurement to make sure the contract, and the execution plan, is followed and the identified value retained. And that's just the beginning. That's why, in our last article, we defined some of the many facets of modern category management, which some may call category management 2.0, in an effort to illustrate that proper category management is not a one-size-fits-all process or strategy but an evolving strategic mindset that takes into account the organizational needs, market conditions and results of the category analysis and adapts to provide the organization with the best overall value each time the category is sourced. We also talked about the multidimensional nature of modern categories, the need for customization on a category basis and category intelligence. But even though these are pretty advanced approaches, they are still simple compared with where a modern sourcing organization needs to go. In this article, we explore a few of these (advanced) approaches.