The E-Sourcing Category

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

consultant

The market for strategic sourcing technology is highly competitive. Procurement organizations have many choices within a fragmented landscape. As Spend Matters observes in our 2017 report, Landscape Definition and Overview: Sourcing, Contracting and Supplier Management, procurement organizations can chose from four different classes of solution: procurement technology suites, which offer either source-to-contract enablement or broader source-to-pay capability; standalone sourcing solutions; direct materials-centric solutions; and sourcing optimization providers.

Within our market segmentation, Spend Matters classifies Serex, which offers a reverse auction solution, as offering technology that falls within a sub-segment of the standalone sourcing solution area.

This third and final installment of this Spend Matters Vendor Snapshot covering Serex 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 Serex and offers provider selection guidance. Finally, it provides summary analysis and recommendations for companies considering the vendor. Part 1 provided an in-depth look at Serex as a firm and its specific solutions, and Part 2 gave a detailed analysis of solution strengths and weaknesses, as well as a review of the product’s user interface and user experience.

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

RFP

Procurement groups often emphasize different strategic sourcing technology requirements based on the needs of the organization. For some, capturing and automating a basic RFX process through the most easy-to-use technology is a top priority. For others, advanced bidding/auction format and highly detailed cost breakdown capabilities take center stage. Still for others, the most highly sought after capabilities are those that allow them to reimagine the strategic sourcing process entirely by fully considering both external (i.e., supplier, supply market and supply chain) and internal constraints. Yet other companies just want a reverse auction solution that maximizes the efficiency and speed of their teams for simple (“three bids in a box”) and complex (thousands of line items) bids alike. It is this latter procurement organizational profile that is likely to most appreciate the e-sourcing capability that Serex, a recent entrant into the procurement technology market, provides.

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot explores Serex’s strengths and weaknesses, providing facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations decide whether they should consider using as a core strategic sourcing technology. The first installment of our analysis provided a company and solution overview and a recommend fit list of criteria for firms considering Serex. Part 3 will offer a SWOT analysis, user selection guide, competitive alternatives and additional evaluation and selection considerations.

Serex: Vendor Snapshot (Part 1) — Background & Solution Overview [PRO]

trade

Serex is a relatively new (and still nascent) entrant in the strategic sourcing technology market. Serex is one of over more than 30 vendors that Spend Matters tracks that offer capability in this area. However, it is not a new firm. Serex was founded in 1993 and began to focus on supporting CRM and marketing automation for customers as its core business. In fact, it developed strategic sourcing technology at the request of one of its sales/marketing automation clients, an organization that had tried more than a dozen different e-sourcing solutions and could not find one that met its needs. Serex took up the challenge to architect a new sourcing approach and its current solution, which addresses only part of the requirements of end-to-end of strategic sourcing technology today, offers a different take on enabling reverse auctions in a highly efficient manner for buyers and suppliers alike.

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot provides facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations make informed decisions about Sexex as a potential provider of sourcing technology capabilities. 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 Serex in the procurement technology area. The remaining parts of this research brief will cover product strengths and weaknesses, competitor and SWOT analyses, and insider evaluation and selection considerations.

Finding Synergy in a Procurement Transformation: AGCO’s Partnership with SynerTrade

tractor

In 2012, AGCO stood at a crossroad. The agricultural equipment manufacturer faced stiff opposition from competitors, and knew that to extend its global reach, the company would need to transform the way it operated. The key to this transformation was a reimagined supply management function. The former AGCO purchasing organization ran a decentralized, regional and brand-oriented procurement model that had proven sufficient for those needs. But to become the operating company management envisioned, AGCO knew it needed to establish a single, global procurement organization, based on a global commodity management approach and setup, a strategic procurement philosophy and the technology platforms necessary for a streamlined supply chain.

Resolutions, E-Sourcing and You: How AGCO Stuck to its Transformation Goals

transformation

A few months into any new year, many people’s New Year’s resolutions start to unravel. Psychologists can offer numerous reasons why you have (yet again) failed to maintain that new diet, but when it comes down to it, there’s really one explanation: accountability. Whether you’re trying to cut carbs or make it to the gym, your chances of sticking to a new habit increase greatly if you don’t take on the challenge alone. In the business world, if you’re trying to get adoption of new approaches and tools, you may become dismayed when end users don’t adopt a new tool that you know will create value. In procurement, take the example of strategic sourcing. Many large organizations buy a new e-sourcing solution, but don’t get adoption. The reason? A shared tool doesn’t imply a shared commitment to continuous improvement.

Strategic Sourcing and E-Sourcing: Level 1 [Plus+]

Strategic sourcing does not just involve a five- or seven-step flowchart. Nor is it just a “leave behind” by consultants once they’ve helped your organization to identify savings. Rather, strategic sourcing is a process that maximizes the value of each purchase made by a company — at least in theory! And it’s one that, in our opinion, requires the support of a solid technology solution that in turn must support each step of the process.

Strategic sourcing does not come in a one flavor. In fact, in the introduction to this series, we suggested there are six different approaches to strategic sourcing. Starting with the foundation (Level 1) today, this multi-part research brief will delve into the six approaches to strategic sourcing and the requirements, technologies and checklists required to pursue sourcing on the right foot.

Graphically, a Level 1 sourcing platform may look something like this: As one can see from the above diagram, there are four primary requirements for a solution to support e-negotiation. Such a product may contain more capabilities, but it will generally contain at least these four (although very basic platforms, especially those embedded in suite-driven platforms, may not support the full extent of reverse auction capability). In this article, we will discuss each of these four core requirements and some of the key features that define them.

Ready, set, source!

Strategic Sourcing and E-Sourcing Defined and Explained: A Preamble

What the heck is strategic sourcing? As with most things in life (and business), it depends on whom you ask.

One cynical definition might suggest it was an initial set of activities to make purchasing become more strategic without having to more broadly embed the function within the business — or at least sound more strategic. Another cynical lens might suggest that the terming of the phrase was a ruse by consultancies to prove they could identify savings (and of course leave behind a “process” to further justify their fees).

Yet we won’t just start the New Year with our cynical cap on. Strategic sourcing really does have multiple definitions.

BravoSolution: Solution Review & Analysis [Plus+]

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 in targeted or broader areas can also select from an increasingly healthy list of options.

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 at meeting the intersection of these requirements. This Spend Matters Plus analysis provides an introduction to BravoSolution for procurement organizations looking to understand whether they should consider adding the provider to their shortlists for consideration and competitive alternatives.

Directworks: An E-Sourcing Tool for Direct Materials and Manufacturing — Year-End Tech Review

manufacturing

This post is part of our 2016 Year-End Procurement Tech Review, in which we offer procurement practitioners a bird’s-eye view of some key vendors and their solutions in select categories. This is the last week of this series, and today we’re highlighting a company in the direct materials sourcing space.

Founded as Co-eXprise in 2004 with a goal of building a new type of direct sourcing solution not yet available in the North American marketplace, Directworks has since evolved. What started as a solution to integrate the new sourcing tools of the day (RFX, auctions, project management, dashboards, etc.) with bill of materials, supplier management and collaborative workflow management has been evolving into a direct materials sourcing workbench.

Scout RFP: Solution Review and Analysis [Plus+]

cloud solutions

Some might question why anyone would launch a new business in the e-sourcing market. After all, the complexities of basic sourcing capability typically pale in comparison with what is required to tackle areas like procure to pay (P2P) and contract lifecycle management effectively, which is why so many second-generation vendors in these sectors have used new technology stacks to all but completely overtake early providers in capability (perhaps with the one exception of SAP Ariba, which is still holding its own with growth). Moreover, there is arguably greater value from advanced sourcing approaches that begin to incorporate elements of total cost management, constraint-based optimization and supply chain network design than basic e-sourcing alone.

Yet Scout RFP, a three-year-old e-sourcing vendor that started by offering only a basic RFP module without even auctions, is proving the observation wrong. In North America, it’s adding customers faster than just about any other provider. This Spend Matters Plus analysis provides an introduction to the Scout RFP solution for procurement organizations looking to understand whether they should consider adding the provider to their shortlists for consideration and competitive alternatives.

SciQuest: Competing in Multiple Procurement Technology Market Segments — Year-End Tech Review

SciQuest

This post is part of our 2016 Year-End Procurement Tech Review, in which we offer procurement practitioners a bird’s-eye view of some key vendors and their solutions in select categories. This is the last week of this series, and today we’re highlighting a company in the procurement technology space.

While it is possible to label SciQuest as a procurement technology suite vendor (source-to-pay, source-to-contract and procure-to-pay), the reality is that SciQuest competes in multiple, infrequently overlapping segments of the procurement technology market. To date, SciQuest has generally had different sets of customers, prospects and different competitors for its core P2P product. This stands in contrast to many of its peers, which have generally chosen to focus on fewer market segments rather than more.

BravoSolution: The Globalist of Procurement Tech Providers — Year-End Tech Review

MBO Partners

This post is part of our 2016 Year-End Procurement Tech Review, in which we offer procurement practitioners a bird’s-eye view of some key vendors and their solutions in select categories. This week, we’re highlighting companies in the sourcing (including e-sourcing) and supplier management spaces.

BravoSolution is perhaps the most international of all procurement technology suite providers. The Chicago-based firm delivers a core source-to-pay (S2P) suite (consisting of modules that can be individually or collectively licensed) that includes spend analysis, sourcing, sourcing optimization, supplier management, savings tracking and contract lifecycle management (CLM) along with advanced category sourcing technologies targeted at the transportation, packaging, facilities and MRO categories.