Procurement Research Content

Best Procurement Solution Persona? Configurator!

pierre mitchell headshot

What’s my favorite Spend Matters’ SolutionMap persona? In one respect — as we begin a series of personal essays on buying personas (Nimble, Deep, Turn-Key, Configurator, CIO Friendly as well as Optimizer for sourcing providers and Global for CWS vendors) — it’s sort of a silly question.

Every persona is great. Is an extrovert better than an introvert? Is an Olympic weightlifter a better athlete than a marathoner? Is the procurement organization at Uber better than the one at P&G? Uber might need a Nimble solution, and P&G may need a Deep solution. But if we change the question to “what type of solution is generally most appealing to the most buyer personas,” then I’d have to pick Configurator.

Coupa’s customer reviews are in the new SolutionMap Customer Insights report

This week’s vendor spotlight in the SolutionMap Customer Insights report focuses on customer reviews of the suite provider Coupa. SolutionMap Insider members can click here to read about Coupa in our latest report.

In each Customer Insights report, we provide a one-page summary of qualitative — and select rating and quantitative — insights from the SolutionMap peer review process. The Customer Insights summary includes ratings on how well the vendor meets user expectations, three key differentiators for the vendor and a list of quotes about the vendor’s greatest strengths.

Deloitte 2019 CPO Survey — Insights Needed on Procurement Mastery in Action

ISM

Deloitte has opened up the 2019 version of its annual CPO survey for participants to share their insights. It’s important to participate because the survey’s depth, rigor and relevance produce influential findings that have set the gold standard for procurement studies.

And this year’s edition is very exciting, especially for me. I’ve been doing procurement research and benchmarking for 20 years, and I was thrilled to not only be given a sneak peek into this year’s study design but to be made me an honorary member of Deloitte’s extended research team to provide input. So, my challenge became how to make a great product even better.

But you can participate too. CPOs and their direct reports are needed — and participants will get an intelligence briefing about the study’s results. At the end of this article, I’ll get more specific about the ROI of participating in this year’s study.

Jaggaer’s customer reviews are in the new SolutionMap Customer Insights report

This week’s vendor spotlight in the SolutionMap Customer Insights report focuses on customer reviews of the three product lines that make up Jaggaer ONE, the solution provider’s new unified platform.

SolutionMap Insider members can click here to read customer reviews for Jaggaer Advantage, Jaggaer Direct and Jaggaer Indirect.

(Please note: For SolutionMap, each of the three product lines has been reviewed and scored on a standalone basis by both their customer users and the Spend Matters analyst team, respectively. Analysts have not yet holistically evaluated the three products as part of Jaggaer ONE's unified platform.)

In each Customer Insights report, we provide a one-page summary of qualitative — and select rating and quantitative — insights from the SolutionMap peer review process. The Customer Insights summary includes ratings on how well the vendor meets user expectations, three key differentiators for the vendor and a list of quotes about the vendor’s greatest strengths.

SAP Ariba users’ reviews are in the new SolutionMap Customer Insights report

Q1 2019 Spend Matters SolutionMap procurement software company rankings

Today, the inaugural Spend Matters SolutionMap Customer Insights report features reviews from SAP Ariba’s customers. We are taking a deeper look into our SolutionMap database, which ranks providers in the marketplace according to their capabilities and their customers’ reviews of the companies. SolutionMap has more than 900 customer reviews, and we’d like to share that insight for a few providers, beginning with SAP Ariba. (SolutionMap Insider subscribers can see the reports, but non-subscribers can see a sample report in this story.) The Customer Insights summary includes ratings to what degree the vendor meets user expectations, three key differentiators for the vendor and a list of quotes about the vendor’s greatest strengths.

Easier-to-Use Sourcing Optimization Can Put the Power in the Hands of Everyone, Scout RFP Says

Sourcing optimization holds much promise for crunching the vast amount of data that procurement organizations increasingly face — as well as cutting costs, saving time and guiding buyers and suppliers to better decisions. But to date, the tools used for optimization have been too complex for most professionals to easily examine and understand the wide range of sourcing events presented.

That’s starting to change as procurement technology modernizes and customer-experience expectations rise.

To understand how the barriers to using sourcing optimization are dropping and to see the wider adoption of dynamic negotiation and sourcing optimization tools, we asked Scout RFP Co-Founder and President Stan Garber to shed some light on the latest developments.

“Today, we can optimize the entire sourcing process with a click of a button. We’re going from the days of manual Excel modeling and email juggling to a collaborative application that is as simple to use as an iPhone,” Garber said for this Q&A about the future of the procurement and sourcing technology.

50/50 Webinar: Lessons Learned from the 2019 Providers to Watch and Know

Now that Spend Matters’ 50 Providers to Know and 50 Providers to Watch lists have been released, we are diving deeper into the sets of honorees and examining the market trends they demonstrate. From A.T. Kearney through Zylo, there are plenty of intriguing tidbits and conclusions to draw.

Earlier this week, Spend Matters Chief Research Officer Pierre Mitchell hosted our annual Vendor Intelligence webinar exploring the 50 to Watch and Know (you can view the webinar on-demand here). Topics included the industry pace-setters, disruptive newcomers and how all the honorees are taking procurement to the next level. In the sixth year of the lists, there is still plenty to be learned.

Is Direct Materials Procurement a Separate Technology Market in North America? (Part 1: Introducing a Decision Framework)

Germany, Austria and some adjacent markets have something North America doesn’t — a distinct technology market for direct materials procurement. In Europe, Pool4Tool (now Jaggaer Direct), Allocation Network, SynerTrade, SupplyOn and a range of other solution providers succeeded in creating a distinctive European direct materials procurement solutions market that exists outside the generic source-to-pay realm.

But in North America, as these providers — also joined by Ivalua and SAP Ariba, and specialists like SourceDay and Supply Dynamics, as well as the offspring of the original MFG.com, LiveSource — attempt to reach customers, I question if all of these providers are selling to individual buyers rather than a clear market segment in which procurement organizations know they need a specialized solution set.

For the sake of argument, let’s define the “bounds” of direct materials procurement solutions as encompassing any or all of the following technology areas:

Avetta, Browz to Merge: History and the Growth of Community-Oriented, Network Models (Part 2) [PRO]

Industry insiders might argue that the growth of Avetta, Browz, ISNetworld and other industry supplier compliance and credentialing solutions like VendorMate (now part of GHX), GRMS and Hellios should never have been allowed to reach escape velocity owing to the first mover advantage that Achilles had on this market overall. But playing armchair supplier credentialing, pre-validation and certification vendor quarterback is nowhere near as useful an exercise as explaining the history of this market and how it became the largest procurement solutions sector that most buyers know little if anything about — yet is of critical strategic (and growing) importance.

So join us as we provide a history lesson about how this market came about and the value levers it created for buyers and suppliers. This investigation includes exploring how the sector in which Avetta competes can serve as a complement to other supplier management and risk management areas too (which we’ll tackle in more detail in the next research brief in this series).

If you’re just coming up on this market and the merger of Browz and Avetta, read the first research brief in this series (Avetta, Browz to Merge: Facts, Solution and Market Overview), which explored the core details and numbers behind the two companies coming together under the Avetta name.

CSR Update: Corporate Social Responsibility Can Lead Customers to Spend More, Study Says

BuyerQuest

Consumers are hungry for more information of all kinds when it comes to corporate social responsibility practices, and many are willing to pay more to companies that can provide it, according to a report in the Manufacturing and Service Operations Management Journal. The study, "Supply Chain Visibility and Social Responsibility: Investigating Consumers’ Behaviors and Motives," identified a strong preference among at least 70% of consumers for advertisements with more precise information about corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities compared to ones with vague information if the price did not change.

Interview with Malcolm Harrison, CIPS New CEO (Part 3 — Will artificial intelligence wipe out procurement?)

CIPS’ leader Malcolm Harrison says the professional organization is concerned for the future of procurement workers as “more work is ‘outsourced’ to technology.” Harrison, speaking in an interview with Spend Matters UK’s veteran procurement expert Peter Smith, was asked if artificial intelligence (AI) will wipe out procurement. “My view is there will always be events that happen that haven’t happened before — we will still need people to make those judgements based on new facts and situations,” Harrison says in this third and final installment. “But one of my concerns is this: How do we ensure we develop judgement skills in the profession?”

How to Interpret SolutionMap Procurement Provider Technology Rankings

When you first lay eyes on a SolutionMap Ranking you’ll notice the ‘Reading the Ranking Chart’ box on the right hand side stating a key — but there’s more to interpreting SolutionMap. Let’s explore the different elements of which you should be aware, from bubble size and color to quadrants.