The Supplier Collaboration Category

How Supplier Relationships are like Marriages: Lessons from ProcureCon Indirect East

Cultivating a meaningful relationship with your suppliers can be difficult at first, but when accomplished, the effort can produce positive and lasting growth opportunities for both companies. Taking steps to get to this point, though, takes care and mutual respect. Recently at ProcureCon Indirect East, I had the privilege of listening in to “Providing The White Glove Treatment To Your Suppliers,” a panel moderated by Joseph Richardson, president and CEO of Professional Purchasing Partners. During the session, Richardson challenged the audience to think beyond a simple checklist for managing their supplier relationships, encouraging them to instead seek a true change in mindset and a willingness to develop flexible for each supplier their company worked with.

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

suppliers

Of all the procurement solution providers Spend Matters has tracked over the years, Aravo was arguably the most ahead of its time, delivering a set of supplier management capabilities a decade before demand would catch up with supply for this multifaceted solution category.

Owning to the tenacity and passion of its original leadership and the secondary management team that would eventually take the helm, Aravo managed to survive and then thrive, waiting for the market to catch up to it — not the other way around. Today, Aravo excels at many disciplines within supplier management and third-party management, and has a track record of enabling some of the largest deployments of supplier information management (SIM) capabilities that Spend Matters has tracked in the broader market.

This third and final installment of this Spend Matters Vendor Snapshot covering Aravo provides a SWOT analysis of the provider and offers a competitive segmentation analysis and comparison. It also includes recommended shortlist candidates as substitute providers to Aravo and provider selection guidance. Finally, it provides summary analysis and recommendations for companies that can best take advantage of Aravo’s capabilities. Part 1 of this series provided an in-depth look at Aravo as a company and its specific solutions, and Part 2 gave a detailed analysis of solution strengths and weaknesses and a review of the user experience.

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

The market for supplier management technology is complex. Not a single provider that Spend Matters has reviewed as part of our PRO and SolutionMap analyses comes with out-of-the-box capabilities to competitively and fully support the myriad of solution components in this area, spanning supplier discovery, supplier on-boarding, supplier information management (SIM), supplier master data management (MDM), supplier performance management (SPM), supplier risk management, supplier diversity enablement and supplier quality management. Granted, some technology providers come close. But most opt to specialize in one or a handful of supplier management disciplines.

LUPR is one such provider, specializing in strategic supplier management (primarily supplier quality and supplier performance) in support of manufacturers and direct materials procurement initiatives. This final installment of our multipart Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot series covering LUPR offers a SWOT analysis, a competitive assessment and comparisons with other providers in the supplier management market. It also includes a user selection guide and summary evaluation and selection considerations. Part 1 and Part 2 of this PRO research series provide a company and deep-dive solution overview, product strengths and weaknesses and a recommended fit analysis for what types of organizations should consider LUPR for supplier management initiatives.

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

This vendor snapshot series is focused on LUPR, a new entrant in the supplier management technology arena. Pronounced “looper,” but not spelled looper, as that's a media site dedicated to bite-sized entertainment news and pop culture, and procurement technology is usually not that scintillating, the name certainly caught our attention. And maybe yours.

Perhaps you’re chuckling about the various puns on the name LUPR (e.g., that supplier threw me for a …). But once you get past the name — which we believe positively calls out and reinforces the need for closed loop supplier and customer engagement — it becomes clear that LUPR is addressing a number of areas that most procurement organizations have not yet gotten around to automating through technology outside Excel, primarily centered on supplier quality and supplier development in a direct materials context.

Built on the Salesforce platform, LUPR has two different solutions: a buyer platform and a supplier platform, which is free for suppliers to use. This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot explores LUPR’s strengths and weaknesses, providing facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations decide whether they should consider the provider. Part 1 of our analysis provided a company and detailed solution overview and a recommend fit list of criteria for firms considering LUPR. The third part of this series will offer a SWOT analysis, user selection guide, competitive alternatives, and additional evaluation and selection considerations.

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

While not all procurement groups have adopted the “supplier” flavor of customer lifecycle management — that is, supplier relationship management (SRM) — an increasing number of organizations are taking the plunge and purchasing supplier management capabilities, either from standalone providers or as part of integrated suites — and sometimes both. The SRM sector is a crowded one, and Spend Matters has covered many of its newest entrants. From specialized initiative management providers to on-boarding and master data management (MDM) specialists and spend-specific vendors (e.g., manufacturing, services) there is no shortage of solutions to choose from, let alone individual technology providers.

One of these new entrants, LUPR, was co-founded by Sean Harley, a former colleague of one of the authors of this brief. (Harley and Jason Busch worked together at FreeMarkets). The name LUPR is a play on words, as one of the goals of the firm is to close the loop between buyers and suppliers with relevant data to help both parties sustain relationships, improve quality levels, resolve performance issues and collaborate on innovation. LUPR is not yet a full-featured supplier information management solution, but it does go deep in specific supplier management areas and excels in meeting a range of initiative-based requirements for manufacturers.

But in such a crowded market, the question remains: Is LUPR different enough to succeed? Maybe.

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot provides facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations make informed decisions about LUPR and whether its technology and solution capabilities are a fit for their needs. 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 LUPR in the supplier management and quality management areas. The remaining parts of this research brief will cover product strengths and weaknesses, competitor and SWOT analyses, and insider evaluation and selection considerations.

An Entrepreneurial Take on Supplier Relationship Management: Best Practices (Part 3)

Forward-thinking executives are reacting to this faster rate of change by challenging their teams to be more entrepreneurial. This concept, as applied to procurement, lies at the heart of the latest State of Flux report on supplier relationship management (SRM). There is perhaps no industry that is immune to technology-enabled disruption. Successful procurement leaders, State of Flux argues, will need to become entrepreneurs. Below, we’ll look at a number of best practices that can be distilled from the report.

How Are Your Peers Doing on Supplier Relationship Management? (Part 2)

Last week, Spend Matters began covering the recent report from State of Flux on supplier relationship management (SRM), “Entrepreneurial SRM: Solving the Value Puzzle.” Part 1 focused on defining SRM — what it is, what it isn’t, and the six most important components of SRM, as according to State of Flux. The State of Flux report provides a host of interesting data on how organizations are doing on their SRM efforts, which will be the topic of today’s post. How does your organization compare in this regard to your peers? Are you ahead of the pack or somewhere in the middle, or do you have some catching up to do?

Transforming Supplier Management: From Policemen to Innovation Catalyst

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Dave Tienstra, Partner at Information Services Group (ISG).

Modern enterprises are evolving quickly, and with that transformation, their expansive, locked-in, long-term supplier relationships are giving way to digitally enabled, data-driven supplier ecosystems marked by collaboration, a fluid set of suppliers and a mutual exchange of data and information that drives new insights, delivers new innovations and empowers a new way of managing supplier relationships.

State of Flux Releases SRM Report: What is Supplier Relationship Management Really? (Part 1)

What business doesn’t want more innovative suppliers? According to research from State of Flux, supplier innovation is a goal that eight out of 10 companies are actively working toward. From a study of 372 companies representing more than 25 industries around the world, State of Flux found that getting this innovation strongly depends on how well they manage their key supplier relationships. Put more simply, businesses need to master supplier relationship management (SRM).

A Different Sort of Influence: 16 Areas Where Supplier Management Can Help Engage Your Stakeholders Strategically (Part 1) [Plus+]

Supplier management is too often an afterthought in the eyes of procurement and its stakeholders. Yes, it's important to collect supplier qualification information through the sourcing and onboarding process, and then also monitor the suppliers against their contracts to get what you paid for and to reduce supply risk. But shouldn’t there be more to supplier management?

Progressive organizations are beginning to use supplier management (and third-party management more broadly) as a better overall governance structure for how to best externalize the enterprise. This is especially true as supply markets get digitized (and disrupted) and supplier innovation can be brought to bear beyond cost/spend savings.

“Innovation management” is indeed one of the areas where a supplier management approach can help procurement influence stakeholders, but there are 15 other ways, as well. Having a broader palette of value creation (for which we’ll discuss six major value streams) will not only help improve spend influence but also improve the quality of influence to help elevate procurement’s value proposition.

New Research: Using Collaboration in Bringing Competitive Advantage to Your Supply Chain

If your organization wants to create competitive advantages through its supply chains, collaboration is crucial, according to new research from the Global Supply Chain Institute at the University of Tennessee – Knoxville. The findings were presented in a white paper, End-to-End Supply Chain Collaboration Best Practices, written by Mike Burnette, managing director of the institute. Burnette and other supply chain faculty at the university interviewed 17 leading companies in eight industries to determine the best practices that help organizations achieve success through collaboration.

Vendor Summary Report: Supplier Management SolutionMap℠ Q4 2017 [PRO]

supplier network

This SolutionMapSM analyzes a select group of supplier management (SXM) providers. It includes coverage of supplier information management (SIM), supplier master data management (MDM), supplier performance management and broader initiative management (e.g., risk, third-party management) capabilities. It is part of our Q4 2017 SolutionMap report series, also featuring spend analytics, sourcing, contract management, e-procurement and invoice-to-pay providers. Our Q4 2017 also features SolutionMaps for procure-to-pay and strategic procurement technology suites.

Spend Matters tracks more than 50 supplier management solution providers today. This analysis features many of the largest supplier management providers, including BravoSolution, Determine, GEP, Ivalua, Lavante (PRGX), Hiperos 3PM (Opus Global), Jaggaer, Jaggaer Direct (formerly Pool4Tool), SAP Ariba, State of Flux and Zycus. Among these providers it features select industry/specialty capability of providers, although it does not highlight them in a specific persona, a change from our last SolutionMap release.

SolutionMap ratings provide comparative rankings and insight into how each provider scored from a Solution perspective and Customer Value perspective.

Dive deeper with our full analysis.