The Supplier Management Category

Supplier Networks and P2P: The Benefits of Direct Connectivity for Suppliers

In this last installment, I will focus on the risks of insufficient connectivity, the benefits of doing it properly and why it is worthwhile for suppliers to invest time and resources to stay connected in the most automated means possible.

For organizations that still use their ERP as their only (or primary) system to process all procurement, invoicing and payments activities, typical document exchange and communication methods are done either by paper, fax or email (some firms may also have EDI technologies or web services in place — to interact with select suppliers). Although these forms of communication have been used for years, they are insufficient today, as they introduce significant risks to the buyer/supplier connectivity process.

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

The sourcing and supplier management suite market (inclusive of spend analytics, e-sourcing, supplier management and contract management) was a crowded sector for many years. But as more providers with capabilities focused on this area have expanded their product offering to transactional procurement and as vendors in the procure-to-pay (P2P) sector expanded through acquisition into sourcing and supplier management, the number of targeted suite providers focused solely on what we describe as the “source-to-contract” market has declined. Yet Scanmarket is one of those that remain (and it is the vendor with the most traction and the largest customer base). And it is a solution provider that is more than standing its ground in a market where consolidation and the march to both strategic and transactional suites is becoming the norm.

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot provides facts and expert analysis to help buying organizations, suppliers and partners make informed decisions on Scanmarket’s source-to-contract 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 Scanmarket in the procurement technology area. The rest of this multi-part research brief will cover product strengths and weaknesses, competitor and SWOT analysis, user selection guides, insider evaluation and selection considerations.

Platforms, Networks and Suppliers: Concepts and Benefits

What is a network? What is a platform? Technology providers often confuse customers with these terms. But it is important that procurement and AP organizations become comfortable with the terminology.

A network concept centers on supplier connectivity that joins buyers with suppliers. It can provide value in areas such as supplier management, catalog management, e-invoicing automation, payment automation, financing options and sourcing effectiveness while also offering value-add services for enhancing or simplifying these processes.

Managed Services and Connectivity Vs. Software and Networks

Evaluating a comprehensive business solution can be tricky, especially when the organization is evaluating just software capabilities — which is to say “features and functionalities” — but the provider brings more than this alone. For example, it can be difficult to do apples-to-apples sourcing comparisons when considering the types of value-added services that a solution provider can offer (by itself or a third party) to complement or strengthen its own technological solution.

Ethical, Critical, Strategic: All Sorts of Sourcing and Supplier Management in Best Posts of 2016

In many ways, the Sourcing & Supplier Management space is the broadest- and farthest-reaching of all the categories Spend Matters covers. There are a ton of aspects to consider when defining “sourcing” (of the “e-” variety or otherwise), while supplier management is a catch-all description for a set of activities and technologies that are often carried out in silos across an organization. Using this admittedly loose rubric, we’ll take a quick spin through some of the top posts on Spend Matters in 2016 that dealt with the challenges of — and best practices behind — sourcing and supplier management.

Reeling in IT Programming and Development Costs

IT requirements, more than any other category, are dynamic and fast-moving. Even veteran IT project managers struggle to define exact milestones, work plans and deliverables when new ground is constantly being broken on untested IT requirements in their firms. As we are quickly approaching the end of the year and are inevitably inundated with requests for open-ended IT consulting, programming or support engagements, let us have a look at some levers we can apply to try to control costs and arrive at last-minute savings.

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.

Per Angusta: An Escape From ‘Excel Hell’ — Year-End Tech Review

suppliers

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 continue to highlight companies in the sourcing (including e-sourcing) and supplier management spaces.

The amount of time it took Per Angusta founder Pierre Laprée to consolidate, normalize and analyze data in managing his sourcing pipeline, projects and savings projections on a daily basis in Excel was enormous — and the end result was not always reliable. Finding no solution in the market designed specifically for sourcing pipeline management, he decided to form Per Angusta and build one.

HICX: A Robust MDM and Supplier Management Toolkit — Year-End Tech Review

supplier network

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.

HICX, a London-based firm founded in 2004, has served the North American market for the past decade. It may not yet be a household name in the procurement world, but this could change as the importance of master data management and supplier management increases, and smaller (but still large!) companies begin to make investments in the area.

SirionLabs: The Technology Provider for Post-Signature Contract Management — Year-End Tech Review

This post is part of our 2016 Year-End Procurement Tech Review series, 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.

As businesses, we are increasingly buying outcomes rather than widgets or labor. Yet the general market for procurement technology still reflects a world in which we source, procure, contract and manage supplier relationships based on models that track to underlying SKUs or hourly bill rates rather than partnership-based outcomes. SirionLabs is one of the few technology providers working to change this. It has built a suite focused on managing all aspects of complex supplier relationships after a negotiation has taken place, starting with contract authoring and proceeding to steady-state performance, relationship and risk management.

HICX: Solution Review & Analysis [Plus+]

supplier network

Companies looking for supplier management solutions have a broad range of choices, ranging from independent solution providers to ERP modules of varying degrees of sophistication and depth. There are numerous challenges that come with identifying the right solutions in the market for an individual procurement organization. These include the fact that consultants and analysts generally have limited experience with the in-the-trenches capabilities of these solutions compared with sourcing and purchase-to-pay suites.

One provider that warrants consideration in the market is HICX, a London-based firm founded in 2004. It is essentially a supply chain master data management (MDM) solution with a configurable workflow that allows an organization to use it as the supplier (and associated product) MDM system. This Spend Matters Plus analysis provides an introduction to the HICX solution for procurement organizations looking to understand whether they should consider adding the provider to their shortlists for consideration and competitive alternatives.

First-Person Experience: Pulling Together a Supplier Relationship Program

Tradeshift Baiwang

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Anthony Ryan, head of procurement operations at eir.

We have a pretty excellent P2P system at eir. It’s in the cloud, easy to use and delivers one of our primary objectives as a procurement team: spend under management. Our study of how best to address the needs of the SRM and CLM programs led us to consider the pros and cons of best-of-breed point solutions versus fully integrated end-to-end solutions that service all things procurement.