The Supplier Management Category

Forming a Strategic Partnership Program: What They Are and Why You Need One

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Spend Matters welcomes this guest contribution from Craig Laufer, vice president of strategic partnerships at Nielsen.

Are you tapped out on the value created by your standard supplier relationship management program? If so, you should really consider creating a strategic partnership program. A strategic partnership program is an initiative that aims to transform the relationships of your most strategic suppliers into true strategic partners. This goal is accomplished first and foremost by creating and nurturing great relationships with your strategic partners, ultimately leading to improved supplier relationships, increased influence on traditional procurement topics, and creation of business value outside of the typical buyer-seller relationship.   

Sourcemap and BRAC U to Launch a Digital Map of Every Garment Factory in Bangladesh

We were intrigued to learn recently about a project to create a digital factory map of Bangladesh, a joint effort from BRAC University, Sourcemap and the C&A Foundation. Officially called the Digital Ready-Made Factory Map of Bangladesh, the project is set to launch this summer. A team of data collectors from BRAC University and Sourcemap are currently visiting every garment factory in Bangladesh and gathering GPS-linked data points on workers, factory facilities, certifications, types of products manufactured at the factory, and companies that source from the factory.

From Talent to Category Management: 4 Critical Development Areas for Procurement

Cybersecurity and access to critical talent are the top worries on CPOs’ minds, according to a Hackett Group report, The CPO Agenda: Expanding Procurement’s Influence Through Change and Innovation. The importance of cybersecurity is compounded by the EU’s Global Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which goes into effect May 25. In addition, cybersecurity and access to critical talent are also expected to be “high risk” in the near future by three quarters of procurement professionals who took part in The Hackett Group’s annual Key Issues Study.

SolutionMap Subscriptions and Practitioner Selection Programs: A Primer and Sneak Peek at Q1 2018 SolutionMap [PRO]

Earlier today Spend Matters released its Q1 2018 SolutionMap. The release now comprises six technology areas with individual vendor rankings (spend and procurement analytics, sourcing, supplier management, contract lifecycle management, e-procurement and invoice-to-pay) and three composite suite views (strategic procurement technologies, procure-to-pay and source-to-pay).

Our goal with SolutionMap is very different from what other analyst firms seek to achieve with their ranking systems. This is apparent even at our “free” level. The SolutionMap approach starts by releasing the ranking charts in the public domain, providing multiple persona-based views of vendor capability (45 comparative 2/2 matrices in total for the Q1 2018 release). We take a truly data-driven approach to plotting vendors, where an “average” score positions a provider in the dead center of a chart. SolutionMap ranking charts also make it easy to distinguish analyst scoring from customer scoring, plotting the data on separate analyst and customer axes. Finally, the Q1 2018 release actually reflects the time frame of its publication: We update the underlying data set and charts for SolutionMap on a quarterly basis.

Admittedly, the “free” stuff is designed to pique your interest. Unlike some of our peers in the analyst world, we have not made SolutionMap “reprint friendly” for the maximum number of vendors through grade inflation. Why? Because in the world of procurement technology, not everyone is “above average” like the children of Lake Wobegon. There’s an average, and there’s a deviation from average — positive and negative. Obfuscating these deviations might produce charts that make people feel good about buying decisions up front, but other than a near-term CYA, how useful will these be in the long run for those relying on them for, well, anything?

At the new SolutionMap subscriber level — separate from Spend Matters PRO — the tangible value of SolutionMap becomes even clearer. At this level, we unpack the underlying data we show for the analyst scoring by rated sub-category. For example, in the Supplier Management SolutionMap, you can see individual, tiered-based scoring for capabilities such as master data management (MDM), supplier onboarding support, core supplier information management (SIM) and supplier performance management, among other areas. Customer ratings (e.g., level of value perceived, quick deployment, ROI) are also visible.

To see the full level of data available to SolutionMap subscribers, check out the currently available reports from the Q1 2018 release:

There are views of the data beyond those provided in these reports (e.g., tiered-based scoring and ranked scoring for all sub-components that comprise an area, such as master data management within the Supplier Management report). Per our competitive intelligence policy, however, we reserve this view for practitioners going through a selection process (or the consultancies advising them), with strict licensing. This prevents comparative information from falling into the hands of competing vendors participating in SolutionMap. We take intellectual property protection and data privacy, for providers and practitioners, very seriously here at Spend Matters; otherwise, we’d find ourselves out of business quickly.

So, how exactly does all of this work? Read on as we unpack a SolutionMap Insider-level example within Supplier Management from the Q1 2018 SolutionMap. Specifically, we compare Jaggaer with Jaggaer Advantage (formerly BravoSolution) to showcase how it all works.

Q1 SolutionMap℠: 40 Procurement Technology Solution Providers, Ranked

Spend Matters released its Q1 2018 SolutionMap, ranking 40 procurement technology providers across nine different solution categories — including an end-to-end view of Source-to-Pay (S2P) providers and their capabilities for the very first time.

Q1 2018 SolutionMap Release Notes: Sourcing, Spend Analytics, SRM, CLM and Strategic Procurement Technology Suites

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This Spend Matters SolutionMap Insider release note provides insight into the Q1 2018 SolutionMap release for Sourcing, Spend and Procurement Analytics, Supplier Relationship Management & Risk, Contract Lifecycle Management, and Strategic Procurement Technologies Suite Solution Maps, reviewing the process we follow and highlighting what has changed since the last release.

Within the individual areas covered in this brief, the following providers have been added to the Q1 2018 release: Agiloft, Aravo, ConnXus, HICX, Opera BIQ, Simfoni and SynerTrade. Additionally, providers such as SAP Ariba have received updated scoring following the submission and demonstration of new capabilities based on production releases of individual modules. (Non-GA capabilities are not considered in SolutionMap scoring.) This SolutionMap Insider release note explores these and additional changes in the Q1 2018 SolutionMap release.