The supplier networks Category

Sustainable SRM Is Focus of 10th Annual State of Flux Report on Supplier Relationships

gig economy

Many businesses have come around to the idea that sustainability is not just a hashtag or a marketing ploy but something that can help a company advance its business goals. But as organizations dive into all the ways they can save energy and use friendlier materials, they soon realize there are only so many they control. Truly leveraging sustainability requires close collaboration all the way down the supply chain to find mutual incentives for all, according to the latest report by State of Flux, a global procurement and supply chain consultancy.

Supplier Relationship Management Needs a Jolt of Technology, State of Flux’s SRM Summit Finds

Procurement has made significant strides in supporting supplier relationship management initiatives, but poor investment in technology could limit the potential benefits those programs can deliver in the years to come, according to State of Flux, a consulting firm that specializes in SRM and which held its annual SRM summit in Chicago on Oct. 23. Over the decade that State of Flux has monitored SRM maturity, procurement organizations have made considerable improvements in several areas — but not in adopting and using technology dedicated to SRM.

Tradeshift vs. SAP Ariba: E-Invoicing and Supplier Network Evaluation and Head-to-Head Comparison

In its early years, Tradeshift was a thorn in the side of SAP Ariba in a handful of strategic accounts. More recently, as Tradeshift transitioned from operating at least in part (previously) on the PowerPoint platform to its own, the provider has emerged as more than just a credible threat and is now an everyday competitor to SAP Ariba, Basware, Coupa and many others.

Tradeshift has real, proven capability today. Through the Spend Matters SolutionMap process, we’ve benchmarked its solution on a functional and customer satisfaction basis across hundreds of procure-to-pay functional and customer satisfaction areas 20 competitors. And when we talk about functional analysis, we’re talking about actual product demonstrations of real GA product.

SAP Ariba and Tradeshift are among the two strongest invoice-to-pay providers in Spend Matters Q2 2018 Invoice-to-Pay SolutionMap on a functional scoring basis. But how do they stack up against each other in a head-to-head battle, especially when considering core e-invoicing and supplier network capabilities as part of the invoice-to-pay solution area?

Join us in this unfiltered head-to-head SolutionMap results analysis from our Q2 2018 dataset, along with the commentary of the Spend Matters analyst team. We will be writing “Head-to-Head” columns on a regular basis, sharing the insights of each quarterly SolutionMap report for SolutionMap Insider Subscribers and providing unique comparative cuts of SolutionMap benchmark data, along with the trademark quips that have defined Spend Matters since its inception.

Not an Insider member yet? Here’s a preview: In certain invoice-to-pay categories — which include supplier network, configurability, technology (overall), general services, invoicing setup, invoicing creation/capturing/submission, services invoicing and contract invoicing, invoicing collaboration, invoice validations/approvals, invoice integrations, invoicing compliance, invoice mobility, invoicing analytics, payment/financing and overall invoice-to-pay scoring — SAP Ariba comes out on top. In fact, SAP Ariba, on a straight line, “Deep” persona invoice-to-pay functional basis factoring into account all scoring criteria, is the top performing solution on an analyst scoring basis in Q2 2018.

But in specific categories, Tradeshift wins the race. And overall, the results specific to core accounts payable and invoice/document automation might surprise companies that think experience and size triumph over youthful ambition. Perhaps more important, the SAP Ariba vs. Tradeshift head-to-head shows that one size does not fit all for e-invoicing and associated capabilities. There’s no debate that invoice-to-pay selection processes will reward those procurement and finance organizations that tailor provider selection to their specific needs.

The Q2 2018 Invoice-to-Pay SolutionMap benchmark is now based on an underlying dataset featuring 13 separate providers, including nearly all of the must-shortlist invoice-to-pay technology providers procurement organizations can expect to consider in a typical selection process (as well as those they should consider but might overlook). Whether you’re in the market for a new invoice-to-pay product or just want to know if you made the right decision for your organization, our SolutionMap analysis and benchmark data can tell you the answer. Curious to learn more? Don’t hesitate to get in touch.

SAP Ariba LIVE Dispatch: The Ariba Network Today and Tomorrow (Part 1) — Past and Present

The future of the Ariba Network is arguably the future of SAP Ariba. As more content, intelligence and capability shifts into not just the cloud but the space between companies, network and platform-based connectivity will become increasingly important for procurement and suppliers alike. Connectivity is even now forming the basis of competition in the procure-to-pay market, with SAP Ariba competitors like Tradeshift making the argument to potential customers that the platform matters as much — or more — than application capability alone. In a series of posts this week, we’ll tackle the past, present and future of the Ariba Network, as well as the SAP Ariba platform.

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.

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.

From Heavy Hitters to Blockchain: The Best of P2P in 2016

When discussing procurement processes and strategy, it’s hard not to mention procure-to-pay (P2P) or the enabling technologies that go along with it. E-procurement, one of the original technology segments to center on automating and improving procurement, has led to numerous internal improvements for procurement groups; e-invoicing automation has led to substantial cost and efficiency gains for both companies and public sector organizations.

And while both these technologies that form the core of P2P have been around for a while, they’re both far from done innovating. To see why, check out our top five posts on P2P from 2016.

How to Get Started with Supplier Onboarding in Latin America

Mexico

Supplier networks have dramatically altered the way procurement handles supplier data. The ERP system, long the home of any company’s supplier master data, is ceding dominance to new technologies. Emerging sourcing and procure-to-pay (P2P) solutions now offer compelling alternatives to old processes and systems, and procurement organizations are looking to supplier networks both to enhance collaboration with suppliers and to serve as the central repository for data related to business partners. In this three-part series, we examine e-invoicing practices in Latin America, beginning with the basics of onboarding. The next two installments cover unique compliance requirements for organizations operating in Latin America and how to evaluate supplier readiness in the region.

A TRULY Open Supplier Discovery Network: Spend Matters Crowdsource #1

supplier management

As I hinted at yesterday, the notion of a truly open supplier network doesn’t exist today. My first contribution – and request of you – has to deal with the best ways of overcoming the notion of closed supplier search, ratings, rankings and connectivity. Instead of pointing fingers at the effect of closed systems (e.g., supplier network fees for transactions, business credit rating agencies “double-dipping” on fees, etc.), let’s together come up with solutions. Together. This is the first installment of a crowdsourcing series where Spend Matters analysts will offer up an “open call” to the market for a B2B problem that exists in the value chain. It’s easy to complain generically about broad problems, but we thought we’d provide a more granular specification for a crowdsourced solution that we feel is needed in the market. There’s no cash prizes here other than bragging rights…and world domination (maybe).