You have a bit more time to register for Preparing Your Suppliers for the Digital Economy: You Should Have Acted Yesterday, which will now take place Tuesday, Dec. 13, at 10 a.m. CST. Get smart and hear the chatter on the future of supplier enablement, connectivity, supply chain visibility, sourcing and total cost optimization and more, as Jason Busch, founder and head of strategy at Spend Matters, and Marco H. de Vries, senior director of product marketing at OpenText Business Network, trade thoughts and ideas.
The supplier networks Category
Is the Ariba Supplier Network going “free”? Yes. And no. SAP Ariba would find it difficult to fully shift a supplier-funded business model that makes a material contribution to SAP’s top line — and one that in, Ariba’s defense, engages and works with suppliers more directly than competing P2P providers. Yet Ariba is taking a step in the free direction with its recent release of Light Enablement, which offers a free connectivity solution to low-volume suppliers. Still, don’t expect anything but “Light.” It is what it says it is.
Earlier today, BravoSolution’s CEO, Jim Wetekamp, gave a talk entitled, “Enabling Procurement’s Journey & Maturity to Unlock the Power of Procurement.” While much of the chat centered on Bravo’s strategic and product direction, including a hint that the provider was looking at new approaches to building supplier networks, Jim shared a few items around BravoSolution’s growth in recent years. While I’ll touch on a number of the initiatives which BravoSolution is pursuing that Jim shared, one previously mentioned item stands out.
Transcepta, a closely held business, was founded over a decade ago. Throughout this time, the provider has focused on building and expanding its global supplier network capabilities to support vendor onboarding and e-invoicing efforts, including most recently in the invoice discounting and trade financing areas. Transcepta compares favorably on a functional basis with other e-invoicing providers, including and supplier network providers such as Ariba/SAP, Basware, Coupa, Taulia, Tungsten and Tradeshift. It also serves as an e-invoicing partner to Oracle and SciQuest. This Spend Matters PRO research brief provides an introduction to supplier network enablement and e-invoicing approaches, Trancepta’s capabilities in these areas and the provider’s overall strengths, including a new PO/document matching approach that leverages technology often used in the spend analysis world to achieve significantly higher matching rates than what we typically observe. The second installment of this research brief covers Transcepta’s weaknesses, competition and our recommendations for customer fit.
The Latest on Nipendo: Direct Materials Support, A New Dynamic Portal and Customer Recommendations [PRO]
Innovation lurks in the shadows of legacy e-invoicing and supply chain connectivity approaches, threatening to completely change how we communicate procurement, sales and supply chain information with partners — and even internally. And Nipendo, which we have previously explored in depth here and here as well as an Intel case study here and here, is at the forefront of this radical shift. In this second half (see the first installment) of this update on Nipendo, based on a half-day session looking at the latest from the provider at its R&D center in Israel, Spend Matters details some of the enhancements this disruptive provider is bringing to supply chain connectivity.
As we discussed in the first part of this e-invoicing research brief, there are many more goals of automating the invoicing (and invoice receiving) process than simply driving process efficiency. Indeed, advanced e-invoicing deployments now go far beyond the plumbing required to automate the issuance, workflow and approval of an invoice in a streamlined manner with as few accounts payable touch points as necessary (not to mention providing suppliers with greater visibility throughout the process). Today, supplier networks have emerged to extend the value proposition of basic e-invoicing to a number of new areas, including the better management of working capital (and much more). In the second part of this series, we discuss how supplier networks are extending the e-invoicing value proposition, advanced scenarios that e-invoicing and network providers are starting to enable today and who some of the key vendors in the space are, including specialists, suite providers and regional solutions.
To say that the supplier network business model itself has crossed the chasm would be an understatement. For companies like Ariba/SAP, network revenue has become one of the very core components of overall growth — and the network model itself has become a key value proposition to customers, including supplier enablement, transactional connectivity and supply chain risk management. We will be talking about networks and related enabling technologies, including cloud, platform as a service (PaaS) and blockchain, with ISM at the Global Procurement Technology Summit taking place on March 14–16 in Baltimore.
Catalogs often get a bad rap, but the most progressive procurement organizations are using advanced smart catalogs to support complex category-specific requirements in the supply chain. These processes are replacing "old school" catalogs as a way to better engage stakeholders with more advanced approaches to preferred suppliers. Join Spend Matters and jCatalog for the webinar Teaching an Old Dog New Tricks: Advanced Case Studies in Smarter Catalog Management on Wednesday, Nov. 4, at 10 a.m. CDT. Register now!
Back in early 2014, Trade Financing Matters’ David Gustin noticed some major changes in the supply chain finance space. Banking and financing firms were increasingly partnering with various supplier B2B networks at a rapid pace. He pointed to this growing trend in one of our popular Ask the Expert webinars, which originally aired in April 2014, titled, Ask the Expert: B2B Commerce Networks Enter the Supply Chain Finance Space. You can check out the full recording of the webinar in this post and learn the difference between trade credit and trade finance and what exactly supplier networks are, how they operate and more.
In our past lives designing, advising and implementing e-invoicing programs with clients, the Spend Matters team has found that far too many people inside procurement and finance organizations are confused about what supplier networks provide and what purchase-to-pay (P2P) and e-invoicing solutions deliver. For example, in many cases supplier networks incorporate e-invoicing capabilities within them; in other cases they incorporate some but not all capabilities.
To understand how e-invoicing programs fit with supplier networks, we should first explore what supplier networks are. Here are a few key points to illustrate how e-invoicing and supplier network capabilities can overlap.
Picking up where we left off in our interview with Traxpay’s John Bruggeman, we come to the potential “killer apps” for dynamic payments and also consider the changes in efficiency that will come as cash moves through the supply chain more efficiency. See also our first, second and third installments in this series as well. Enjoy!
We can best sum up our market analysis and 2014 forecast for the supplier network market as follows: “It’s still the top of the second inning with one out and runners on base.” This is the third in a series of 2014 market outlooks published to Spend Matters PRO subscribers. Also in this series are outlooks on e-invoicing, eProcurement, strategic sourcing, spend analytics, trade financing, and supplier management markets -- including growth trends, market sizing and forecasts. The supplier network market is indeed in its early days, even though much of the functionality (and sometimes even the software code) draws from over a decade ago with electronic B2B marketplaces. As background, we define supplier networks as a subset (or overlapping set really) of the broader source-to-pay solution market. Supplier networks are sometimes referred to as “business networks,” eMarketplaces, or other terms. A supplier network is primarily a B2B destination site where buyers and suppliers can find each other and do business with each other, including supplier discovery, transaction processing, collaboration, and analytics / intelligence.