The Supplier Performance Category

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?

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.

Supplier Onboarding: Implementation Tips and Key Recommendations (Part 3) [Plus+]

So far in our PRO series exploring the nuances of setting up a supplier onboarding program we’ve delved into many specific steps and elements necessary to implement an effective process. Yet achieving a level of program certainty around these recommendations and plans is not realistic prior to engaging with a solution provider – unless you are prepared to pay separately for the provider to go through the scoping and delivery documentation as an independent engagement (which can be a smart approach, and probably something that you can get at least partial credit for if you award the solution business later on).

What is Your Supplier Management (SXM) Persona? Understand Your Requirements to Find the Best Technology Provider [PRO]


No two procurement, finance, supply chain or IT organizations are alike. Each has its own persona that reflects not only its own unique requirements but also the stakeholders it serves.

The same principle holds true when analyzing supplier management solutions. Each provider has a persona — or set of personas — that reflects its value proposition, solution strategy and targeted customer segments. Therefore, procurement organizations should seek providers whose personas best align to theirs. In other words, there is no “magic” solution provider, and finding the right fit is essential, because supplier management applications are critical for not only identifying savings opportunities but also the effective management of the procurement function.

SolutionMap depicts vendor rankings based on specific buyer personas to reflect the unique value proposition, solution strategy and customer segments served by a vendor. Participating vendors are scored both on their Solution capability as well as on Customer Value, based on in-depth tech reviews (including live demos) by the Spend Matters analyst team and aggregated direct customer input from surveys. Each SolutionMap is updated quarterly rather than in 12-month (or longer) cycles, to accurately reflect the pace of market developments.

As part of our Spend Matters SolutionMap vendor comparison ranking for supplier management and other strategic procurement technologies, the Spend Matters analyst team has dedicated considerable time to developing the unique organizational personas that we’ve most often seen in our decades of experience working with procurement organizations.

We have used these personas to weight the requirements used in solution scoring, which includes customer satisfaction scoring by solution customers. Having collected feedback from hundreds of procurement organizations in recent months as part of our SolutionMap research, we see these personas as useful starting points for procurement organizations to classify themselves before looking at solution rankings of providers in the market.

This Spend Matters PRO analysis shares five of the most common customer personas for supplier management buying requirements. Aimed at practitioners as well as vendors and the consultants advising them, this research brief will be helpful to drive the type of mass customization of strategic procurement technology solutions needed to meet specific organizational needs.

Below, we present our five personas for supplier management. For each, we include full definitions, typical organizational priorities (based on each persona), functional/solution and customer value emphasis, and recommended selection processes.

Supplier Onboarding: Defining and Setting a Strategy (Part 1) [Plus+]

online talent platforms

The sourcing exercise is over, and you've found a great new supplier. You've vetted, scrubbed and polished throughout your diligent sourcing process. The contracting has just concluded, and the new contract still smells of fresh ink. The savings look great, so you toss everything over the fence to the vendor management team and accounts payable to get it sorted out so users can start saving money. A month later, you meet the new supplier and find out that no new business has been awarded to them, and that they are still being held up in the onboarding process. So, what is this onboarding process, and how can it be improved? That is the topic of this three-part Spend Matters Plus series.

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.

(More Than) Top 10: Supplier Risks in 2017

We here at Spend Matters like to go above and beyond, which is why a simple Top 10 list just won't cut it. Join Jason Busch (founder and head of strategy at Spend Matters) and Pierre Mitchell (chief research officer) on Tuesday, January 17 at 12 p.m. Central for The Supply Chain Devil's Dozen: Top 12 Supplier Risks for 2017. They'll cover how procurement organizations can shift their investments and strategies to account for the world's major changes, and how to "map" these risks to their underlying causes (and causes to different types of risk). Sign up here!

New Date & Time: Preparing Your Suppliers for the Digital Economy

digital business transformation

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 Future of Supplier Enablement and Connectivity: Webinar Tomorrow!


Even if you have to do it with them kicking and screaming, the time is now to bring your suppliers into the digital economy. The future is here as it pertains to supplier enablement, connectivity, supply chain visibility, sourcing and total cost optimization. Join Jason Busch, founder and head of strategy at Spend Matters, and Marco H. de Vries, senior director, product marketing at OpenText Business Network, tomorrow at 10 a.m. CST for Preparing Your Suppliers for the Digital Economy: You Should Have Acted Yesterday. Sign up here!

PRGX to Acquire Lavante: Solution Overview, Comparative Solution Capability and Competitive Analysis (Part 1) [PRO]

Earlier this week, PRGX Global, the largest audit recovery services provider by billings, announced it has closed its acquisition of Lavante, a small technology company that competes in the supplier management sub-sector of the procurement technology market. Lavante also had developed audit recovery technology that provides a substitute approach to traditional audit recovery services providers. The transaction, which values Lavante at $4.25 million in cash as well as an earn-out consideration based on Lavante’s performance in selling its cloud-based supplier information management (SIM) and related applications until the end of 2018, provides PRGX with a valuable technology asset in a market segment that Spend Matters research suggests is growing at a healthy double-digit CAGR.

The first installment of this Spend Matters PRO analysis offers an overview of supplier lifecycle management (SLM) market, including supplier management and SIM technologies. It also provides analysis of Lavante’s offerings and how it stack up to competitors, including specialized supplier management providers such as Hiperos/Opus Global, HICX and riskmethods. It also offers a comparative analysis with procurement technology suite providers, including BravoSolution and SciQuest, two suite providers with competitive solutions in the supplier management area. Others suite vendors, including SAP Ariba and Coupa, offer only limited capabilities to support the range of specialized supplier lifecycle management requirements.

The second installment in this series, publishing next week, explores the potential impact of the transaction on PRGX and PRGX customers. It also provides perspective on the changing audit recovery provider landscape — including PRGX competitors such as APEX Analytix and Connolly — and the impact that offerings such as Lavante might have on this conservative market segment.

Improving Supplier Compliance (Subway to Speak!) – Webinar Next Tuesday!

supplier management

We welcome David Burrows (sustainability supply chain manager at Subway / IPCoop) along with Pierre-Francois Thaler (co-founder and co-CEO of EcoVadis) to join Pierre Mitchell (chief research officer at Spend Matters) next Tuesday at 10 a.m. CDT for Improving Your Supplier Compliance Odds When the Cards Are Stacked Against You. They'll share robust frameworks, guerilla tactics and case study results to build you a business case for sustainable change in your inbound supply chain. Overcome the odds and improve your supplier compliance when the chips are down and you're being counted on to deliver in the face of adversity. Sign up here!

How to Really Get a 360-Degree View of Your Suppliers


Last week, I had the pleasure of moderating an ISM webinar with Roger Blumberg (Pool4Tool), Bill DeMartino (riskmethods), Pierre-Francois Thaler (Ecovadis), and Edda Rottscheidt (LexisNexis). If you missed it, I highly recommend watching the replay. The one bad thing about webinars is that they usually come to an end before all of the audience questions are addressed, so I thought I’d start a Spend Matters mini-series to answer some of the ones we weren’t able to make it to live. For this installment, I asked Roger Blumberg to address a question from Genesis Energy: Who (clients, industries) has a 360° view of their suppliers? How real-time is the view? What are their business cases?