Technology Content

EcoVadis — Catching Up on a Provider to Know

EcoVadis, a provider of ratings on companies’ sustainability and corporate social responsibility efforts, was named to Spend Matters’ 50 to Know list six months ago. It’s the third year running that it has been highlighted as one of the providers to know in the procurement technology sector that we cover.

This year, we’ve taken an in-depth look at EcoVadis in a PRO series by our analysts, and we’ve covered some of EcoVadis’ latest findings on sustainable procurement.

EcoVadis can be a slightly challenging provider to put into a box and review. But let's look into its products and technology to see where it fits in the market and as a solution for your business.

SIG dispatch: Leasing Spend — The Hidden Double Digit (millions) Category Savings Opportunity! (Part 1)

At SIG’s Global Executive Summit this week in California, two sessions, a mainstage panel and a breakout session, focused on the opportunity for lease sourcing. Two LeaseAccelerator execs — Steve Keifer, VP of Marketing, and Ingemar Lanevi, VP of Global Lease Sourcing Solutions — ran the sessions.

EVERY procurement leader and category manager who has the opportunity to address lease spend should listen to this presentation (and of course finance teams that have oversight over leasing spend as well). Here are some of my notes from the talk and from the slides that Steve shared with me:

Sponsored Article

5 Easy Steps to Better Manage Your Suppliers

If you work for a large organization, you most likely have tens of thousands of suppliers, and any of them, to some extent, can pose a risk to your organization's operations, brand or customers. In addition, managing that many business partners is a difficult task that takes time, attention, organization and resources.

You and your suppliers are intimately linked, and what they do affects you, for better or worse. As a result, you need to be able to monitor, manage and collaborate with your entire supply base more broadly and effectively than ever before.

Before you get started, ask yourself these questions:

20 Tips to Maximize Private Equity, Investment and Strategic Buyer Outcomes (Part 6: Acquisition Strategy and the ‘End Game’) [PRO]

In this Spend Matters Nexus series, we’ll go over Tips 14 and 15 as we continue to explore the ways for sellers to maximize private equity, investment and strategic buyer outcomes in the procurement solutions market and others. Now, let’s turn our attention to two areas: the importance of fleshing out an acquisition strategy and roadmap — and “knowing the end game” in terms of likely future buyers after the next phase of the company’s growth. In our exploration, we share the best practices and not-so-best practices that we have observed across the hundreds of transactions we have been involved in.

So far in this Nexus series, we’ve covered the initial 13 of 20 tips (see Part 1 , Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 and Part 5). Let’s check out Tips 14 and 15 now.

Jason Busch is the Managing Director of Spend Matters Nexus, a membership, research and advisory organization serving technology acquirers (private equity, corporate development, etc.) and CEOs in the procurement and finance solutions marketplace (including contract management, B2B marketplaces/connectivity, indirect procurement, services procurement, direct procurement, commodity management, payment, trade financing, GRC/third-party management and related adjacent sectors).

SIG Executive Summit: Partnerships, Pashmina Rebellions and Polish

Three members of the Spend Matters crew came down to Carlsbad, California, for SIG’s Global Executive Summit. Pierre Mitchell, Sheena Smith and I have all enjoyed our time (and this gorgeous Southern California sunshine) so far. As the first day of the Summit kicked off Tuesday, I took the stage for a couple of minutes to announce Spend Matters’ partnership with SIG (later, I’ll share a bit more on the session that Pierre and I presented).

It was a true honor to announce the relationship to SIG members alongside my longtime friend and SIG Founder Dawn Tiura, but I had to ask why they only provided silky pashminas to delegates who get chilly vs. a slightly more masculine tweed scarf. Alas, this inspired a few of my fellow manly delegates to take the stage during a lunchtime panel in a pashmina rebellion, usurping the silky garments in a dapper manner.

In all seriousness, SIG thinks of EVERY detail for delegates. And our first day included a lot of insights.

Customer reviews for SynerTrade are in the new SolutionMap Customer Insights report

This week’s SolutionMap Customer Insights report focuses on customer reviews for SynerTrade, a source-to-pay suite provider. The applicable SolutionMap categories for this report are Source-to-Pay, Procure-to-Pay, and Strategic Procurement Technologies (SPT includes Sourcing, Analytics, CLM and SRM).

SolutionMap Insider members can read about SynerTrade in our latest report.

In each Customer Insights report, we provide a one-page summary of details from the SolutionMap peer review process. It includes ratings on how well the vendor meets its customers' expectations, three key differentiators for the vendor and a list of quotes from customers about the vendor’s greatest strengths.

Procurence Vendor Introduction (Part 2: Strengths/Weaknesses, SWOT, Selection Checklist and Market Overview) [PRO]

In Part 1 of this two-part Spend Matters PRO series, we introduced you to Procurence — a relatively new entrant to the global direct material supplier management space, based out of Warsaw, Poland. It’s a recent entrant to our SolutionMap ranking of vendors, where its scores make it a customer leader in the SRM category. While still a small player, its solution already has a lot of the breadth of more established players like Jaggaer Direct (Pool4Tool), Ivalua (Directworks) and Allocation Network. Procurence’s utilization has been growing tenfold year-over-year by its buy-side user base of over 10,000 users and supply-side user base of over 30,000 users. Whether it has everything your organization needs, however, will come down to your mix of direct vs indirect, and how similar your needs are to its existing client base, which it has been developing its Meercat solution with for the past seven years.

While Part 1 of this brief provided some background on Procurence and a high-level overview of its offering, Part 2 will provide a breakdown of what is good (and not so good) about the solution, a high-level SWOT analysis and a short selection requirements checklist that outlines the typical company for which Procurence might be a good fit.

SIG news: Sourcing Industry Group and Spend Matters announce global partnership

Today, SIG, the premier membership organization for sourcing, procurement and outsourcing executives, and Spend Matters, the leading source for procurement solutions intelligence, announce a new partnership to provide SIG buy-side members with procurement solutions intelligence and services to help them advance their digital procurement efforts.

“Spend Matters is a trusted resource among procurement professionals,” says Dawn Tiura, President and CEO of SIG, the Sourcing Industry Group. “As the procurement technology marketplace becomes increasingly crowded, this partnership will provide valuable, time-saving market intelligence to SIG members who are looking to find the best vendors to meet their organization’s specific technology needs.”

Use of eProcurement software evolves to mitigate costs, risks and add strategic insights, report says

As business executives become more interested in the use of electronic procurement software — or eProcurement — as a means to bring about more proactive results, industry leaders have begun to use the technology to target new methods of cost reduction and to yield growth and insights amid evolving industry standards.

In a recent report by Levvel Research, “2019 Procurement Insight Report,” experts discuss industry trends and business spend management strategies, which were collected in a market-wide survey conducted in April 2019. The research, sponsored by Coupa, evaluates how procurement automation software is being implemented and its effects throughout the industry. In Part 1 of this series, the report said one trend is that more business that are smaller and mid-size companies are considering the switch to digital procurement solutions.

In this article, we’ll look at what the study found about companies that have already adopted digital procurement.

What is a VMS today? Spend Matters’ SolutionMap helps define it 

work intermediation platform

Vendor management system (VMS) solutions have been synonymous with contingent workforce technology for the past two decades, but the functions associated with it have been evolving.

It began as a fit-for-purpose software application for managing temporary staffing suppliers and temporary workers, but over the past 10 years, most of these solutions have added functionality or modules to manage contract services/SOW suppliers and service delivery engagements. In the past five years, some providers of these solutions have grappled with the VMS term and concept. Today, most providers of these types of solutions still refer to themselves as VMS solutions, although their solution footprints vary.

When Spend Matters introduced its first SolutionMap for Contingent Workforce and Services (CW/S) enterprise technology in Q2 2018, it decided to forgo the use of the term VMS in favor of developing separate SolutionMap rankings for distinct technology solutions that addressed three extended workforce categories: (1) Temp Staffing, (2) Contract Services/SOW and (3) Direct Sourcing of Workforce/Services (formerly named “Independent Contract Workers”). This was done in part to sidestep the growing variability of the meaning of the term VMS. But more importantly, it was done based on the belief that the three categories provided a more accurate way to analyze and compare solution capabilities (to be discussed further below).

This SolutionMap Insider brief examines the current status of VMS and how Spend Matters draws a tentative line around what constitutes a VMS solution today. It also provides a high-level view of the “VMS” capabilities and an anonymized analysis of corresponding SolutionMap scores. Lastly, it concludes with questions posed to practitioners and providers about the validity of the definition and concept of VMS presented in this brief.

Procurence Vendor Introduction (Part 1: Background and SRM Solution Overview) [PRO]

direct materials sourcing

Supplier management is one of the most misunderstood terms in the procurement solution space, especially since the exact scope of processes supported by such systems varies by analyst, vendor and customer interpretation. In order to clarify, or at least differentiate, many vendors have begun slicing and dicing the SXM solution space to offer the likes of:

* Supplier Discovery Management: that help an organization identify potential new suppliers that can help it meet its products, services, diversity and/or sustainability requirements
* Supplier Information Management: that can help a supplier track all of the information it collects on a supplier, including locations, employees, products, services, certifications and certificates
* Supplier Performance Management: that can track not only supplier information but also relevant performance data on quality, reliability, delivery, invoice accuracy and sustainability
* Supplier Relationship Management: that includes not only performance data but also functionalities to manage the relationship, such as capabilities for supplier development, collaboration and innovation management
* Supplier Network Management: that can support supplier discovery but are primarily designed to support transactions (through e-document and e-payment exchange) with suppliers on the network
* Supplier Quality Management: that includes specialized capabilities to support direct materials procurement, including the management of non-conformance cost of poor supplier quality, and general quality management
* Supplier Risk Management: that includes the capability to gather multiple sources of risk data (financial, environmental, regulatory, geographic, etc.) and provide an overall risk profile

Very few vendors do more than half of this, at best, so when evaluating a supplier management software vendor, it's important to understand what fraction of this they do and whether that fraction is relevant to your business.

We'll take, for example, supplier quality management — this goes well beyond supplier performance management because it's not just tracking defect rates, uptime / reliability statistics, etc. but managing the quality process from the beginning of production to delivery of the product to the consumer. Ensuring the materials that are being sourced are of the appropriate standards and tested on receipt, that the appropriate production process is followed, that the machines are regularly tested, that the outputs are spot tested, securely packaged, and delivered to spec. Such a system should support ISO (International Standard Organization), ASQ (American Society for Quality) processes, Six Sigma, 8D Reports (based on Eight Disciplines methodology), and/or QDX (Quality Data eXchange). Very few solutions come close to this, even if they are designed for supporting direct procurement.

And while Procurence may not do all of this, it is one of the few supplier management solutions on the market that tackles quality management in addition to information, performance and risk, as well as aspects of relationship management.

Procurence was founded in 2009 in Warsaw, Poland, to provide tools to help buyers achieve transparency in their supply base, decrease supply risk, and streamline internal supplier management and communication processes.

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Introduction offers a candid take on Procurence and its supplier management capabilities. (Non-supplier management specific capabilities are excluded.) Part 1 includes a short company overview and a detailed look at Procurence’s offering. Part 2 will provide a breakdown of what is comparatively good (and not so good) about the solution, a high-level SWOT analysis, a short selection requirements checklist that outlines the typical company for which Procurence might be a good fit, and some market implications and takeaways.

Smaller, mid-size businesses now looking to digital procurement solutions to cut costs, bolster strategy and growth, report says

Business leaders in the supply chain procurement space are continually seeking out ways to streamline procurement methods and cut costs. As the possibility of a looming recession remains on the minds of decision makers, procurement-minded industry members are considering how electronic procurement software — aka digital procurement or eProcurement — can ease these efforts.

Levvel Research recently launched its “2019 Procurement Insight Report,” which evaluates current industry trends and spend management strategies following a market-wide survey conducted in April 2019. The report, sponsored by Coupa, examines the ways in which procurement automation software is being implemented as procurement teams continue to shift.