As we’ve seen and reported on Spend Matters over the past year, interest in easier-to-use, more efficient and organic B2B social collaboration platforms seems to be steadily growing. Once viewed as yet another source of risk, social media platforms, both external- and internal-facing ones, have finally proven they can help procurement folks do their jobs better.
The Technology Category
There are several customer and technology trends to look at for strategic sourcing, not to mention spend/supply analytics, supplier management and contract management. These and other topics are just sample of what Spend Matters Founder Jason Busch will be discussing on today’s webinar, Sourcing, Contract and Supplier Management: Predictions and 2017 Tech Trends, at 1 p.m. CST. If you want to stay on top of all the latest technological advancements and make the smartest investments for procurement analytics, sourcing, contracting or supplier management efficiencies, this is a webinar not to miss.
An increasing number of digital, platform-based service providers are appearing today, and while they now represent a small category far outside the scope of most contingent workforce and services (CW/S) procurement programs, the spend they account for is growing.
Back around 2010, traditional BPO providers sought to introduce clients to digitally turbo-charged offerings. Though similar in concept, the providers appearing today represent a whole new generation of platform-based service providers, many of which were startups or didn’t exist in 2010. They did not arise with the scale and legacy of the BPO providers, nor did they occupy the category of major service providers of which procurement was aware and already oversaw.
Far from a passing fad, these next-generation digital service providers will become an increasingly significant segment of services consumption and spend over the next 10 years. We base our projections on solid, long-term trends evidenced in both the consumer and business sectors.
This Spend Matters PRO research brief defines this new generation of digital service providers and poses the entirely open question of whether they require the attention of procurement organizations tasked with managing services spend at this time.
The Hackett Group and Ivalua presented a webinar this month on this year’s key procurement issues, and digital transformation stood out perhaps most of all. What does digital transformation really involve, and how can procurement get on board? The presenters explained that there are four main areas to look at, with the overarching one being improving the stakeholder experience.
Spend Matters has often noted that the market for strategic sourcing solutions is highly fragmented, with no clear leader or collection of leaders. This stands in contrast to the e-procurement and invoice-to-pay markets, where best-of-breed vendors are still thriving but consolidation among larger providers is influencing industry dynamics and many selection processes. Yet within the strategic sourcing market, it is difficult to point to any single vendor or set of vendors, look at any metric and say anything but vendor fragmentation is the rule.
This is both a positive and negative for providers like eBid Systems, given the challenge of competing against so many providers rather than aiming at a single target. Within this competitive environment, this final installment of our Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot series covering eBid Systems offers a competitive analysis and comparison with other strategic sourcing providers for shortlist consideration. It also includes a SWOT analysis, user selection guide, summary evaluation and selection considerations. Part 1 and Part 2 of this PRO research series provided a company and deep dive solution overview, product strengths and weaknesses and a recommended fit analysis for what types of organizations should consider eBid Systems.
On Wednesday, Spend Matters Founder Jason Busch and Research Director of Services and Labor Procurement Andrew Karpie co-presented on a webinar, Contingent Workforce and Services (CW/S) Procurement: 2017 Tech Trends and Their Impact on You. In case you missed it (though you can still watch a recording of the webinar on demand), here are some of the biggest takeaways from Wednesday’s webinar.
IQNavigator + Beeline’s Doug Leeby Answers Burning Questions on Product Roadmap, SAP Fieldglass and More
In Part 1 of this Q&A, IQNavigator + Beeline CEO Doug Leeby discussed customer and partner reactions to the recent merger and how he views the future of the VMS market. Today in Part 2, we ask Leeby about specifics of the combined product roadmap and what differentiates the firm he leads from SAP Fieldglass.
eBid Systems is one of more than 30 technology providers that Spend Matters tracks that provide strategic sourcing solutions to private firms and public sector organizations around the globe. eBid Systems recently re-platformed its solution, an effort which included enhancing a range of modular and functional areas — as well as the user interface — making it more competitive with other solutions in the global market. Over 50% of eBid System’s 300-plus customers are public sector organizations, almost entirely at the smaller state and municipal level, but private sector companies may also value the combination of low-cost licensing, core e-sourcing, full audit trails, rules-driven compliance, vendor management and associated capabilities provider offers.
This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot explores eBid System’s strengths and weaknesses, providing facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations decide whether they should consider it for their needs. The first installment of our analysis provided a company and solution overview and a recommend fit list of criteria for firms considering eBid Systems. Part 3 will offer a SWOT analysis, user selection guide, competitive alternatives and additional evaluation and selection considerations.
IQNavigator + Beeline Update: Doug Leeby Discusses Merger Reactions, Vision for Combined Organization
In December 2016, the announced merger of IQNavigator and Beeline rocked the contingent workforce and services market. As the shape of the new firm takes form, Spend Matters caught up with Doug Leeby, CEO of IQNavigator + Beeline, to learn how customers have reacted, how partners are dealing the emergence of a “Big 2” and what he sees as the future of the VMS market. Stay tuned for Part 2 of this interview, in which Leeby provides an update on the combined product roadmap and competitive landscape.
There is no shortage of strategic sourcing technology vendors in the market today. Customers have choices ranging from per-event pricing with smaller providers to integrated solutions that combine rich supplier management, contract management and transactional procurement capability — not to mention specialty solutions that bring generalized technology differentiation, category-specific or other unique capabilities.
Within this smorgasbord of choice — and yes, there are even vendors that started in the Scandinavian market to chose from globally now — one provider from the Pacific Northwest, eBid Systems, has carved out a distinct customer niche in state/local publication sector and higher education sourcing. Nearly 20 years since its founding, it counts 200 public sector customers and 100 private sector organizations using its technology.
This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot provides facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations make informed decisions about eBid Systems strategic sourcing technology capabilities. Part 1 of our analysis provides a company background and detailed solution overview, as well as a summary recommended fit suggestion for when organizations should consider eBid Systems in the procurement technology area. The remaining parts of this research brief will cover product strengths and weaknesses, competitor and SWOT analyses, and insider evaluation and selection considerations.
Is your procurement function using a platform-inspired approach to transcend savings from simply spend management? If not, then now might be the time. Join Pierre Mitchell and Julien Nadaud, chief product officer at Determine, tomorrow at 10 a.m. CST for Designing the Procurement Virtual Factory — Reinventing Procurement Through a Platform. Pierre and Julien will focus on the digital requirements to support new procurement and spend approaches, as well as how technology firms are trying to cope in a brave new world.
The CW/S world is rapidly changing as new and truly disruptive technologies emerge and as the employer-employee relationship evolves. How will this affect the average procurement practitioner? That is the topic to be covered on a webinar tomorrow (Wednesday, Feb. 22, at 12:30 p.m. CST), titled Contingent Workforce and Services (CW/S) Procurement: 2017 Tech Trends and Their Impact on You. We encourage our readers to tune in as Karpie and Spend Matters Founder Jason Busch break down CW/S technology trends and where they’re taking root.