Today, we present Shiftgig as our WIP of the Week. Shiftgig, founded in 2012, is a work intermediation platform that brings together service businesses and qualified local, hourly workers who can fill shifts. The company has gone through some stages of refining its business model, reaching its current model in June 2014 and entering a phase of acceleration. In this brief, we provide an overview of Shiftgig’s business, platform and services and offer some thoughts on what a supplier model like Shiftgig implies for services procurement.
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For the last few decades, technology applications have developed and taken root in both services procurement and non-services procurement (or “spend management” if you prefer). We can generally segment these applications into two areas: vendor management systems (VMS) and e-procurement solutions. Somewhat remarkably, it appears that these two fundamental categories of spend, which are increasingly converging (especially with the digital disruptions happening right now), have remained in separate silos as far as packaged technology applications are concerned. In fact, there have been separate solution provider companies in each silo, with basically no overlap at all. Of course, you might argue that SAP’s assemblage of SAP ERP, Ariba, Fieldglass, SuccessFactors and Concur make for an end-to-end “solution” in terms of functionality checkboxes, but obviously it’s not a single integrated application suite to manage the end-to-end services spectrum. This is basically the “myth of the integrated ERP procurement solution” argument we’ve made before, but applied to services spend. In this multi-part Spend Matters PRO brief, we explore the following questions: (1) What are the differences between VMS and e-procurement solutions? (2)What might we expect going forward with respect to (a) solution convergence and (b) solution provider consolidations? and (3) If you have both of these application types, what strategies should you consider to leverage your existing investments but also take advantage of this convergence?
The rise of managed services is expanding the pie for supplier management, enabling procurement, finance and supply chain organizations to benefit from supplier information and to drive compliance without having to think about software, supplier enablement or direct licensing agreements with individual providers themselves. Global Risk Management Solutions (GRMS) is one such provider taking a managed services approach to supplier compliance and management in a manner that can be cost neutral from the start to procurement. As our Spend Matters PRO analysis of GRMS continues (see the first installment in this series here), we offer perspective on how GRMS’ capabilities compare to and complement supplier management technology platforms and other providers, as well as general strengths, weaknesses and recommendations that potential users of this supplier risk management and compliance managed service should be aware of. We also provide perspectives on the business needs of organizations that are most likely to be a good fit for GRMS, a provider that as of January 2016, had more than 225 customers.
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.
There are few technology companies that are doing anything terribly creative when it comes to connecting buyers and suppliers on a transactional basis outside of basic e-invoicing, aside from various tricks involving the onboarding of vendors and enabling downstream activities such as early payment and trade financing. But one vendor stands apart when it comes to pushing the limits of what buyer/supplier connectivity means today by redefining electronic data interchange (EDI) and going far beyond the basics of invoicing alone in a supplier network environment. The provider in question, Nipendo, is exciting on multiple levels, although its reputation has not yet caught up with its capabilities (something we’re hoping to help them remedy with our coverage). One can look at Nipendo as a new type of infrastructure-as-a-service (iPaaS) provider such as MuleSoft or DellBoomi, except one more narrowly focused on trading partner connectivity (primarily involving procurement, suppliers and potential financing partners). In late December I ventured to Israel and took a detour from my trip to spend half a day at Nipendo’s headquarters and explore the latest from this disruptive provider. This two-part Spend Matters PRO brief provides a functional, product and company update to our past coverage of Nipendo, including a look at the provider’s new portal interface.
So far in this series looking at factors impacting the success of P2P programs, we’ve considered such areas as the shifting landscape from on-premise software to cloud solutions as well as six key factors impacting the true costs of deployment. This research brief explores why the selection of your P2P vendor is likely to have a material impact on the costs of the software solution and its implementation beyond just subscription/license fees. It also provides summary observations for organizations selecting and rolling out e-procurement and P2P solutions. Finally, it is important to realize that no two situations are similar. We invite Spend Matters PRO advisory clients to contact us to discuss their selection and deployment situation and considerations as early as possible to avoid unnecessary costs and headache down the line.
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.
As a follow-on to our first installment of this series on supplier management, we describe our underlying requirements framework for supplier management processes and the related subprocesses that tend to get supported by solution providers who use terminology such as supplier lifecycle management (SLM), supplier information management (SIM), third-party management and other monikers. Our framework provides a holistic view of supplier management but aligns process-wise to SLM and data-wise to a subset of master data management (MDM). Within the SLM process cycle, we link out to other processes that have well defined solution provider markets, such as e-sourcing, contract life management (CLM), purchase to pay (P2P) and supply risk management, but we also dive into supplier engagement processes for not just supplier qualification and onboarding but also deeply into performance management, risk and compliance management and relationship management areas.
Supplier management is simply the management of supplier-facing business processes throughout the lifecycle of a supplier. Many procurement organizations have historically used strategic sourcing as the core methodology by which supply bases are shaped and suppliers are commercially engaged. But sourcing by itself is just one episodic process in a much larger supplier management lifecycle. In response, many organizations have broadened their sourcing activities to a category management activity that transcends category sourcing and pushes upstream into stakeholder management and downstream into deeper supplier engagement. Additionally, as rationalized supply bases lead to larger suppliers that provide multiple categories, and as procurement organizations are increasingly seeking innovation and top line growth from key suppliers, supplier management is expanding beyond its traditional post-sourcing and post-contracting to become the default methodology to manage the lifecycle of suppliers within which these processes and other source-to-pay processes get executed. So, when we talk about “supplier management,” we are really talking about “supplier lifecycle management” because of this broader scope.
In this research brief, we explore the specific elements that impact the costs and hassles of P2P implementations and ways of controlling them — or at least managing expectations upfront. What’s perhaps most valuable in our findings is that these six elements don’t just show-up during the course of a given implementation — they’re often visible up front if you know where to look. And they can even prove to be leading indicators of trouble to come before you even sign a contract with a vendor. In short, if you know what potential roadblocks to look for up front, you can minimize or avoid unnecessary costs and hassle down the e-procurement road. Here’s how.
In this Spend Matters PRO research brief, we examine how procurement, through the use of technology, has extended its range of influence from its own processes to accounts payables and made electronic invoicing and supplier connectivity instrumental in the outcome of what we now call procure to pay (P2P). We also discuss the evolution of the purchasing function up to the integration of e-invoicing, the value proposition of e-invoicing, its challenges, what we see coming in the e-invoicing market and, finally, who some of the solution players are within the space.
Market Forecast, Sizing, Adoption and Growth Scenarios: E-Procurement Market Outlook 2016-2018 (Part 3) [PRO]
We can start our e-procurement market forecast, sizing and adoption outlook for 2016-2018 by noting that the market is a tale of two sectors: on-premise e-procurement and cloud. On the one hand, the e-procurement market, which we define in part as the automation of operational, tactical and transactional procurement processes, is poised for continued enterprise software upheaval and decline as the on-premise enterprise software business continues its decade long downward spiral (which certain analysts forecast will actually decline in 2016). But on the other hand, cloud-based models such as software as a service (SaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS) will continue to take off, with double digit compound annual growth rates (CAGRs) throughout the period. This Spend Matters PRO research brief provides a growth forecast, market sizing and related commentary and trends for e-procurement in 2016, 2017 and 2018. It also provides commentary on global market adoption. We also encourage Spend Matters PRO subscribers to read the first two research briefs in this series on e-procurement megatrends for 2016 (Part 1 and Part 2).