Innovation has become one of the very hottest of hot topics in procurement circles over the last couple of years. At the recent ProcureCon conference in Berlin, it was covered over several sessions, with a number of CPOs giving us the benefit of their views and experience around supplier innovation and how to capture it. Based on this wealth of input, what conclusions or thoughts can we draw from the 2 days of thinking and talking around the topic? Here are some key take-aways that CPOs and others might want to consider.more ▸
Supplier Relationship Management (SRM): there is probably no other solution set in supply chain these days that is sold in so many incarnations – it’s a wild list of acronyms: SM, SIM, SLM, SRM, VRM, SBM, 3PM, even VMS. Some are truly meaningless labels that mainly serve to please the marketing managers that had to choose one over the other – others carry more weight and imply certain functionalities. Let’s look at the acronyms.more ▸
SciQuest 14.2 Update Part 2: Total Supplier Management – Sophisticated Supplier Lifecycle Management Solution Renewed [PRO]
In Part 1, we looked at the new TSM (Total Supplier Manager) 14.2 release by SciQuest. Details included a Base TSM with extendible functionality on a core Java framework shared with the rest of SciQuest’s suite offering, which concludes the migration of AECsoft IP from the older .NET architecture to SciQuest’s core platform. Read on to hear more insights in Part 2.more ▸
SciQuest 14.2 Update: Total Supplier Management – Sophisticated Supplier Lifecycle Management Solution Renewed [PRO]
SciQuest has released version 14.2 of its Total Supplier Management (TSM) solution. The bulk of the high-end SLM (supplier lifecycle management) and SIM (supplier information management) intellectual property contained in its 14.2 TSM offering was originally obtained through the AECsoft acquisition nearly 4 years ago, and the AECsoft’s .NET architected solution has now been almost entirely moved over to SciQuest’s Java-based framework as well as received a solid UI/UX scrubbing. Hats off to SciQuest for accomplishing this.more ▸
50 Shades of Pay: Shade 3 – Total Cash Disbursements to Suppliers (with supplier details) Part 2 [Plus +]
This post continues our exploration into shade No. 3 of our 50 Shades of Pay series. In this PLUS post, Pierre Mitchell discusses what happens when you aggregate all your supplier master data alongside the aggregation of your spend transaction data. According to Pierre, you will find "wonderful things" like your supplier master field names will be called different things and suppliers will be classified in all sorts of dimensions by different groups. Read on to learn more.more ▸
50 Shades of Pay: Shade 3 – Total Cash Disbursements to Suppliers (With Supplier Details) Part 1 [Plus +]
In Shade 2 of this spend analysis series, we looked at analyzing total cash disbursements to suppliers through the lens of basic A/P data. In doing so, we touched on the issue of data quality, and in the particular, the data coming from the supplier master file (or vendor master if you use that terminology). Obviously, if the supplier master data is bad (i.e., dirty, sparse, duplicated, non-standardized, etc.), the spend data will show it. But, the highlighting of bad data isn’t about improving data hygiene unto itself, but rather is about fixing the data problem to highlight value creation opportunities that you didn't see before. The most frequent example of this is supplier master duplication where multiple supplier records exist for the same supplier.
When you find duplicate supplier master records, you can obviously begin to see where there is additional volume leverage that you can gain within strategic sourcing. This is a key capability for justifying the ROI of investing to get to this level of capability. However, spend analysis is not just about feeding the strategic sourcing process! When you find duplicate supplier master records for the same supplier, it can lead to a whole slew of root causes that should be addressed. This includes a lack of clarity/controls in the supplier master setup process (e.g., who can add/change/delete what fields in the supplier master file) or poor “supplier discovery” inquiry capabilities of suppliers from your own existing supplier network.
Up until now in this series, much of what we have talked about can be done on your own, albeit inefficiently, but in the area of data de-duplication, cleansing, enriching, auto-classification, and harmonization, the tools can really help. But, this area is also where supplier content providers of many forms can be used (i.e., content firms, MDM providers, supplier/business networks, analytics vendors, supplier management application providers, procurement suite providers, etc.). Such firms can also assist in the de-duplication of effort using a combination of fuzzy logic (pattern matching), proprietary databases, and rules-based analyzers to help with this key task.more ▸
In a previous Spend Matters post titled Does Increased DPO Actually Destroy Enterprise Value?, I highlighted some analysis where, in 12 of 14 manufacturing industries I analyzed, I found negative correlations between days payable outstanding (DPO) and enterprise performance (e.g., debt you may incur to raise cash to invest in high payback initiatives such as B2B trade financing where early payment discounts and/or supply chain finance programs are established). In this Spend Matters PRO article, I’ll dive into the industry details and also provide some additional insights based on some recent research that we conducted with the Institute for Supply Management (ISM).more ▸
Define Keelvar. Nope, it is not an Australian animal. Nor a tool used in advanced woodworking. Rather, it is a European company (headquartered in Ireland with an office in London) with a really clever approach to comparing and analyzing supplier responses – qualitative and quantitative.
This firm deserves a look whether you are just sending a survey to a group of suppliers (incumbent, hot prospects, cold calls, or mere phonebook leads) and you need to somehow assess their responses in a way that is better than a chaotic pass-the-spreadsheet around fashion, or if you go deep in analyzing the detailed breakdown of items, shipping lanes etc., while considering award impact on your existing suppliers (might not be wise to change spend and quantity too rapidly), as well as what you can do to drive more participation from local suppliers, reduce capital tied up in goods in transit etc.
Notice that I’ve avoided the O-word: optimization. This can and will scare many off. But it’s really nothing different than what you already do – likely much of it in your head if you’re an experienced buyer, and the category and items are relatively uncomplicated. In this Spend Matters PRO analysis, Thomas Kase, vice president, research, takes a closer look at Keelvar and how procurement organizations can begin to apply more advanced sourcing approaches to basic markets.more ▸
In Part 1 of this series, Peter Smith, managing director of Spend Matters UK/Europe, discussed the new Proxima graphic e-book titled "Drowning not waving – how Corporate Virtualization has got business leaders out of their depth... And where the real opportunities lie." Peter believes that the empowerment of the budget holder and business stakeholder, giving them a greater role in the overall procurement process, and the emergence of a consequent stronger commercial capability across the organisation, will be the most significant development in the procurement world over the next 10 years (in terms of strategy and organization at least). That of course will have some major implications for procurement functions and people - but it's a topic for another day. In this Spend Matters Plus research brief, Peter gives four reasons why he is confident in his prediction.more ▸
We've been talking for some time on the different Spend Matters sites about how social media principles and approaches will inevitably make their way into the business and procurement world, yet progress has in reality been pretty slow. The innovative Rollstream has been assimilated into GXS, now itself part of OpenText, and seems pretty low-profile these days. However, there are signs that things are changing. Sourcemap is a more recently established firm that has an interesting approach, including some aspects of supply chain collaboration with a social media slant. Mark Perera, one of the founders of Procurement Leaders, is involved in Old Street Labs, whose new Vizibl platform is in its testing phase (we'll feature it as soon as you're ready, Mark). The platform looks to use some of the core social media principles in a business environment. And now we have LeanLinking starting to make a splash. This Spend Matters Plus research brief, by Peter Smith (managing editor of Spend Matters UK/Europe), looks at what LeanLinking has to offer and which organizations would benefit from the technology.more ▸
GTCR & Opus Global Buy Hiperos: Consolidation Begins in Supplier Management Solution Market (Part 1) [Plus +]
Marketing can have a funny influence on things. Hiperos labels what it enables as “third party management” rather than “supplier management” or “supplier lifecycle management.” But make no mistake. This is a play with words by a clever marketing department and doesn’t mean a different core value proposition. (We think this comes from a sales focus on finance rather than procurement; to the CFO it’s all a bunch of third parties and compliance, and finance just can’t be bothered with terms like suppliers.) When GTCR and Opus Global acquired Hiperos earlier this week and not only kept the current management (one of whom is a major investor) actively engaged in the business but also put them on the broader holding company’s board, they were making a bet on the need to better manage traditional indirect suppliers, staffing companies, consultants, BPOs, and others who serve customers in a contracted way – in their case, typically large financial services clients. In many cases, Hiperos led with a “meet the [fill in the blank] regulatory requirement” value proposition – a message that works, especially for a finance audience.
But what Hiperos and its competitors (Aravo, HICX, IBM/Emptoris, Lavante, Oracle, SAP, and many others) are capable of accomplishing in the sector far transcends simply meeting check-the-box regulations. Done right, the better engagement of suppliers across a lifecycle is a massive undertaking, as it starts with a tailored onboarding process (don’t count on your P2P or e-invoicing provider to touch more than a few bases in this area) and carries through to supplier engagement, performance management, development, risk management and eventually off-boarding (by PO, assignment or overall) at both the SKU and overall vendor level. And it’s an undertaking that can transform procurement and finance outcomes spanning all non-employee resources and T&E-related spending (which represents a massive portion of the business). For this and related reasons, we believe that in 2015 (and perhaps sooner) we will see more consolidation in this market. In this three-part Spend Matters Plus research series, VP of Research Thomas Kase and Managing Director Jason Busch consider the backdrop and rationale behind the expected consolidation and offer predictions for what moves to watch. Our analysis today begins with why this market is becoming more strategic to customers.more ▸
Earlier today, GTCR and Opus Global Holdings collectively announced they had acquired Hiperos, the supplier (and other third-party) management vendor. Hiperos is originally a supplier performance management (SPM) focused provider from Southborough, Mass. It has since expanded to deliver a broad range of third-party data collection and supplier lifecycle management solutions – and will now operate as a business unit under Opus Global. Opus Global in turn is a JV between GTCR (a private equity firm from Chicago) and Doug Bergeron. Bergeron was until 2013 the CEO of VeriFone and is now the CEO of Opus Global. GTCR and Bergeron go back to VeriFone – which Bergeron (together with another investor) had bought from HP for pennies on the dollar ($50 million for an asset which HP has paid $1.3 billion). When Bergeron resigned after 12 years as CEO, the company had a market valuation of $3.5 billion. (We thought Bergeron’s long-term ownership and patient growth focus background is important to note.) Note also that Bergeron’s background is from the financial services industry – where Hiperos has a strong presence. In this Spend Matters PRO analysis, VP of Research Thomas Kase and Managing Director Jason Busch take a closer look at Hiperos (including a detailed SWOT analysis), private equity/buyout implications, the prospects for the supplier and third-party management market, and what the acquisition means for customers, prospects, and competitors.more ▸