Selectica and Iasta – Mapping the Future of Procurement, Contract Management, and Customer Engagement [PRO]
Selectica and Iasta have their homework cut out on pulling off the basics of post-merger integration activities. But beyond what they must do, what is the absolute potential of a combined offering if they succeed in going far behind the basics? It’s significant – very significant – and could mark a fundamental shift in how procurement organizations work with suppliers by creating greater trust between parties, counter-parties, and even third parties working together to achieve a common outcome – whether that involves the manufacturing of a part or component, the building of a new facility as part of a capital investment, or a licensing agreement for embedding intellectual property in products. In this Spend Matters PRO research brief, Managing Director Jason Busch and Chief Research Officer Pierre Mitchell explore the potential of bringing procurement and contracting closer together, as well as explore some of the potential ideas that Selectica and Iasta have shared as part of a combined vision.more ▸
As supply networks are becoming more complex, componentized, outsourced, and global (as well as faster, riskier, and more regulated), the capability of managing supply (i.e., “Supply Management” to manage a network of supply) is promoted from a siloed set of functional process to an integrated strategic one. So, if you want to “orchestrate” it, whether you provide products, services (including information services), or both, you need to collaborate fluidly in a multi-tier and multi-level fashion that orchestrates both the process silos and the information silos. For lack of a better term, think of this as Supply Management 2.0. It basically expands the vision from a traditional procurement-led sourcing process, typically managed via ERP and/or stand-alone procurement applications, to a cross-functional and cross-enterprise “platform” for orchestration of all critical supply resources in the supply network (materials, capacity, logistics, capital, etc.) across the supply tiers. In this Spend Matters PRO research brief, Chief Research Officer Pierre Mitchell argues that it’s time to flip the traditional paradigm of supply management from not just a new faceplate on the traditional purchasing function, but also from the sourcing component of the “sourcing and procurement” moniker that many practitioners use. Having strategic procurement be merely about sourcing as a serial step in an end-to-end lifecycle is a mistake. Not a Spend Matters PRO subscriber yet? Contact us to ask about a 30-day free trial.more ▸
We've long thought that Amazon, with its AmazonSupply, will eventually own the small and medium sized business (SMB) market for eProcurement – a space that is littered with the purchasing bones of many a vendor that has tried to enter. For years, Ariba failed to successfully pursue the market, among others. Today, Coupa, Verian, Wax Digital, Puridom, Proactis, and a few others have all had some traction with SMBs in purchase-to-pay (P2P). But generally speaking, this market is untapped from a centralized, automated technology buying perspective. Amazon knows this – and we think it’s why they’re currently looking to hire someone with a “cXML, OCI and e-procurement” background to “manage e-procurement integration projects with customers and supplier networks” (more on this in a minute). As soon as Amazon builds out a Platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offering and app marketplace to integrate to AWS, it will become way more interesting than just a re-skinned Amazon (i.e., the aforementioned AmazonSupply). In this Spend Matters PRO analysis, Managing Director Jason Busch and Chief Research Officer Pierre Mitchell provide their candid perspective on Amazon’s potential in the eProcurement and P2P market, in part based on evidence they’re already seeing in Amazon’s business already.more ▸
In a previous blog post, I re-introduced the notion of mass customization in the supply chain and discussed the impact on the supply base and then procurement itself – including a redesign of the needed resources (i.e., services and IT systems) underneath. In this post, I will dive a little deeper into the various mechanics of this and some real-life examples. There are a number of drivers of mass customization, and these include a “culture of me,” glocalization, and mobile platforms. Read on for the explanations of these drivers, as well as for what all this means to procurement.more ▸
The topics of supply chain risk and supplier management are perennial favorites at Spend Matters. But the truly nifty thing about technology in the supply risk area compared with other procurement and supply chain technologies is that there is massive innovation occurring behind the scenes – as well as incremental and clever progress. Recently, we informally circulated ideas around the office regarding technology vendors that show where supply chain and supplier risk management is headed. Below we list 10 providers that we recommend companies talk to in order to expand their understanding of risk management today and where it is likely to go tomorrow. In this first installment, we will cover SAP, Cortera, Sourcemap, Seal, and Lavante.more ▸
Spend Matters PRO Only - Premium Research Download
Our recent contribution to Fluor's Material Market Bulletin on cloud computing, procurement, and supply chain management. We didn't expect the end result to be an entire book chapter on the subject, now called Supply Chain in the Cloud. It's so rich in content and expertise that we decided to turn it into a research download for Spend Matters Plus/PRO members as a primer on what procurement organizations should know about putting mission-critical procurement applications into the cloud.
Supply Chains in the Cloud: Tipping Points, Integration Challenges, Complexity, and Selection Advice [PRO]
This is the third and final installment in our series covering supply chains in the cloud. Pierre Mitchell and Jason Busch discuss everything from where they think the tipping point is for procurement applications in the cloud to dealing with integration issues - ending with what everyone really wants to know: what's the NUMBER ONE selection criteria for cloud applications?more ▸
- Software as a Service (SaaS) or cloud offering brings the operational IT benefits of lower cost, greater reliability, improved accessibility, better scalability and agility. What benefits to the procurement process are typically associated with cloud applications?
- What drives companies to move mission-critical supply chain-related applications to the cloud?
- What does Spend Matters see that’s creating the most reluctance in companies or individuals in migrating to cloud applications?
- As individuals, we do banking and investments and enter our credit card numbers to make purchases online. Some even freely share personal information with social media tools. Is there any procurement information that you believe is not appropriate for being stored in a cloud application? If so, can you characterize that information?
Earlier this year, one of the most thoughtful procurement practitioners we know, Fluor’s Mike Oswalt, asked if Pierre Mitchell and I could contribute to their Material Market Bulletin on cloud computing, procurement, and supply chain management. Knowing Mike, we couldn’t resist. But what we didn’t expect at the time was essentially an entire book chapter on the subject, now called Supply Chain in the Cloud. And it’s good. So good, in fact, that we’re going to feature the piece in three-part Spend Matters PRO series as a primer on what procurement organizations should know about putting mission critical application in the crowd. We’ll begin today with a practitioner’s view and summary, courtesy of Mike Oswalt.more ▸
An n-step chevron process is a siloed procurement-centered sourcing methodology geared towards supplier rationalization. It’s a fine start for procurement hitting cost savings goals, but it’s not a great way to align to the broader organization as procurement evolves. So, we’re proposing DMAIC as an emerging, superior approach, but it’s far beyond the DMAIC that you usually think of. The n-step sourcing process has had a good run, but let’s not try to make it do unholy things. Read on to see how other companies have used DMAIC.more ▸
In the world of procurement technology (and technology in general for that matter – think the original iPhone and IOs) there are certain solutions that have brought umami qualities and truly helped them stand out from the crowd. Like in cooking, it's a "wow" factor that separates out certain approaches and capabilities from the pack without ever being directly comparable in a feature/function manner to others. We could name names, but it's better to know in the buying process whether the procurement technology has umami. So here's a checklist of questions to ask yourself. And we can't hesitate to also toss in a list of providers we think have the umami qualities -- as well as a couple of solutions that do not (hint: does "15 clicks to buy" ring a bell?) Spend Matters PRO subscribers can click through to read the full text.more ▸
Risk Management – Standing Still, Looking Backwards Trying to Look Forward (and Vendors You Should Get to Know) [PRO]
Consider the phrase “risk management” switching to “compliance management” – a change that would be far more productive for everyone. As part of your supplier onboarding (and ongoing performance management) processes, if you pull a report from a credit agency, look at those numbers, and then check off your list, have you really “managed” any risk? Risk management must change. It is tempting to gaze into the rear view mirror, the warm and fuzzy certainty of audited financials, or at least a cuddly third-party data provider to snuggle with and to point the finger at in case something goes wrong. Just don’t think you’re “managing” any risk. Here are some more robust approaches, along with our vendor recommendations.more ▸