PRO or Plus Content

Mega Spend Aggregation: 10 Ways to Supersize your Market Basket (Part 2) [Plus+]

category management

In Part 1 of our coverage on this topic, we started our discussion of various techniques to “supersize” your market basket, with an eye toward indirect spend. In this second half, we will now turn our attention to the supply chain for the remainder of the techniques.

Sievo: Vendor Snapshot (Part 3) — Competitive and Summary Analysis [PRO]

spend analytics

Not only is the market for spend analysis solutions highly fragmented from a vendor “choice” perspective today, it is also characterized by solutions that are difficult to compare on an apples-to-apples basis between providers. Sievo is one such provider that makes cross-comparisons of vendors challenging because of some of the unique approaches it takes both to spend classification and, more important, to savings reporting and tracking. In fact, this latter element makes it one of the few spend analytics solutions that is as relevant for finance (and CFOs) as it is for procurement organizations.

This final installment of our multipart Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot series covering Sievo offers a SWOT analysis, competitive assessment and comparison with other providers in the spend analytics market. It also includes a user selection guide and summary evaluation and selection considerations. Part 1 and Part 2 of this PRO research series provide a company and deep dive solution overview, product strengths and weaknesses and a recommended fit analysis for what types of organizations should consider Sievo.

WorkMarket: Vendor Snapshot (Part 2) — Product Strengths and Weaknesses [PRO]

This vendor snapshot series focuses on WorkMarket, an online (cloud-based) work intermediary that allows organizations to organize/manage their own “affiliated” (on-location, geographically-distributed) workforce across a range of labor categories, including independent workers, contractors, freelancers, alumni and employees as well as various service providers.

Part 1 of our analysis provided a company and solution overview. We noted that WorkMarket goes to market today with a broad, comprehensive platform that is undergoing continuing development and evolution. Rather than present the market with a clearly labeled, delineated set of modules, WorkMarket provides a platform, which organizations can choose to leverage in different ways, in accordance with their unique workforce management requirements and goals. Accordingly, in Part 1, we also identified basic fit criteria for firms considering WorkMarket.

Part 2 of this PRO Vendor Snapshot explores WorkMarket’s product strengths and weaknesses, providing facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations decide if they should shortlist the vendor to enable their services procurement technology requirements. It also offers a critique of the user interface. Part 3 of this series will offer a SWOT analysis, user selection guide, competitive alternatives, and additional evaluation and selection considerations.

Coupa Unveils Services Maestro: Will the Student Become a Master of Services Procurement and Contingent Workforce Spend? [PRO]

At its Inspire user conference in San Francisco last week, Coupa announced its “early access program” soft-launch of Services Maestro. The company’s first step into services procurement, Coupa presented Services Maestro in 2016 as a part of the product roadmap and has introduced the offering as part of Release 18.

“Customers will benefit from this application through automated contract compliance, improved supplier experiences and full visibility into spend — both goods and complex services — in one unified platform,” Coupa said in its press release.

It’s a commendable first step, but the sooner Coupa fully understands the complexity of the services Pandora’s box it has opened up by becoming an embedded and integral part of contingent workforce and services procurement programs, the better its ultimate solution(s) will be, should it decide to make services procurement and contingent workforce a core business pursuit. This Spend Matters PRO brief provides an introduction to Services Maestro and insight into what Coupa will need to add to truly compete in the contingent workforce and services procurement market if it decides to strategically pursue this market segment.

Sievo: Vendor Snapshot (Part 2) — Product Strengths & Weaknesses [PRO]

data analytics

To get the full benefits of Sievo, a novel analytics and savings management/tracking provider that delivers value to both procurement and finance organizations, customers need to get their hands dirty in their data — which can be a good thing. In engaging Sievo, it is the involved customer that becomes intimate at a deeper level with their data to drive true spending intelligence, in contrast to working with many other spend analytics providers that take ownership, on an outsourced basis, of data stewardship to drive cleansing, enrichment and classification perspectives.

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot explores Sievo’s strengths and weaknesses as a managed services provider, providing facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations decide whether they should consider the firm to support the procurement of contingent workforce spend and broader services procurement categories. Part 1 of our analysis provided a company and detailed solution overview and a recommend fit list of criteria for firms considering Sievo. The third part of this series will offer a SWOT analysis, user selection guide, competitive alternatives and additional evaluation and selection considerations.

Coupa Inspire 2017: Product Impressions and Dissecting R18 [PRO]

VMS

Today’s coverage of Coupa Inspire 2017 will go deeper than our first dispatch, as we we zero in on product. The biggest news to come out of Coupa’s customer conference Thursday was the general availability release of R18. Although “just a scheduled release” may seem boring, procurement transformations are inherently evolutionary, and the 50 major new features and capabilities were well received by the customers — and generally by us, too.

There’s more than just “evolution” to the product set in R18. In this PRO brief, we discuss the good as well as the gaps in Coupa’s latest release as we unpack the latest from the cloud spend management provider. We’ll also point to the future and explore some areas where Coupa may head later in 2017 and 2018 based on what we’ve heard from customer needs (external) and signposts around product innovation (internal), as well.

IBM Emptoris and SAP Ariba Partnership: First Take Customer Analysis [PRO]

Spend Matters provided initial coverage Wednesday of the SAP Ariba and IBM Emptoris partnership. We also offered a personal essay, a eulogy to Emptoris. This Spend Matters PRO First Take provides an analysis and recommendations for IBM Emptoris customers, including how they should think about an overall migration to a third-party solution as well as the role of IBM and its professional services organization as an advisor in the transition.

This brief also provides insight into comparable SAP Ariba solutions to those that Emptoris delivers, as well as comprehensive shortlists of vendors in the spend analytics, sourcing, contract management and supplier management areas in a segmented frameworks for each, including SAP Ariba (e.g., suite based, best of breed, specialization, industry focus, etc.).

Finally, this PRO analysis offers insight into artificial intelligence (AI) and cognitive applications that SAP Ariba and IBM Emptoris may develop together by combining the Leonardo (SAP) and Watson (IBM) AI engines, as well as Spend Matters insights and research into different AI use cases applied to different disciplines within procurement, including sourcing and contract management.

Procurement Metrics: Understanding the Economic Language of Value (Part 2) — Expenditures, Expenses and Financial Reporting (CapEx, COGS and G&A) [Plus+]

finance

In the first installment of this series, we discussed the term “spend” (the noun, not verb), in the context of supplier spending, in a fair amount of detail. We discussed addressable spend, and what's included and excluded for the purposes of spend visibility/management, but also for the purposes of using spend within procurement performance measurement and benchmarking. In this installment, we dive a little deeper in terms of comparing and contrasting spend to other terms, as mentioned in the title.

Mega Spend Aggregation: 10 Ways to Supersize your Market Basket (Part 1) [Plus+]

category management

Most procurement organizations complain about diminishing savings on re-sourced categories – and rightly so. But rather than beating the same horse, why not hitch up more than one, and in new ways that you may not have considered? In this Plus piece, we’ll outline five of them, with the first one being "expand the 'lots' in your current market basket."

Settling the “SCORe” with “Supply” at the Core: It’s time for Supply Management 2.0 [Plus+]

Global Risk Management Solutions

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 multitier and multilevel 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 or standalone 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 Plus analysis, we argue 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.

ZeroChaos: Vendor Snapshot (Part 3) — Competitive & Summary Analysis [PRO]

In the contingent workforce and services procurement market, the role of managed services providers (MSPs) is evolving. What used to be a binary decision between “in-source” or “outsource” the management of contingent spending is now a much more complex one. Within the MSP universe in 2017, there is now a slowly increasing emphasis on embracing the services procurement need outside of contingent workforce management and enablement alone (i.e., moving beyond the comfort zone and typical biases towards staffing-based models).

This includes the full consideration of curated talent pools, independent contractors/freelancers, broader services spend/category enablement (MSA/SOW sourcing/management, category management, etc.) and the evolving role of technology to support different requirements.

Given the variance of capability of MSPs to address these broader areas — without even factoring into account whether they have proprietary technology or not — the decision on which firm(s) to work with should be given more consideration than in the past. Specialized MSPs like ZeroChaos may stand to benefit from these shifts, especially as decision criteria against an often expanded set of requirements becomes more granular and moves beyond contingent labor alone.

This final installment of our multipart Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot series covering ZeroChaos offers a SWOT analysis, competitive assessment and comparison with other procurement technology providers in the MSP and services procurement market. It also includes a user selection guide and summary evaluation and selection considerations. Part 1 and Part 2 of this PRO research series provide a company and deep-dive solution overview, product strengths and weaknesses and a recommended fit analysis for what types of organizations should consider ZeroChaos.

ZeroChaos: Vendor Snapshot (Part 2) — Product Strengths & Weaknesses [PRO]

social

On the surface, ZeroChaos appears to be a seasoned managed services provider (MSP). It is best known for working with Global 2000 firms in outsourcing the management of contingent labor spend in a truly neutral fashion. In this manner, there is no potential for conflict of interest, since it has does not have a parent company that also owns staffing assets.

But dig a layer or two deeper and ZeroChaos begins to look different than many of its peers. It brings a lean operating environment to support back office operations, a proprietary VMS capability, a top-notch supplier management managed service and expertise supporting broader services procurement initiatives and specialized client needs that fall outside a typical MSP. While not without areas for opportunities, ZeroChaos is a differentiated MSP operating in a world where many of its competitors are more fungible.

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot explores ZeroChaos’ solution strengths and weaknesses as a managed services provider, providing facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations decide whether they should consider the firm to support the procurement of contingent workforce spend and broader services procurement categories. Part 1 of our analysis provided a company and detailed solution overview and a recommend fit list of criteria for firms considering ZeroChaos. The third part of this series will offer a SWOT analysis, user selection guide, competitive alternatives, and additional evaluation and selection considerations.