The speed and quality of procurement software development is changing at breakneck pace. SynerTrade, a provider that was not even on the map in North America 12 months ago, has been a significant beneficiary of this fundamental shift. SynerTrade provides a broad and deep source-to-pay (S2P) suite spanning both procurement and operational requirements. Read this Spend Matters PRO analysis to get all of the facts and expert analysis to determine if SynerTrade is right for your procurement organization, as well as other providers to consider in an evaluation alongside of it. This multipart research brief provides a SynerTrade company and solution history and overview, company-level SWOT analysis, product strengths and weaknesses, competitor analysis, user selection guides and insider evaluation and selection considerations.more ▸
DCR Workforce: Vendor Snapshot (Part 1) — Industry Context, Business Background and Solution Overview
This Spend Matters PRO vendor research series focuses on DCR Workforce (DCR), a provider of services management/procurement technology solutions. DCR Workforce is a difficult provider to paint into a box. On one level, DCR provides a next generation vendor management system (VMS) solution, more than capable of holding its own against some of the better known providers in the sector on a functional basis addressing basic contingent workforce requirements. But on another level, it delivers much more — a statement of work (SOW) capability that is fundamentally different than other VMS providers in approach and capability, a powerful analytics platform for managing broader services procurement activities and even a freelancer management system (FMS) and supplier network that offers new ways to manage freelancer and contractors. Part 1 of this series provides background and the business context surrounding DCR Workforce, including quick facts and a history of the provider, and an overview of the DCR business and solution set. Subsequent parts of the series will go deeper into the DCR solutions and what use cases they may best address.more ▸
From a technology enablement perspective in procurement, the requirements to support manufacturers are significantly different than what generic procurement tools and suites provide. POOL4TOOL, a provider with a strong reputation and sizable customer base within industrial companies in the German and Austrian markets, is accelerating the rate at which it is targeting U.S. manufacturers, as well. This multipart Spend Matters PRO brief provides a full analysis of the provider’s capabilities, strengths and weaknesses. This final installment provides a competitive analysis and overview comparison, a recommend fit and company selection and checklist sheet, and a summary analysis on POOL4TOOL.more ▸
Specialized technology that supports direct materials procurement can be as different as an indirect procurement system is from a services procurement one. In this Spend Matters PRO review series examining POOL4TOOL, one of only a few providers specializing in direct materials procurement, we started our investigation by providing a company and solution overview of the vendor and a company-level SWOT analysis. This second installment covers product strengths and product weaknesses. We will conclude our analysis of POOL4TOOL in the third installment of this series, offering a competitive landscape view of the provider, user selection and shortlist guides and insider evaluation and selection considerations.more ▸
10 Supply Chain Areas Needing Gene Therapy: Supply Network Information Models — The Missing DNA in the Digital Supply Chain (Part 4)
In the previous post in this series, I began outlining 10 supply chain provider areas that could benefit from the infusion of a robust supply network information model. In this final installment in the series, I highlight the remaining provider areas, the convergence in supply chain intelligence and analytics and look at x potential providers that span multiple adjacent services and solutions sectors in business process outsourcing (BPO), management consulting, supply market intelligence, business intelligence, content management and others.more ▸
Services procurement, with the exception of contingent workforce management (CWM), has evolved imperceptibly over the past 15 years. However, there are reasons to believe that it is about to change — or in terms of what procurement does, will need to change. Those reasons include the pressure to reduce cost of services and the effects of accelerating digitization. Still, without senior management support, additional funding and organizational development, the need to change may not be addressed, leaving gaps in enterprise performance, which more proactive, competitive companies could exploit.
In this first part of this PRO series, we will cover “The What” of services procurement — where we’ve gotten to today and where we seem to be heading. In subsequent installments, we will focus on the role of digitization and what changes procurement will be addressing as consumption and buying of services in different forms increases across enterprise organizations.
Over the past few months, the Spend Matters team has had the chance to speak to a number of KPMG clients who used the consultancy in various capacities in and around procurement strategy, transformation and technology. The lessons learned point to the importance of not only selecting the right consulting partner for multiple initiatives but also, from a solution lens, understanding the levers a firm can pull to get the most from technology vendors during the technology deployment phase of a consulting relationship. This Spend Matters PRO brief offers a case analysis view of KPMG from the client perspective, including what it was like to engage the firm and key lessons learned from having KPMG implement and manage cloud-based procure-to-pay (P2P) deployments. These discussions continue to support our thesis that procurement organizations should never manage their own e-procurement deployments or let their selected technology vendor handle such efforts on their behalf — even if a technology vendor is more than capable of managing a deployment on paper.more ▸
10 Supply Chain Areas Needing Gene Therapy: Supply Network Information Models — The Missing DNA in the Digital Supply Chain (Part 3)
In these final two installments of this series on supply network information models, I will outline the gaps in 10 different supply-side process areas and technology solution types that would greatly benefit from supporting the key attributes of these models. More importantly, by tying each of these areas to a common robust information model, they’ll be able to integrate with each other more easily and support the needed process integrations. I’ll also discuss the extent that supply chain information networks like E2open, GT Nexus (Infor), GHX, Elemica, Elementum and others can play a key role in building the digital DNA needed to support modern supply networks.more ▸
Determine: Vendor Snapshot (Part 3) — Platform Weaknesses, Competitive Analysis and Customer Recommendations
We recently covered the replatforming and solution transformation of Determine, a procurement technology suite and contract lifecycle management (CLM) provider (see Determine Background and Solution Summary and Determine New Solution/Platform Strengths). From a solution and platform perspective, Determine has come a long way in recent quarters, as it has replatformed much of the IP from Iasta and Selectica onto the b-pack platform, the basis of the new go-forward Determine solution strategy.
But much work remains, especially commercially. As Determine attempts to build traction, channel and implementation relationships are becoming increasingly important for the provider, as they are for many source-to-pay (S2P) suite vendors in the e-sourcing and e-procurement area. Securing these relationships would serve as a vote of confidence and support for Determine’s capabilities and overall stability. This final installment in our Spend Matters PRO update series covering Determine provides analysis on the provider’s weaknesses and offers competitive and customer recommendations.
The market for direct materials-centric procurement technology is just beginning to take off in North America and the Middle East. Yet POOL4TOOL is one of only a handful of technology vendors developing specialized solutions for procurement manufacturing environments. Although not without weaknesses, POOL4TOOL is without question the “breadth” leader from a suite perspective in this market and surprisingly deep in certain functional areas. Read this Spend Matters PRO analysis to get expert analysis on whether POOL4TOOL is right for your procurement organization, as well as which other providers to consider in an evaluation alongside of it. This multi-part research brief provides a POOL4TOOL company and solution overview, a company-level SWOT analysis, product strengths and weaknesses, a competitor analysis, user selection guides and insider evaluation and selection considerations.more ▸
Extended Supply Network Information Models: The Missing DNA in the Digital Supply Chain (Part 2 — Why it Matters)
In part one of this series, I wrote that “a supply network data model must live at the heart of any supply chain” and how “the required data model implicit in running a true global supply network is as fundamental as the data model change required to move from an on-premise traditional enterprise class application to a true SaaS multi-tenant application”. In this follow-up analysis, I want to share my rationale for this argument and what it means to practitioners and providers — and the blurring of those two roles as their worlds converge. The premise is simple. If a manufacturer is going to operate a global, multitier supply network, and if that manufacturer wants to digitize that supply chain for improved efficiency and effectiveness, then it should possess an IT system that has an underlying data model that mirrors the physical network. More specifically, a supply network information model should have five distinct characteristics.more ▸
May was actually a pretty good month for our stock portfolio, and for the first time for quite a while, it has out-performed the wider markets for a couple of months running. We’ll come back to why that is later, but the portfolio stands at 5.4% up over the beginning of the year, while major markets are still pretty much where they started 2016. Indeed, the markets have been remarkably calm in recent weeks, despite Mr. Trump, the fear of the U.K. leaving the E.U. and other issues of global import.more ▸