Plus or PRO Content

Are Your Procurement KPIs Balanced or Obsolete? [Plus+]

As our Spend Matters Plus analysis of procurement key performance indicators (KPIs) continues, we will turn our attention to additional metrics by which you can measure procurement performance including supply base development and spend under management. We will also examine how to discover if organizational procurement KPIs are off balance, favoring one area over another or the strategic over the tactical, or if they’re just right.

This analysis builds on a prior chapter of this research brief that provides an introduction to procurement KPIs. While intended for everyone in procurement from buyers to chief procurement officers, this series is particularly suited for individuals and organizations looking to put in place the right measurement foundation to change how procurement is viewed by the business from a function that only reduces input prices and “keeps the production line running,” to one that brings new areas of value, from supply chain risk reduction to creativity and innovation.

AdaptOne: Vendor Snapshot (Part 1) — Background and Solution Overview [PRO]

The supplier lifecycle management software market — which can be segregated at least half a dozen different ways — includes dozens upon dozens of different providers specializing in one or more enterprise technology areas. These include supplier information management (SIM), supplier performance management (SPM), supplier relationship management (SRM), supplier quality management (SQM), supplier discovery management (SDM), supplier diversity, supplier risk management, and governance, risk and compliance (GRC). 

Some of these areas are data-centric, others are process-centric and others still are relationship-centric. Following this pattern, from a tech vendor “supply market” perspective, some of the providers that compete in this sector are well known to procurement organizations, having invested heavily in marketing and sales for many years. But the majority tend to slip under the radar, either due to lack of marketing investment, lack of focus or simply poor communication (e.g., getting caught up in broader offerings/suite capabilities). And some are not even on the radar of most organizations.

One of the providers in these latter camps that recently caught our attention is AdaptOne. And not necessarily because it has a unique supplier management solution, as the truth is there is a lot of similarity between it and a few other SIM solutions. Rather, AdaptOne piqued our interest because it comes from a unique background and sells the solution from a new perspective. Leveraging a business process management (BPM) development and deployment orientation, AdaptOne’s solution is more configurable and, well, adaptable (sorry, we could not resist) than most of its peers.

But how does AdaptOne stack up functionally, and what does its solution offer? This Spend Matters Pro Vendor Snapshot provides an overview of the AdaptOne solution, along with facts and expert analysis to help buying organizations, suppliers and their partners make informed decisions about AdaptOne's SIM-centric solution. Part 1 of our analysis provides a company background and detailed solution overview, as well as a summary recommended fit suggestion for when organizations might want to consider AdaptOne. The rest of this multipart research brief will cover product strengths and weaknesses, competitors and SWOT analysis, user selection guides, insider evaluation and selection considerations.

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

BuyerQuest

The competitive landscape for e-procurement software still counts dozens of vendors globally that offer varying degrees of solution breadth, depth and focus. One provider that drives to the core of e-procurement requirements (search, shopping, catalog management, compliance, requisitioning and approvals) with a set of deep and differentiated capabilities is Aquiire.

This third and final installment of our Vendor Snapshot covering Aquiire provides an objective SWOT analysis of the vendor and offers a competitive segmentation analysis and comparison. It also includes recommended shortlist candidates that could serve as alternatives to Aquiire and offers provider selection guidance. Part 1 provided an in-depth look at Aquiire as a technology provider and its specific solutions. Part 2 gave a detailed analysis of solution strengths and weaknesses.

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

Despite what Coupa and SAP Ariba would like companies to believe, the e-procurement market is far from consolidated. Moreover, some of the lesser-known vendors in the sector are not only driving some of the more unique areas of spend management innovation, but can also be the most adaptable to unique requirements that fall outside of the standard e-procurement box (which might include a single “buyer” or even a broader consortia of organizations coming together to buy in a “marketplace”). Aquiire is one such provider.

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

Aquiire: Vendor Snapshot (Part 1) — Background and Solution Overview [PRO]

In September 2016, Vinimaya announced the launch of Aquiire, a cloud-based, real-time procure-to-pay (P2P) software suite. While Vinimaya had always been in the e-procurement business, Aquiire was an entirely new solution, built from the ground up, albeit one that took advantage of the company’s federated search, shopping and marketplace product roots.

Fast-forward to today, and that new product has become the future of Vinimaya. In fact, the company officially changed its corporate name in February 2017 to Aquiire Inc., extending both the brand and the philosophy behind its e-procurement solution across the entire company. Today, Aquiire competes primarily against a select group of e-procurement specialists (e.g., BuyerQuest and Vroozi) and is winning business against top-tier suite providers (e.g., Coupa, Ivalua, Jaggaer, SAP Ariba).

But it can also serve as a broader buy-side marketplace as well (when requirements extend outside the standard e-procurement box). In fact, many of Aquiire's customers integrate its real-time B2B marketplace and catalog management functionality into competitor’s platforms (e.g. SAP Ariba) to complement and extend indirect purchasing and catalog management capabilities.

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot uses facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations make informed decisions about Aquiire’s e-procurement and P2P software solutions. Part 1 of our analysis provides a company background and detailed solution overview, as well as suggestions for when organizations should consider Aquiire. The remainder of this multipart research brief covers product strengths and weaknesses, competitor and SWOT analysis, user selection guides, and insider evaluation and selection considerations.

Foundational Procurement KPIs Every CPO, Supply Manager and Buyer Needs To Know [Plus+]

This research brief is intended as an aspirational piece for more transactional-focused procurement team members who are aiming to add value to procurement and the business beyond mere efficiency improvements and price reduction efforts. It is not a compendium of financial metrics to convince your CFO about the value of procurement – you have to develop your business case tied to your needs and strategy for that. (Though, do reach out to us because we’ve done quite a bit of research in this area as well if you’re interested.) Rather, it is our hope that this series will leave you with a laundry list of prioritized ideas and open your mind to the qualitative side of the business – and the ways in which you can begin to measure procurement contribution and key performance indicators (KPIs) to quantify the return of the various activities you’re up to.

In the first installment of our introduction to KPIs and related considerations, we will examine why KPIs matter and how to use them and discuss basic procurement metrics, the role of innovation in setting measurement variables and how certain KPI approaches can mislead.

Coupa’s DCR Acquisition: Analyzing the Move (Part 2) — Strategic Context and Differences Between Labor and Goods Ecosystems [PRO]

Even discounting the technological capabilities DCR Workforce brings customers, Coupa’s recent acquisition of the VMS provider is a watershed event for the procurement software market. Specifically, it signals to the market a coming together of technology offerings for services procurement and indirect source-to-pay solutions.

As we observed in our previous brief in this series, SAP Ariba and SAP Fieldglass did not have a compelling reason in the immediate years following SAP’s acquisition of both companies to “work as one” in developing, positioning and selling the joint value proposition of one source-to-pay portal for buyers and suppliers that spanned indirect and services spend in a single go-to-market effort. In contrast, Coupa is on a different track — one that SAP is now starting to follow, as well — in uniting these two disparate solution areas and business functions inside companies.

But humans are not SKUs, which is one topic among many that we’ll discuss as we explore the context of Coupa’s strategic acquisition in this research brief. We’ll also explain the key sector differences between the services procurement/VMS market and indirect-centric procure-to-pay and source-to-pay solutions.

Just coming up to speed? In the first two components of this series covering Coupa’s recent acquisition of DCR Workforce, we provided an overview of the acquisition itself and a review of the DCR solution set.

We also shared our view on some of the strengths and weaknesses of the DCR solution prior to the acquisition, along with an overview of the broader competitive landscape that will be relevant as DCR now becomes “Coupa Contingent Workforce.”

In this section of the series, Part 1 explored the history and context of services procurement and indirect procurement from the perspective of both Coupa and the broader market. It also provided context based on the differences between how SAP pursued the market initially with Ariba and Fieldglass following its acquisition of both vendors.

Coupa’s Acquisition of DCR Workforce: Analyzing the Move (Part 1) — History, Context and SAP [PRO]

In the first two briefs in this ongoing series covering Coupa’s recent acquisition of DCR Workforce, we provided an overview of the acquisition itself along with a review of the DCR solution set. We also shared our view on some of the strengths and weaknesses of the DCR solution prior to the acquisition, as well as an overview of the broader competitive landscape that will be relevant as DCR now becomes “Coupa Contingent Workforce.”

As our analysis continues, we turn our attention to what the DCR Workforce acquisition could mean for Coupa as a developer of technology solutions and as a business in the indirect procurement software sector. Spend Matters believes the deal is the most significant strategic bet Coupa has made since the vendor shifted its strategy from providing open source e-procurement to what it is today. But is Coupa (and the market) ready for such a shift?

Program Management: The Missing Link in Procurement Technology Modules and Suites (Part 10: E-Procurement Components, Continued) [PRO]

In this series, we have been discussing the glue that binds together different areas of procurement workflow: the overall program management of both individual tasks and collective activities across the source-to-pay continuum, along with the technology components that support this end-to-end perspective. As a whole, this Spend Matters PRO series provides deep insight into what effective program management technology capabilities encapsulate from a design, platform and functional perspective.

We started this series by exploring design principles on which effective program management technology is based across the source-to-pay continuum. We then provided insights into the building blocks of effective program management technology components including best-of-breed project management, performance management, program compliance, program collaboration and other areas. We then highlighted specific examples of category management requirements and supplier management requirements before our series wrap-up with e-procurement and broader P2P.

In our last article (Part 9 — E-Procurement Components), we defined the P2P program counterparts to the sourcing-centric programs and began a deep dive into the platform components required to support the programs covered in our last entry. In this final installment on P2P, we conclude the platform components required to support modern procurement programs.

Coupa Acquires DCR Workforce (Part 2): DCR Product Strengths and Weaknesses [PRO]

The contingent workforce (CW/S) technology sector could benefit from daylight when it comes to visibility into how “good” solutions actually are. Within the vendor management system (VMS) market specifically, there are various market dynamics that have led to an opaque situation in the past, in which limited information transparency exists. And when it does, this information can be often “overlooked” for various reasons when organizations are making technology-buying decisions.

Pardon the baseball analogy, but we’re still on the first at-bat in the first inning in trying to create a degree of transparency ourselves with Spend Matters CW/S SolutionMap, which launched last week, albeit with only a subset of the market’s top vendors participating in the first round launch — something we suspect will change in the coming quarters. If you’re curious to take a look, you can skim the free ranking charts for Q3 2018 (Independent Contract Workers, Temporary Staffing and Contract Services/Statement of Work). And if you want to review the true, transparent details yourself, see our SolutionMap Insider reports and ratings, as well.

While in our view the CW/S technology market trends more to capability/technology obfuscation than enlightened cloud transparency among procurement and HR organizations, DCR Workforce stands out as one of the few providers driving innovation at multiple levels, including its embrace of artificial intelligence (AI).

But how good is it really? This Spend Matters PRO research brief (Part 2 in our series covering the Coupa acquisition of DCR; see Part 1: Acquisition Analysis and Competitive Landscape Segmentation) provides a primer for those that want to answer that question. It is based on prior Spend Matters PRO research content, with new updates and insights included. (Granted, we cover the strengths and weaknesses on what we would consider a summary level by our standards, given that we consider more than 400 individual CW/S functional requirements as part of our SolutionMap analysis. But you’ve got to start somewhere.)

Offsets, Local Content and Supplier Information Management (Part 2) [Plus+]

We wrote in Part 1 about offsets in the defence industry, and the commonality they have with wider issues around “local content” — using procurement and supply chain activities to show support for building capability and capacity in local economies and supply chains, often as a lever to win contracts, concessions (e.g., mining) or similar.

So bringing this back to practical considerations, what can we learn, and how can organisations position themselves successfully in this field? That’s important because the need for organisations to show how they are impacting and benefitting local, regional or national economies is only going to increase in our view. That’s particularly true for firms who wish to trade and work internationally, particularly in the developing world. And looking at the growth rates in Africa, South America and the emerging parts of Asia, these are markets in which more and more Western firms will want to operate.

Coupa Acquires DCR Workforce: First Take Analysis and Competitive Landscape Segmentation [PRO]

Coupa recently announced it had acquired the technology assets of DCR Workforce, a leading provider of contingent workforce/services (CW/S) procurement software. By so doing, Coupa has taken a giant leap forward in providing its clients a comprehensive platform that will now include the option of industrial-strength CW/S sourcing and management capabilities.

For many organizations, CW/S spend (including temporary staffing, independent contract workers and a broad range of categories of services provided by external suppliers) represents a considerable portion of external spend (including good and materials). And much of this spend — particularly outside of temporary staffing — is unmanaged today, in terms of procurement or HR’s ability to fully influence and orchestrate it.

In this Spend Matters PRO series, we take an in-depth look at what the acquisition of DCR means for Coupa and DCR, as well as to their customers. In Part 1 of this series, we look at what Coupa is getting by acquiring DCR, in terms of both business strategy and DCR’s specific capabilities. Based on DCR’s footprint, we also segment the competitive landscape into six primary competitor types.

Part 2 will consider DCR’s strengths and weaknesses within the competitive CW/S market. Subsequent PRO briefs will examine customer recommendations, competitive landscape implications and related considerations.