EC Sourcing is one of a select group of technology providers targeting the middle market with an e-sourcing platform. It happens to be one of the most mature in capability, with a set of clever features that only come from the battle scars of years of managing sourcing events. Spend Matters' analysis of the EC Sourcing platform positions it as a solid contender to fill the sourcing needs of middle market procurement organizations looking for technology to transform their sourcing efforts. (Note: The solution could also be a fit for larger organizations wanting to expand their provider shortlists.) In addition to EC Sourcing’s standard RFX, auction, contract management and supplier information management (SIM) offerings, the provider’s summer 2016 release adds a new process management layer. This Spend Matters Pro Vendor Snapshot provides facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations determine if EC Sourcing solution is the right fit for their needs, as well as offers perspectives on alternative providers to consider in an evaluation alongside of it. This three-part brief includes an EC Sourcing company and detailed solution overview, company-level SWOT analysis, product strengths and weaknesses, user selection guides, a user interface analysis, competitive alternatives, and evaluation and selection considerations.more ▸
Better known in France, Germany and other countries in Continental Europe than in North America, SynerTrade is launching an expansion strategy targeting the U.S. market that aims to bring its unique breed of procurement suite to an expanding set of global customers. From a functional and modular breadth perspective, SynerTrade certainly ranks in the top dozen of procurement technology suites, and in specific modular areas, it has differentiated capabilities that help it stand out from competitors. So far in this multipart Spend Matters PRO brief, we introduced the provider to our subscribers with a comprehensive introduction to SynerTrade (company and solutions) and a detailed view on strengths and weaknesses. This final installment provides a competitive analysis and overview comparison, a recommend fit and company selection checklist sheet ,and a summary analysis of SynerTrade for potential customers.more ▸
If you are an enterprise contingent workforce or services procurement practitioner, it’s almost certain that you have some awareness of the increasing role of state-of-the-art technology platforms in intermediating contingent work arrangements. You know today (whether because of Uber, or Upwork, or others) that technology-based platforms are being used to engage contingent workers, get work done and most often pay the workers — all through a single digital platform. But this awareness was not always the case. When analyst coverage of this subject started over four years ago, the emergence of work intermediation platforms was (for all intents and purposes) off the radar of practitioners, who were absorbed with program expansion, vendor management system (VMS) adoption, staff-augmentation cost and risk management and the increasing need to manage SOWs. All of these remain top priorities now, but practitioner mindshare has opened up for several reasons, such as the need to access and engage skilled talent in a time of shortages and the expanding popular awareness of freelance, gig and on-demand.more ▸
During the last few years, procurement technology provider Coupa has used the slogan “Savings as a Service,” a catchy phrase for a company serving procurement organizations. It has also been a smart slogan because it aligns to procurement’s primary mission — delivering savings. Delivering savings is also front-of-mind for mid-size companies as well as large ones. However, organizations that have identified procurement’s potential to adopt a more strategic role for the business beyond delivering savings are looking for a different type of conversation with their service providers (including SaaS providers like procurement technology providers), and how they can help support a broader missions of value beyond cost savings. So, Coupa has pivoted to the motto “Value as a Service.” But what does this mean and how can practitioners and providers learn from this? We previously wrote an article that touched upon Value as a Service, but this Spend Matters PRO brief explores how is Coupa is trying to deliver Value as a Service (including with its latest product release). And as (or more) important, we explore how others can learn from these efforts, including providers and practitioners alike.more ▸
SynerTrade, a procurement technology suite provider, is an example of a provider upending the status quo in source-to-pay (S2P) solution development. Providers in this formerly slow-moving technology market are now developing solutions at breakneck pace, enhancing or introducing technologies at an order of magnitude more quickly than in the past. In Part 1 of this Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot series covering SynerTrade, we provided an overview of the provider and its solutions, as well as a company-level SWOT analysis and summary criteria for scenarios when procurement organizations should prioritize its solutions. In this analysis, we observe how SynerTrade's solution is one of the broadest — and in a few areas the deepest — solutions available in the market today and assess the provider’s strengths and weaknesses on the solution level.more ▸
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 ▸