PRO Content

The Procurement Trifecta for a Trump Presidency [PRO]

Oval Office

News of the Trump presidency was arguably the largest trade (and policy) shot heard round the world in decades. Earlier this week, we discussed a range of issues that can potentially affect the broader economy –– not to mention procurement and supply chain organizations and, in particular, manufacturing. Yet two additional areas warrant additional study, not as standalone policies per se (at least for one of the two areas) but in situ conditions arising from a Trump presidency: infrastructure spending and the U.S. dollar.

In addition to the previous considerations explored in Part 1, our analysis considers these additional items in the context of three concrete procurement tactics organizations can take: improving their capability to support total cost modeling/landed cost models; investing in supply chain risk visibility; and approaching commodity strategy and commodity management in new ways. This Spend Matters PRO analysis provides key analysis, talking points and actions steps for procurement and supply chain organizations to understand the impact of a Trump presidency on their firms and where they can start 2017 from a position of knowledge. It also offers recommendations for technology areas and technology vendors for consideration given these broader issues, including direct procurement technology suites, commodity management solutions, supplier network/connectivity solutions (direct spend), analytics, and supplier and supply chain risk management.

DCR Workforce: Vendor Snapshot (Part 3) — Commentary and Summary Analysis [PRO]

VMS

It’s hard to dispute the data. Companies are increasingly buying all kinds of services, including those that do not neatly fit a common profile (parts, components or even outcomes, such as “power by the hour,” in the case of manufacturing outsourcing). Yet today’s procurement solutions are designed primarily to support either the purchasing of materials (direct and indirect) or targeted types of services procurement spend (namely, contingent workforce).

Today, many procurement organizations, such as Coupa and SAP Ariba customers, are putting large percentages of services spend through indirect procurement systems. These solutions are not yet specialized in influencing, capturing and managing all aspects of the sourcing, buying and supplier management lifecycle for services. Moreover, from a depth perspective, vendor management systems (VMS) tend to have functional gaps across the source-to-pay continuum in supporting statement of work (SOW) and freelancer management needs, compared with source-to-contract suite capability or specialized tools.

This third and final installment of the Spend Matters Vendor Snapshot on DCR Workforce provides an objective SWOT analysis of DCR and offers a competitive segmentation analysis and comparison. It also includes recommended shortlist candidates as alternative vendors to DCR Workforce and offers provider selection guidance. Finally, it provides summary analysis and recommendations for companies considering DCR Workforce as a potential vendor. Part 1 of this series provided an in-depth look at DCR Workforce as a firm and its specific solutions, and Part 2 offered a detailed analysis of solution strengths and weaknesses and a review of the product’s user experience.

The Trump Effect: Trade, Policy, Commodities and Procurement in 2017 [PRO]

White House

The election of Donald Trump will undoubtedly have an unexpected impact on the domestic and international procurement, supply chain and trade communities. Perhaps the even bigger surprise will be in how much of the grassroots rhetoric from the campaign actually becomes reality in 2017 when President-elect Trump takes office. Reversing previous executive orders and issuing new ones, as opposed to pursuing a legislative approach to change, is a faster route to creating shorter-term impact, but also potentially less effective in the long term.

This Spend Matters PRO analysis provides an overview of some of the most important trade, policy and commodity inputs to what a Trump Presidency may bring. It provides a procurement and supply chain perspective on likely changes that we need to be aware of as practitioners, as well as select wild cards that are important for consideration. The second installment of the series will also include suggested strategies, tactics and technologies that organizations can deploy to minimize business risk and disruption moving into this expected area of change.

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

supplier management

This vendor research series focuses on DCR Workforce, a provider of services management/ procurement technology solutions. Part 1 of our analysis provided a company and detailed solution overview and a recommend fit list of criteria for firms considering DCR Workforce. In the context of the solution set, we noted that Smart Track is somewhat different than the typical monolithic VMS solution, for a number of reasons. These include: one, the modularity of the Smart Track platform which utilizes an SOA (services oriented architecture) model and allows separate modules to be implemented on their own, according to the client use case; and two, the strength of the SOW/Services Management module, which was the lead product at the time of DCR’s market entry.

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot explores DCR Workforce’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 pros/cons critique of the user interface. The remaining parts of this series will offer a SWOT analysis, user selection guide, competitive alternatives and additional evaluation and selection considerations.

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

Supply Chain Fraud

Procurement fraud typically gets everyone’s attention after it happens. Granted, in certain geographies and industries, regulations such as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) have magnified the potential risk that procurement fraud can bring to expand beyond profitability impact through high fines and negative media coverage. Yet procurement and finance organizations generally are loath to invest in additional fraud controls and measures such as procure-to-pay (P2P), travel and expense (T&E) and payment solution (including p-cards) rollouts or upgrades at the same time. Oversight Systems, an Atlanta-based organization that focuses on fraud and overpayment controls and prevention and has raised almost $40 million in funding to date, is hoping to change this.

Existing P2P (SAP Ariba, Concur, Basware, etc.) and T&E (e.g., Concur) solutions can put in preventative steps to help reduce the risk of fraud and overpayment occurrences. But the controls they provide are insufficient to prevent fraud alone (as Best Buy discovered when procurement and a supplier colluded to steal millions of dollars from the company). Fraud and overpayment can occur in both expected and unexpected places, and Oversight has designed its solution to find and detect and find it through an advanced analytics platform, regardless of whether an employee, procurement, accounts payable or a supplier is the responsible party (or a combination of actors).

This Spend Matters PRO vendor snapshot provides facts and expert analysis to help buying organizations make informed decisions about Oversight Systems’ procurement and accounts payable fraud and overpayment solutions. Part 1 of our analysis provides a company background and detailed solution overview, as well as a summary recommended fit suggestion for when organizations should consider Oversight Systems as a complement to existing P2P, T&E and card investments. The rest of this multi-part research brief covers product strengths and weaknesses; competitor and SWOT analysis; user selection guides; and insider evaluation and selection considerations.

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

ra2 studio/Adobe Stock

BravoSolution, a procurement technology suite provider, has undergone significant transformation on the product level in recent years. It emerged from a replatforming effort in the source-to-contract area, after which it expanded the breadth of its suite by acquiring procure-to-pay from Puridiom (this followed a time of partnering with providers such as Basware and Verian). While Q1 2017 will see the introduction of BravoSolution’s first integrated source-to-pay suite under its own control, the more important differentiation in capabilities and approach arguably comes not from P2P but rather its core analytics, sourcing and supplier management capabilities (as well as integrated contract management).

This third and final installment of the Spend Matters Vendor Snapshot series on BravoSolution provides an objective SWOT analysis of the provider and offers a competitive segmentation analysis and comparison. It also includes recommended shortlist candidates as alternative vendors to BravoSolution and offers provider selection guidance. Lastly, this installment provides summary analysis and recommendations for companies that may consider the BravoAdvantage suite or individual modules. Part 1 of this Vendor Snapshot gave an in-depth look at BravoSolution as a firm and its specific solutions, and Part 2 provided a detailed analysis of solution strengths and weaknesses and a review of the product’s user experience.

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

digital

BravoSolution currently delivers a benchmark set of capabilities for procurement organizations in the “upstream” procurement suite area. It is not without weaknesses, (which we will also explore in this analysis), but BravoSolution stands apart in how it has constructed and how it delivers integrated suite components to support real-world procurement needs by country, industry and procurement organizational structure. With an emphasis on analytics, sourcing (core and advanced/optimization) and supplier management, BravoSolution provides one standard by which to measure the market from an upstream suite perspective. The provider also offers P2P capabilities (“downstream”) today and will be releasing its own solution, gained through acquisition, in 2017.

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot explores BravoSolution’s product strengths and weaknesses, providing facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations decide if they should shortlist the vendor. It also offers a critique (pros/cons) of the user interface. Part 1 of our analysis provides a company and detailed solution overview and a recommend fit list of criteria for firms considering it. The remaining parts of this multipart series will offer a SWOT analysis, user selection guide, competitive alternatives, and additional evaluation and selection considerations.

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

Oracle

The e-sourcing market might have met its Coupa in the form of Scout RFP. But whether Scout can add core functionality and related modules quickly enough to build out its own view of what a next-generation upstream suite needs to look like, as quickly as Coupa has in the P2P area, remains to be seen. There’s also the broader question of how Scout RFP could differentiate through tightly-coupled API, platform or “app” based partnerships in areas such as market intelligence, supply market directories, supplier management, contract lifecycle management, commodity management, analytics, e-procurement, e-invoicing and related areas. In such a fragmented and competitive market, following in Coupa’s growth footsteps won’t be easy. And successfully pulling off a “triple, triple, double, double, double” while maintaining near 100% SaaS renewal rates is a long shot, even for the best cloud products companies. This third and final installment of this Spend Matters Vendor Snapshot covering Scout RFP provides an objective SWOT analysis of Scout and offers a competitive segmentation analysis and comparison. It also includes recommended shortlist candidates as alternative vendors to Scout RFP and offers provider selection guidance. Finally, it provides summary analysis and recommendations for companies consider Scout RFP as a potential vendor. Previous installments provide an in-depth look at Scout RFP as a firm and its specific solutions (PART 1) and a detailed analysis of solution strengths and weaknesses and a review of the product’s user experience (PART 2).

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

digital

Scout RFP went to school on its procurement technology and geographic neighbor, Coupa. Just as Coupa focused on delivering a best-in-class user experience for core e-procurement initially and built out support for related components and then adjacencies such as AP automation and e-invoicing — so too has Scout RFP focused its product development locus on a single area, emphasizing usability, from which it has expanded. That said, in Scout RFP’s case, it has focused on the “upstream” areas of procurement technology, centered on e-sourcing. Perhaps it’s not surprising that the three-year-old provider, like Coupa, decided on using the Ruby on Rails application framework, a development platform and language that emphasizes efficiency and speed in coding.

Despite the fact that the core of Scout RFP’s functionality is not all that different in enabling sourcing capability than 15-year-old technology (remember Procuri?), what makes Scout RFP unique is how it has streamlined its overall user experience, including wrapping a new generation of collaboration, communication, project management, basic supplier management, reporting, savings tracking and supplier portal capability in a cloud-native environment. In short, it’s the first truly “modern” independent e-sourcing technology we’ve encountered with sufficient depth and breadth to serve as a core management platform and cockpit that can compete against incumbents in the market.

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot explore Scout RFP’s product strengths and weaknesses, providing facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations decide whether or not to shortlist the vendor. It also offers a critique (pros/cons) of the user interface. Part 1 of our analysis provided a detailed overview of the solution and the company, along with a recommend fit list of criteria for firms considering it. The remaining parts of this series will offer a SWOT analysis, user selection guide, competitive alternatives, and additional evaluation and selection considerations.

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

RFP

Some might question why anyone would launch a new business in the e-sourcing market, precisely what Scout RFP has done. After all, the complexities of basic sourcing capability typically pale in comparison with what is required to tackle areas like procure to pay (P2P) and contract lifecycle management effectively, which is why so many second-generation vendors in these sectors have used new technology stacks to all but completely overtake early providers in capability (perhaps with the one exception of SAP Ariba, which is still holding its own with growth). Moreover, there is arguably greater value from advanced sourcing approaches that begin to incorporate elements of total cost management, constraint-based optimization and supply chain network design than basic e-sourcing alone.

Yet Scout RFP is proving the observation wrong. In North America, it’s adding customers faster than just about any other provider. In this Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot series, we tackle Scout RFP, a three-year-old e-sourcing vendor that started by offering only a basic RFP module, without even auctions.

This three-part brief will provide facts and expert analysis to help buying organizations make informed decisions on whether Scout RFP should be on their shortlist of e-sourcing providers to consider, either as a new solution, a replacement for existing e-sourcing tools or a complement to them. Part 1 of our analysis provides a company background and detailed solution overview, as well as recommended fit suggestions for when organizations should consider Scout RFP. The rest of this multi-part research brief covers product strengths and weaknesses, competitor and SWOT analysis, user selection guides, and insider evaluation and selection considerations.

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

Oracle

The procurement technology and solutions market, inclusive of source-to-contract (S2C) and procure-to-pay (P2P) technology segments, is one with a wide degree of choice for customers. Procurement organizations that want to prioritize absolute capability in specific functional areas (modules) or technology innovation (e.g., platform as a service) can have their pick of providers. Organizations that want integrated suite capabilities also have an array of choices, and those that want to prioritize usability and adoption have choices, too.

But if you want a broader combination of these capabilities in a single provider, the choices narrow significantly, especially at the suite level. At the intersection of these requirements is where BravoSolution comes in. This source-to-contract provider that historically has partnered for procure-to-pay capabilities — and will soon have its own P2P solution based on initially integrating and enhancing and ultimately re-platforming Puridiom, a recently acquired asset — excels compared with its peers.

For procurement organizations looking for more advanced, single-suite source-to-contract functional capability from a single provider that includes integrated spend/ procurement analytics with core sourcing, sourcing optimization and both basic and advanced supplier management capabilities, BravoSolution is likely to be a strong shortlist candidate to consider. Today, BravoSolution has limited suite competitors that can closely or fully check the box in these areas. Even fewer still are the competitors that can demonstrate the value of a suite approach by showing the benefits at the intersection of these areas rather than just the modules themselves, while still covering all the other ground it does.

This Spend Matters PRO vendor snapshot provides facts and expert analysis to help buying organizations make informed decisions about BravoSolution’s source-to-contract capability, as well as limited background on its procure-to-pay capabilities and roadmap. Part 1 of our analysis provides a company background and detailed solution overview, as well as a summary recommended fit suggestion for when organizations should consider BravoSolution in the procurement technology area. The rest of this multi-part research brief covers product strengths and weaknesses; competitor and SWOT analysis; user selection guides; and insider evaluation and selection considerations.

GEP: Vendor Snapshot (Part 3) — Competitive Analysis and Recommendations [PRO]

apinan/Adobe Stock

For those procurement organizations that have not looked at GEP’s procurement technology suite in recent years, they will likely be surprised when exploring its breadth of functionality, as well as the nuances associated with different capabilities that differentiate it from other suites. These areas include clever takes on category management, integrated suite analytics, mobile support and a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) and cloud-native solution built and hosted on the Microsoft Azure platform.

This third and final installment of this Spend Matters Vendor Snapshot covering GEP series provides an objective SWOT analysis of GEP and offers a competitive segmentation analysis and comparison. It also includes recommended shortlist candidates as alternative vendors to GEP and offers provider selection guidance. Finally, it provides summary analysis and recommendations for companies that may consider GEP’s suite or individual modules. Previous installments provide an in-depth look at GEP as a firm and its specific solutions (PART 1) and a detailed analysis of solution strengths and weaknesses and a review of the product’s user experience (PART 2).