PRO Content

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

This vendor snapshot series is focused on LUPR, a new entrant in the supplier management technology arena. Pronounced “looper,” but not spelled looper, as that's a media site dedicated to bite-sized entertainment news and pop culture, and procurement technology is usually not that scintillating, the name certainly caught our attention. And maybe yours.

Perhaps you’re chuckling about the various puns on the name LUPR (e.g., that supplier threw me for a …). But once you get past the name — which we believe positively calls out and reinforces the need for closed loop supplier and customer engagement — it becomes clear that LUPR is addressing a number of areas that most procurement organizations have not yet gotten around to automating through technology outside Excel, primarily centered on supplier quality and supplier development in a direct materials context.

Built on the Salesforce platform, LUPR has two different solutions: a buyer platform and a supplier platform, which is free for suppliers to use. This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot explores LUPR’s strengths and weaknesses, providing facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations decide whether they should consider the provider. Part 1 of our analysis provided a company and detailed solution overview and a recommend fit list of criteria for firms considering LUPR. The third part of this series will offer a SWOT analysis, user selection guide, competitive alternatives, and additional evaluation and selection considerations.

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

While not all procurement gropus have adopted the “supplier” flavor of customer lifecycle management — that is, supplier relationship management (SRM) — an increasing number of organizations are taking the plunge and purchasing supplier management capabilities, either from standalone providers or as part of integrated suites — and sometimes both. The SRM sector is a crowded one, and Spend Matters has covered many of its newest entrants. From specialized initiative management providers to on-boarding and master data management (MDM) specialists and spend-specific vendors (e.g., manufacturing, services) there is no shortage of solutions to choose from, let alone individual technology providers.

One of these new entrants, LUPR, was co-founded by Sean Harley, a former colleague of one of the authors of this brief. (Harley and Jason Busch worked together at FreeMarkets). The name LUPR is a play on words, as one of the goals of the firm is to close the loop between buyers and suppliers with relevant data to help both parties sustain relationships, improve quality levels, resolve performance issues and collaborate on innovation. LUPR is not yet a full-featured supplier information management solution, but it does go deep in specific supplier management areas and excels in meeting a range of initiative-based requirements for manufacturers.

But in such a crowded market, the question remains: Is LUPR different enough to succeed? Maybe.

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot provides facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations make informed decisions about LUPR and whether its technology and solution capabilities are a fit for their needs. 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 LUPR in the supplier management and quality management areas. The remaining parts of this research brief will cover product strengths and weaknesses, competitor and SWOT analyses, and insider evaluation and selection considerations.

Sourcing Head-to-Head Technology Evaluation and Comparison: Coupa and Jaggaer (BravoSolution) [PRO]

When it comes to functional capability, BravoSolution (now Jaggaer) and Coupa are the two providers to beat.

Jaggaer’s sourcing strengths should come as no surprise to those familiar with its history. Coupa’s rapid e-sourcing ascent, however, will surprise many. It went from laggard to leader in the sourcing technology sector when the ink dried on its agreement to acquire Trade Extensions. Regardless, both providers excel on a functional basis and lead in many of the buying personas for our Q4 2017 SolutionMap.

But are they the right fit for your organization?

Join us as we put on the gloves and pit Coupa and Jaggaer “head-to-head” in the Spend Matters evaluation ring. We’ll start by providing a technology summary comparative rating of each provider and then explore business requirements and scenarios, calling out the winner in each match up. If you’re considering either vendor or other sourcing competitors, look no further for an evaluation and comparison you can’t get anywhere else. This is the first in a series of “head-to-head” evaluations based on our SolutionMap data, and more matchups will follow as additional providers step into the ring and seats to these SolutionMap subscriber-specific events become available (in addition to our usual vendor deep dives on Spend Matters PRO, of course). Stay tuned!

E-Procurement 2018 Trends and Forecast (Part 1: Customers Adoption and Priorities) [PRO]

e-procurement market outlook

You know what they say about predictions? They’re about as common as opinions: everyone has one. This Spend Matters PRO series walks through the trends we are seeing unfold in the market today based on our technology analysis and practitioner research and engagement. So let’s not predict; let’s share and analyze.

Today, we start our 2018 procurement technology trend and forecast series, beginning with customer adoption trends and priorities within the e-procurement market. We’ll explore what customers are valuing most from a selection and deployment perspective in 2018, as well as early trends that are sprouting.

In the second installment of this series, we’ll offer insight into e-procurement technology provider trends and strategies of note, and ask whether these are a good thing for customers (and if not, our recommendations for customers to mitigate risks). We’ll also share our comparative market growth (and sizing) estimates for 2018 compared with last year.

Program Management: The Missing Link in Procurement Technology Modules and Suites (Part 2 — Functional Building Blocks) [PRO]

Program management is an integral component of source-to-pay (S2P) activities that is no longer optional for high-performing procurement organizations. In short, program management is a set of processes that manage specific projects and broader project portfolios that focus on higher-level processes and composite processes that cross the traditional linear flow of sourcing, contracting, purchasing and payments. These programs can be ancillary to core processes (e.g., M&A-related activities or globalization efforts) or transformational in nature to implement enterprise-level programs (e.g., working capital programs, risk programs, sustainability programs, digital programs, ERP upgrade programs, Lean/Six Sigma programs).

The problem is that, generally, program management is poorly automated and stovepiped within functions or subfunctions. Within procurement, there may be savings tracking for strategic sourcing processes displayed in a "CPO dashboard” but not much visibility and collaboration beyond that. This is a problem because as procurement is collaborating with stakeholders on ever broader processes and reaching deeper into stakeholder processes, supplier processes and external customer processes, there needs to be a cross-functional management capability. The emergence of collaboration tools like Slack and others have shown the enterprise desire to manage fast-paced mobile communication on the ground that is tied back to strategic objectives.

This Spend Matters PRO series defines what effective program management capabilities are from a design, platform and functional perspective that puts the user first. We explore both what represents best-in-class program management components today, what users should expect tomorrow and what we hope technology providers have on their roadmaps to build. We also explore some solution building blocks for effective program management, including best-of-breed project management, goal management, program auditing/audit trails and prepackaged initiative enablement. (Don’t forget to read Part 1 of this series to first understand the design principles on which effective program management technology is based.)

How Procurement Can Contribute to Platform Sourcing Initiatives: There Are More Ways Than One (Part 2) [PRO]

As we observed in the Part 1 of this Spend Matters PRO series, five years ago, “online work/services platforms were off the radar for large enterprises and most certainly off the radar for all but a few CW/S procurement organizations. But much has changed since then. Not only has awareness increased significantly but an increasing number of enterprises have piloted or have moved further up the adoption curve. Moreover, traditional staffing-related providers (e.g., MSPs, VMS) have begun to incorporate platform sourcing into their services and technology solution models, creating another way for enterprises to move along an adoption path.

We argued that, in this context, it was not only the time for procurement functions to take platform sourcing initiatives seriously but also to participate in positive ways. To do that, we argued that a different kind of mindset would be required: one where procurement could very well be a member of a team of equals that all had contributions to make to the initiative. In addition, by understanding that most procurement functions may not have the level of resources and maturity to assume a full-time leadership role, we showed how those procurement functions could participate in other ways, allowing them to both move up the learning curve and have an increasingly positive impact on the initiatives.

In Part 2 of this series, we turn our focus to how CW/S procurement can leverage its functional expertise and skills to make specific, concrete contributions to the advancement and success of direct sourcing initiatives. We also discuss how CW/S procurement may change over time to be much better aligned to supporting enterprise needs for new, increasingly digitally enabled sources and forms of work and services beyond the current focus on traditional contingent workforce and SOW management.

How Procurement Can Participate in Platform Sourcing Initiatives: There Are More Ways Than One (Part 1) [PRO]

Today, most contingent workforce and services (CW/S) procurement practitioners have some awareness of — or even some level of interest in — online work/service platforms (e.g., online freelancer marketplaces, contest/challenge crowd platforms, digital direct sourcing solutions). While the integration of these platforms into enterprise systems and processes is still a work in progress, many expect that they will increasingly become an important set of sourcing options in the years to come.

CW/S procurement, though typically time and resource constrained, cannot ignore or rationalize away these developments. On the contrary, the enterprise requires procurement’s involvement and contributions to pursue these new options successfully. But the question of how, when, where and to what extent procurement can or should participate in these new developments can be vexing questions. No doubt, some long-standing assumptions, philosophies and approaches to CW/S procurement may not align with these new sourcing options and opportunities, and adjustments will thus be required. It will also be necessary for procurement to learn about a whole new area of platform-based sourcing and a new landscape of platform suppliers.

In this two-part PRO series, we provide a focus, framework and suggestions to assist CW/S procurement organizations in understanding various options and opportunities for participating in online work and services platform developments/initiatives in their respective enterprises. In Part 1, we focus on (a) how the procurement approach to platform sourcing is different from typical contingent workforce program management and (b) what participation options (roles/orientations) are available to procurement organizations depending upon their state of maturity and resource availability. In Part 2, we discuss a range of procurement functional disciplines that are, with appropriate modification, highly applicable in platform sourcing scenarios. In addition to indicating where procurement can concretely contribute expertise, we also discuss how procurement’s role may change overtime. And, finally, we provide a set of key takeaways from this series.

Program Management: The Missing Link in Procurement Technology Modules and Suites (Part 1 — Design Building Blocks) [PRO]

ux

This Spend Matters PRO series provides insight into what constitutes effective program management capabilities from design, platform and functional perspectives. We explore both what represents best-in-class program management components today and what users should expect tomorrow, including what we hope technology providers have on their roadmaps to build.

Part 1 of this series provides insight into the platform-level building blocks of effective program management capability, exploring user design as a central consideration of an effective system. User experience is critical to the acceptance and adoption of any source-to-pay (S2P) module and suite. Why? Without adoption and acceptance, there are no benefits, and the promised ROI will never materialize if the solution is not adopted by those that need to use it for the platform to work.

But maximizing user adoption is easier said than done. Users want a good experience when interacting with procurement technology. They expect not only the intuitiveness and ease of use of modern web-based platforms that they use to research products and buy in their everyday lives but also an ease of use that actually makes their job easier and more efficient. This is not what one typically achieved from an S2P platform designed in the ERP era, where green-screen workflows were often adapted as is to the GUI interface that came native with the advent of the world wide web.

This is one reason effective program management was rarely adopted, even when featured, in earlier-generation procurement technology solutions. And it’s why we’re going to tackle this subject first as our series begins.

Comparing Jaggaer and BravoSolution: Contract Lifecycle Management [PRO]

contract

Within the procurement technology suite market, acquired contract management solutions have a history of aging more like a Zinfandel or Beaujolais and less like a Cabernet or Merlot. But the greater problem is not how well the grape (or clause library) can stand the test of time; it’s that the best elements of CLM modules do not necessarily “blend” as well as other capabilities in a procurement suite that are easier to integrate or replatform.

One of the challenges is that the requirements to effectively tackle specialized CLM components from a development and innovation standpoint are specific to CLM. Said another way, the economies of scale in development are not the same as say delivering an integrated sourcing and supplier management capability. Another major challenge is that best-of-breed CLM vendors have innovated far more rapidly in recent years by introducing new capabilities.

Within this context, BravoSolution and Jaggaer both present somewhat average CLM capabilities, based on our Q4 2017 SolutionMap results. They are certainly not bad, but neither solution delivers the same capabilities as leading best-of-breed vendors, nor do they stir our enthusiasm the way other areas of each of the providers' suites do.

In this research brief, we answer the following questions:

  • Comparatively, how does each respective CLM module stack up on a capability basis?
  • What are the functional strengths of each supplier management module “under the surface”?
  • What are the “best fit” SolutionMap personas for each CLM module?
  • Who are alternative CLM providers?
  • What are disruptive forces in the CLM market that could affect both providers?
  • Is there a disadvantage to “going non-suite” in the CLM area?
This Spend Matters PRO brief is based on the following inputs: Q4 2017 SolutionMap datasets (analyst scoring) based on our SolutionMap methodology, demonstration notes and Spend Matters PRO research on alternative suppliers (Vendor Snapshots).

Comparing Jaggaer and BravoSolution: Supplier Management [PRO]

As Spend Matters defines it in terms of SolutionMap functional requirements, supplier management is a catch-all for a range of underlying capabilities. Said another way, it is not “single” supply market. Supplier management solutions combine varying depths of underlying technical capabilities with single or multi-initiative functional support capabilities. No one vendor is great at all of it — not even close — even if there are significant advantages to coupling supplier management with other modules in an integrated suite.

BravoSolution, Jaggaer and Jaggaer Direct each bring different capabilities to the supplier management equation that can make the individual modules a better fit for certain organizations and industries than others. It can also make comparing them (either directly or with others) confusing for those who are somewhat new to all of the areas that supplier management technologies support and enable.

In this research brief, we will answer the following questions:

  • Comparatively, how does each respective supplier management module stack up on a capability basis?
  • What are the functional strengths of each supplier management module “under the surface”?
  • What are the “best fit” SolutionMap personas for each supplier management module?
  • Who are alternative supplier management providers?
  • What are disruptive forces in the supplier management market (e.g., artificial intelligence, low-cost solutions) that could affect both providers?
  • Is there a disadvantage to “going non-suite” in the supplier management area?
This Spend Matters PRO brief is based on the following inputs: Q4 2017 SolutionMap datasets (analyst scoring) based on our SolutionMap methodology, demonstration notes and Spend Matters PRO research on alternative suppliers (Vendor Snapshots).

Comparing Jaggaer and BravoSolution: Sourcing [PRO]

The combination of Jaggaer and BravoSolution certainly brings together the broadest — and in nearly all areas the deepest — sourcing technology capabilities in the market today. This includes functionally best-in-class integrated sourcing, analytics, category and supplier management capability on the BravoSolution side, as well as Jaggaer ASO, one of the top-performing sourcing optimization solutions. Finally, even though much of the North American market is blissfully unaware of the manufacturing procurement capabilities of Jaggaer Direct, this solution tops the functional charts in specialized capabilities and adds to the unique sourcing footprint Jaggaer will have when the ink is dry on the transaction.

In this research brief, we will answer the following questions:

  • How does each respective sourcing module compare on a capability basis?
  • What are the functional strengths of each sourcing module under the surface?
  • What are the “best fit” SolutionMap personas for each sourcing module?
  • Who are alternative sourcing providers?
  • What are disruptive forces in the sourcing market (e.g., artificial intelligence, low-cost solutions) that could affect both providers?
  • Is there a disadvantage to “going non-suite” in the sourcing area?
This Spend Matters PRO brief is based on the following inputs: Q4 SolutionMap datasets (analyst scoring) based on our SolutionMap methodology, demonstration notes and Spend Matters PRO research on alternative suppliers (Vendor Snapshots).

20 Questions to Ask Stakeholders Before Implementing Your New Procurement System [PRO]

Implementing new procurement technology is like implementing anything. There is a ton of change management involved, and if you don't get stakeholder input upfront, you are asking for trouble. This is especially true with modern procurement systems that can enable new practices on process redesigns that may be disruptive to the status quo. So, you need to get input from a myriad of stakeholders:

  • C-level versus lowest-level end users
  • Procurement users versus internal stakeholders and supplier stakeholders
  • Functional partners such as IT and finance who are “special” stakeholders because they are both spend owners and have a key role in the overall implementation
  • Visionary stakeholders looking to drive change versus stakeholders just wanting to keep their jobs and keeping efforts to a minimum
But what questions should you ask your stakeholders? Fear not. We have written a list of 20 key questions for you to consider.

You may be in procurement. Or you may be in IT. Or you can be a technology provider or consultant. Regardless, these 20 questions will help you tease out key requirements, intelligence and downstream barriers that you want to identify as early as possible. Just as spend influence is best done as early as possible, spend management transformation is also best informed as early as possible.