MSDUK – Knowledge Forum Day, Overview

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It was quite a week for celebrations last week for the MSDUK. Not only did the UK membership organisation that drives inclusive procurement hold its […]

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

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In the restaurant industry, just as in manufacturing environments, chefs care about the consistent performance of their suppliers. Consistency is 90% or 100% of why most chefs and sous chefs, with authority to decide vendor relationships, work with suppliers with whom they have a proven track record based on past quality, delivery and overconfidence (all three of which are key). It’s also one of the reasons why they avoid changing suppliers that they trust — that and the extra case of tomatoes, bottle of truffle oil or ounce of saffron provided as a “thank you” for doing business with a preferred purveyor.

Thanks in part to a freemium model that provides basic no-cost capabilities to those using its order management solution in restaurants, BlueCart is rapidly adding new customers around the globe and building an ecosystem of suppliers and distributors as well. This Spend Matters PRO vendor snapshot explores BlueCart’s strengths and weaknesses in the restaurant e-procurement, procure-to-pay (P2P) and supplier network areas, providing facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations decide if they should shortlist the vendor as a potential provider. Part 1 of our analysis comprised a company and detailed solution overview and a SWOT analysis, as well as a summary recommended fit suggestion for what types of organizations should consider BlueCart. The remaining parts of this multipart series will offer a user selection guide, user interface (UI/UX) analysis, competitive alternatives and evaluation and selection considerations.

London Garden Bridge – Procurement and Funding To Be Reviewed

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So Sadiq Khan, the relatively new Mayor of London, has set up an enquiry into the procurement and funding of London's proposed Garden Bridge. This […]

Summer Album Review Part 2 – Bastille, Olsen, Hannigan, Cave and Glass Animals

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We're doing a mammoth album review this weekend - six good to very good albums yesterday, and five more good to genius today, including two […]

Best Albums Of The Summer – Part 1 – The Amazing, Black Foxxes, Blossoms etc.

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With the summer and our reports from Reading Festival, we haven't given you an album review for quite some time. So a two-parter this weekend […]

Down the Procurement Pub with RWP, Compass, Mitie and Kacy Hill

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This week, I have been in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, delivering workshops for Tejari, the BravoSolution jv in the region. The picture shows the delegates […]

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

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Is e-procurement getting specialized by industry? BlueCart, which launched in July of 2014 as an online ordering platform for small restaurant chefs, owners and buyers in the foodservice industry, is proof of the increasing specialization of different procure-to-pay (P2P) vendors and business models in targeting specific market segments. Incidentally, BlueCart is also an example of a platform-based model built from the ground up to also serve a specific ecosystem — including, in this case, the distributors and sales representatives that manage customer relationships.

Yet where BlueCart differs from the majority of non-specialized P2P and e-procurement providers — aside from offering restaurant-specific capabilities — is in its business model. BlueCart’s core requisitioning capability is free to those placing orders and it has decided that revenue will come from advertising and subscriptions to more advanced functionality (e.g., inventory management and spend analysis). This is similar to the freemium subscription models offered by big-name B2C platforms (like LinkedIn) that restaurant owners and buyers are familiar with.

Judging by its growth numbers to date, the model is working, despite the challenging and often unique dynamics of the restaurant business, including those that govern supplier and distributor relationships. This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot explores BlueCart and its unique approach to P2P and the restaurant supply chain, providing facts and expert analysis to help organizations decide if they should use the provider’s free or premium capabilities. It also provides lessons learned for e-procurement in other industries centered on the value of vertical-specific P2P capabilities. Part 1 of our analysis provides a company and detailed solution overview and a SWOT analysis, as well as a summary recommended fit suggestion for what types of organizations should consider BlueCart. The remaining parts of this multipart series will offer a user selection guide, user interface (UI/UX) analysis, competitive alternatives and evaluation and selection considerations.

Public Spend Forum Europe – Public Procurement Highlights from this Week

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Public Spend Forum Europe is dedicated to European public sector procurement, and aims to be a global community and knowledge network for public procurement and the public […]

Pricing Trends: VMS and MSP Pricing and Trends for SOW Programs [PRO]

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This fall, Spend Matters is conducting a survey of overall vendor management system (VMS) pricing trends in the market. But in the meantime, we thought it would be useful to share a joint perspective with an industry expert specifically around VMS and managed services provider (MSP) pricing and business model trends for supporting statement of work (SOW) programs. As SOWs become a larger percentage of typical services procurement expenditure in more mature procurement organizations — and as specialized technology and managed services offering continue to develop to support these programs on an end-to-end lifecycle basis — it is becoming increasingly important to think about managing these efforts in a dedicated manner. This Spend Matters PRO analysis provides insight into how procurement organizations can more effectively engage VMS and MSP providers in support of their requirements based on current pricing and business model trends,including supplier-funded models.

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

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The worlds of supplier networks, supplier management and services procurement compliance are converging — and Avetta is one of the providers at the forefront of this convergence. Avetta’s initial releases and managed service offering addressed independent contractor verification, validation and management. In some industries, accidents or errors from unqualified third-party contractors, either due to lack of training or lack of certification, can result in million-dollar lawsuits and threats to public safety, so ensuring proper qualifications and training is key.

Today, Avetta has evolved its offering to deliver an enhanced supplier management platform customized for credentialing, certification and contractor capability tracking with respect to health and safety, sustainability and other specific needs. However, unlike some niche supplier information management solutions, the solution allows the questions and profiles to be configured for each supplier based upon service(s) provided, risk profile or industry — and takes this capability down to the individual contractor level.

This final installment of our multipart Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot series covering Avetta offers a competitive analysis and comparison with other procurement technology providers. It also includes a user selection guide, user interface and user experience (UI/UX) analysis and summary evaluation and selection considerations. Part 1 and Part 2 of this PRO research series provide a company and deep dive solution overview, a SWOT analysis, product strengths and weaknesses and a recommended fit analysis for what types of organizations should consider Avetta.

7 Secrets to Creating Supply Risk Management Leverage [PRO]

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As recent events such as Hanjin Shipping’s bankruptcy, the Zika virus and the East Coast oil disruptions have demonstrated, supply risk management is more important than ever. Yet trying to implement supply risk management as a standalone program is often a tough affair for companies where the modus operandi is unprotected “supply reward management.” All too often, organizations view risk management as a glorified insurance policy instead of as a strategy integrated with the rest of the business.

This is a mistake. Risk and reward can work together to create true win-win situations for both suppliers and the business. In this Spend Matters PRO analysis, we share seven strategies that leading supply chain organizations have found to be successful.

Avetta: Vendor Snapshot (Part 2) — Product Strengths & Weaknesses [PRO]

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What would you get if you combined elements of supplier management, supplier risk management, vendor management system, talent marketplace and contractor compliance systems together, all with a specific design around skilled, often trades-based third-party and contractor management, especially in field intensive industries? We can make the case at Spend Matters that this mash up of capabilities would look something like Avetta, formerly known as PICS Auditing. Avetta solves a key problem that many companies in industries that rely heavily on contractors have: proper contractor vetting. Most supplier management providers vet the supplier, but it is not the supplier or contingent workforce provider alone that matters — it is the employee, or in some cases, the contractor, and if that employee or contractor is doing trade work, he or she has to be trained, certified and reliable.

While lacking some of the nuanced capabilities of many individual solution areas such as a VMS, Avetta makes up for any shortcomings with a purpose-built solution that is a particular fit in industries such as chemicals, construction, facilities management, oil and gas, telecommunications and related sectors. In many ways, Avetta extends the contractor credentialing paradigm of what Vendormate — which GHX acquired after as it scaled a highly successful supplier-paid business model in the healthcare matter — could have become had it remained independent, targeted multiple industries and adopted a supplier model.

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot explores Avetta’s strengths and weaknesses across its procurement technology suite, providing facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations decide if they should shortlist the vendor as a potential procure-to-pay solution. Part 1 of our analysis comprised a company and detailed solution overview and a SWOT analysis, as well as a summary recommended fit suggestion for what types of organizations should consider Avetta. The remaining parts of this multipart series will offer a user selection guide, user interface (UI/UX) analysis, competitive alternatives and evaluation and selection considerations.