Volkswagen Supplier Dispute – Supply Chain “Good Practice” May Have Contributed To Problems

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We wrote yesterday about the dispute between Volkswagen and two of its key suppliers which has led to production of Golf cars being suspended for […]

Strategic Supplier Management Is Procurement’s Next Innovation Frontier

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We are delighted to post this article from guest author Daniel Ball, director at eProcurement specialist, Wax Digital. Better supplier relationship management (SRM) has always been […]

Statess (State of Flux): Vendor Snapshot (Part 1) — Background & Solution Overview [PRO]

Oracle

Unlike e-procurement and electronic invoicing, the market for supplier management technology is inherently complicated for two reasons. First, the range of use cases organizations can apply are broad, and second, the vendors serving the market are diverse, often with significantly different value propositions when compared with each other. There are different ways to segment the supplier management market and we would encourage Spend Matters subscribers to take the time to understand the advantages of using technology to support different initiatives, from accounts payable-based supplier onboarding to enabling supplier diversity programs to strategic supplier development.

One provider that began serving the market focused on strategic supplier development is State of Flux, which positions its applications division as a supplier relationship management (SRM) technology provider. Founded in 2004, State of Flux saw an opportunity from its consulting work to develop a solution focused on strategic SRM that would eventually become known as Statess. What started as a simple tool for performance and (corrective) action planning has grown into a full-fledged SRM solution that offers supplier information management (SIM), performance management, risk management, governance and relationship management, CSR (corporate social responsibility), contract compliance and innovation management.

This Spend Matters PRO vendor snapshot explores Statess’ strengths and weaknesses in the supplier management market, 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 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 Statess. 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.

The Olympics – Money Always Matters, in Procurement as Well as Sport

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In the UK, the Olympics has been a welcome diversion from the pressures of Brexit, a collapsed opposition Labour Party, a new Prime Minister and […]

Volkswagen Supplier Dispute – Production Halted, VW Sends in the Bailiffs

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The current dispute involving Volkswagen and two of its key suppliers looks like going down in the annals of procurement and supplier relationship management history, […]

Top 50 Supplier Innovation Case Studies: Nos. 11-19, Electrolux to Honda [Plus +]

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This is the second installment of our supplier innovation case study series where we help answer the question, “What are other procurement organizations doing in supplier innovation”? We’ve curated a “Top 50” list of some of the best case studies highlighting supplier innovation from a select group of major firms. We looked at the innovations in question, the results, the related suppliers (if disclosed), and some key takeaway lessons. In Part One, we highlighted how Apple and TSMC teamed up to provide more cutting-edge technology in the iPhone; how Campbell Soup Company lightened their shipment load; and how Dell leverages an all-important C-word, communication, to learn directly from their customers how to best work with suppliers. In this installment, we’ll look at Electrolux, Eli Lilly, Ford, General Mills, Honda and more.

Ariba’s Alex Atzberger and Jason Busch on the ‘Golden Age of Procurement’

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Over on our sister Spend Matters US site, there is an interesting two-part discussion between Jason Busch, Spend Matters founder, and Alex Atzberger, SAP Ariba […]

Down the Procurement Pub with Tejari, Sunderland, the Olympics, RBS and The Beach

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Not too many pub trips to write about this week so let’s look forward to our next Real World Procurement events with BravoSolution in the […]

Top 50 Supplier Innovation Case Studies: Nos. 1-10, Apple Inc. to Diageo [Plus +]

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Here at Spend Matters, we try to provide procurement practitioners with not only some of the latest insights, analysis, and opinions on everything ‘buy-side’, but also with some time-saving strategies, techniques, and tools they can use to increase efficiency and add more value. One of the questions we often get from more advanced procurement organizations is “what are other procurement organizations doing in [more strategic areas such as] supplier innovation”? For those of you who have the same question (and related sub-questions), but don’t have the money to pay for a high-end peer networking group, we’ve decided to do some legwork for you and curate a “Top 50” list of some of the best case studies highlighting supplier innovation from a select group of major firms (and not just P&G!). We broke down each case study by firm, the supplier(s) at play, the innovation in question, the summarized results of the study, and key takeaway lessons. Each Plus installment in the series spotlights case studies on 10 firms, and in our kickoff we look at Apple, Boeing, Campbell Soup, Dell and more. Let’s begin...

Keelvar: Vendor Snapshot (Part 3) — Summary & Competitive Analysis [PRO]

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When Keelvar launched, in 2012, the sourcing optimization technology provider competed in a sector with several providers offering more similar than different capabilities. At the time, sourcing optimization competitors included nearly every vendor with an e-sourcing tool and a solver — BravoSolution (VerticalNet originally), SciQuest (CombineNet originally), Determine (Iasta originally), IBM (Emptoris originally). But in 2016, Keelvar's most direct competitor that is focusing similar percentage investment levels in sourcing optimization as a percentage of overall R&D is Trade Extensions. This final installment of our multipart Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot series covering Keelvar offers a competitive analysis and comparison with other e-sourcing 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 Keelvar.

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

Global Risk Management Solutions

From its roots in Irish mathematical academia, Keelvar has evolved in less than five years since launching to become the most user-friendly sourcing optimization solution in the market. It offers an advanced sourcing technology that a typical procurement team member can take full advantage of with minimal training and no special quantitative or analytical skillsets. In expanding the potential universe of advanced sourcing applications, Keelvar has brought a better approach to category sourcing and events that procurement would have previously negotiated in a manner that cost them potential implementable savings (and a chance to build better relationships with both internal stakeholders and suppliers).

Today, Keelvar regularly handles events with thousands of line items (and lanes, in the case of transportation). It also enables data gathering and scenario analysis in real time, just like its competitors. Plus, it now supports more than 40 of the most common constraints (e.g., split of business) that procurement organizations would apply to sourcing processes that take advantage of capabilities to optimize award decisions. More recently, Keelvar has expanded beyond the initial traction it built in public sector to retail, CPG and transportation companies, and is now even serving some Fortune 500 and Global 2000 manufacturers.

This Spend Matters PRO vendor snapshot explores Keelvar’s strengths and weaknesses in the e-sourcing and sourcing optimization areas, providing facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations decide if they should shortlist Keelvar as a potential provider to replacement or use alongside other sourcing technologies. (Incidentally, Spend Matters research shows that Fortune 500 companies typically use at least three different sourcing solutions.) 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 Keelvar. The remaining parts of this multi-part series will offer a user selection guide, user interface (UI/UX) analysis, competitive alternatives and evaluation and selection considerations.

Keelvar: Vendor Snapshot (Part 1) — Background & Solution Overview [PRO]

FM Global Resilience Index

The capability of most e-sourcing suites has evolved relatively slowly compared with other procurement technology areas in the past decade. Yet there is one exception to this rule: sourcing optimization or, as some label it, “advanced sourcing.” On the supplier side, these technologies encourage vendor creativity in bid responses and even allow alternative bids. For procurement, they enable the application of flexible constraints (not just weights) against supplier responses to create optimal bid award decisions that factor into account price and non-price factors.

While advanced sourcing technologies got their start supporting logistics procurement events across thousands of lanes, they have now evolved to support just about any strategic category of spend where a direct competition route that encourages apples-to-apples bids in a reverse auction manner will likely not yield the best result. Sourcing optimization solutions today have supported some of the largest and most complex sourcing events ever conducted — in some cases, single events spanning multiple tiers of the supply chain with more than $1 billion in expenditure being awarded. Yet overall, adoption has lagged the market for general-purpose e-sourcing tools and suites.

Keelvar, a four-year-old firm that started as a spinout from a research lab at a university, is hoping to change this. Incidentally, CombineNet (now SciQuest) and Trade Extensions, two additional providers in this sector, also share similar academic roots. Keelvar's primary differentiation is that, unlike the majority of sourcing optimization software providers, it realized from day one that the solution wasn't a better optimization module, it was a better sourcing platform where ease of use was the most important driver of adoption. This Spend Matters PRO vendor snapshot provides a history and overview of Keelvar’s sourcing technology. This multi-part research brief comprises a company and solution overview, company-level SWOT analysis, product strengths and weaknesses, competitive alternatives, a user selection guide and insider evaluation and selection considerations.