Bravo Advantage – A Look At New Procurement Technology Platform (part 2)

In part 1 of this review, a couple of weeks back, we started looking at the latest release of the BravoAdvantage source-to-pay procurement platform from BravoSolution. This was based on a demo we had recently; not a full scale “under the bonnet” investigation, but a pretty thorough overview. In the previous article we covered the sourcing, sourcing plus and contract lifecycle capabilities of the product; today we’ll look at its other aspects.

Supplier value management includes new supplier development capability, supporting the supplier innovation agenda, but also focuses on more operational matters such as corrective actions and planning.  Access can be shared with suppliers, and feedback gathered, templates and forms can be built in, with more automation included, such as fast track creation and management of score cards and scoring. It all looks very good – a response perhaps to the approach of new solution market entrants in this specific area such as Vizibl?

The heart of the platform – and the source of considerable enhancements here – is Analytics. But this goes well beyond what we tend to traditionally consider as spend analysis. New for this release, the platform comes with a supplir-centric, graphically rich analytical platform that can take data from different parts of the overall solution (P2P, contract management for instance) and pull it together into both a standard set of dashboards and bespoke outputs for particular needs.

There is also the ability to pull in external data sources, as well as neat “interactive” ideas, such as guided analytics – the user can click on an “anomaly” in the data to find out more. That is a core theme for the whole platform, which puts clear, easy to understand information in front of the user but with the capability to dig further into the data easily, intuitively and quickly.

 

The data links to the programme management capability, an area which is a definite strength for BravoSolution. The new release has both simplified the look and feel of this element, whilst adding enhancements and new features. So the analytics capability also includes the ability to check compliance to programme workflow, or to examine internal efficiencies; to ask perhaps “what percentage of our RfXs have been built from standard templates”?

The big strategic development for the firm in this release is the way in which purchase to pay functionality is built directly into the BravoAdvantage platform. This is what the purchase of US P2P firm Puridiom last year was intended to address; taking Bravo from being a strong player in strategic sourcing suites to a full source-to-pay provider, with the ability to compete for clients who want that all-encompassing offering.

So the procurement and invoicing capabilities are new to this release, and really deserve a much more detailed analysis in their own right. But based on our quick look at the eProcurement approach, it is all very intuitive and easy to use, with advanced catalogue management tools (an “Amazon-like experience”, as it is mandatory to say in these cases!) The platform has the dynamic requisitioning / approvals / ordering workflow and routing you would expect, and seems to fit seamlessly into the wider platform capabilities.

Invoicing was an area frankly we did not look at in detail; it’s not the easiest area to “demo” really. Quoting the firm – “Invoicing supports PO and non-PO based invoices, invoice reconciliation (3 way matching) and exception disposition processing as well as dynamic approval workflow rules and advanced reporting”.

I’m old and cynical enough to know that a demo in an office for an hour or so is not enough to get to the bottom of any complex technology product, but I did end up saying that the new platform “almost made me wish I was a CPO again”.  It has been based very much around that sense of giving the procurement user dashboard-based, quick and easy access to the information and capabilities they need – with the opportunity to drill much deeper into data and functionality when required.

We will see in the coming months how the new release is received, and in particular whether BravoSolution can bring clients of their spend analysis and sourcing tools onto the full system, including the P2P capability. The battle for source to pay dominance in our industry is really hotting up now – based on what we’ve seen, BravoSolution’s bid for a place on the winner’s podium looks like a strong one.

Discuss this:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *