Emptoris focus on services procurement

I spoke with Emptoris recently; their General Manager of Services Procurement, Seth Wolins, was over from the US.

They are promoting strongly their strength in this area (services procurement); following the acquisition of Click Commerce's Contract and Service Management (CSM) solutions and business last year, they believe their suite of products has competitive advantage in environments where services procurement is critical.

I was interested in their view that services procurement is just really coming to the fore now.  I suppose I’ve personally spent most of the last 20 years (consulting and line management) in the public sector, business and financial services sectors where pretty much everything is services.  But I’m sure for many manufacturing or retail based organisations, it has taken a back seat to direct materials or goods for resale.   But with the growth of outsourcing, which often converts procurement of goods into procurement of services, and the development of spend categories such as contingent (interim) labour and professional services, I can see it is a major growth area.

And I do remember the early days of major ERP systems that really did not want to cope with orders that could not be neatly expressed in units, unit prices, and fixed delivery dates!  I know they have improved since then, but clearly there are still market opportunities for firms that can offer solutions that provide spend control, visibility and information and are comfortable dealing with agency staff, consultancy spend and similar categories.

First Voice

  1. Kevin Potts:

    Peter – thanks for highlighting the growing importance ot this area of savings for your readers. You raise one of the biggest challenges companies face when deciding to go after services procurement. I.e., how do I do this in my e-procurement, ERP or contingent workforce solution? Now, I am biased, but we have many leading services procurement customers who say, “You don’t.” Why is that? What they tell us is that to be successful, your services procurement technology must be flexible to support the very different pricing structures and processes of each unique category, and existing IT techologies within many companies are not.

    For any of your readers who would like to understand more about why this is, please visit my recent blog post for a commentary. You can link to it here:

    http://emptorisinc.blogspot.com/2010/02/whats-difference-between-contingent_25.html

    Kevin Potts
    VP of Product Management and Marketing
    Emptoris
    Our blog: http://emptorisinc.blogspot.com

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