An Innocent Abroad: The Wild World of Data Enrichment Outside the US

In the US, supplier data enrichment as part of general spend analysis and supplier management is a largely cut and dried market. A range of providers offer content for the basics – financial / company enrichment, parent/child enrichment/validation, supplier diversity, etc.  And others, including some of the providers offering data in the “basic” area, offer supply risk enrichment information as well, based in part – albeit indirectly – on the credit risk profile of suppliers.  Still others offer risk enrichment based on global trade information and import/export trends that consider changes in shipping/container volume over time.  All of this information is generally available for suppliers throughout the US and often all of North America.

In Europe, however, as it is in much of the rest of the world, the market for supplier enrichment content is much more fragmented. In addition to content providers, some receivables insurance providers also offer enrichment information (focused on supply risk) as well.  Yet the challenge remains that even within Europe - and certainly Asia - it is difficult to go to a single source, let alone half a dozen, for all the information you can get  from a single supplier (or a small number of suppliers) in the US.  Sure, certain providers may claim to have universal regional vendor coverage.  But do your own homework and I suspect you’ll come to a similar conclusion as I have.

Despite this fragmentation, content often gets short shrift in the overall spend analysis and supplier management equations.  I believe this is a mistake, especially in Europe, as there is no such thing as commoditization in the supplier enrichment data market.  If you’re curious to learn more about the basics on the subject, you can download our paper on the subject: Supply Risk Management – Segmenting the Technology and Content Landscape and Choosing the Right Category of Solutions. When it comes to selecting content enrichment providers, the paper suggests that is important to keep in mind a number of factors including:

·      Enrichment (and software) providers that resell third-party content may have more attractive pricing than going directly to the originator

·      The pricing structure can change materially based on one-time enrichment costs relative to real-time, weekly, monthly or quarterly refreshes of the same information

·      Many companies might already be paying for company risk data elsewhere in a business; investigate whether it is possible to piggyback off of existing contracts

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