The Most Useless Commonly Used Procurement KPIs – Another Candidate

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We had a number of excellent comments on our “worst measures used for procurement” article both here and on Twitter. My next one that I […]

IT Supply Chain Developments and Their Impact on Buying Decisions

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Al Nagar, Head of Benchmarking, KnowledgeBus, Mercato Solutions, continues his series of monthly advisory pieces sharing recent movements and impactors within key IT product categories, to keep you up to date with the […]

Great British Bake-Off Leaves the BBC – Negotiation Strategies and Lessons

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We have more fascinating procurement and negotiation lessons from the wider world, as the BBC lose the rights to show the Great British Bake-Off (GBBO) […]

Down the Procurement Pub with Public Spend Forum, BravoSolution, Tungsten and Twenty-One Pilots

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We've had quite a week. We held the first kick-off meeting of the Public Spend Forum Exchange, with PSF founder Raj Sharma flying in from […]

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 […]

Getting OCD about OCDS

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We welcome this guest post from Kelvin Prescott, Information Director at Innopsis, the public sector tech trade association that is championing better procurement practices between the […]

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

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Procure-to-pay (P2P) technology providers do not always fit cleanly inside a single box or comparative two-by-two matrix. The solution requirements that support shopping, tactical sourcing, transactional buying, invoicing and related supplier management activities can vary materially based on the underlying type of organization and categories they are designed to support. Procurement organizations can extend generic P2P solutions like Ariba and Coupa to many industries and categories. But specialist vendors can still differentiate in certain areas, even building a business case to sit alongside big name P2P solutions for the same customer.

Claritum is one such specialist. The firm launched in 2002 with an initial focus on supporting transactional procurement needs for print and marketing services. Over time, it built from this foundation to focus its P2P solution efforts on supporting complex purchases and low-volume spend areas that fall directly in the center of a Kraljic matrix rather than fitting nicely into one of the four quadrants — not to mention enabling spend that traditionally goes “unmanaged,” at least from an end-to-end definitional perspective.

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot explores Claritum and its unique approach to transactional procurement, including strengths and weaknesses in the P2P technology market, providing facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations decide if they should shortlist the vendor. 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 Claritum. 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.

Deloitte’s Global Sourcing Insights (GSI) — From Best Shoring to Best Sourcing [PRO]

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In Part 1 of this analysis, we discussed the need for a truly strategic supply chain sourcing platform built on a supply network design model rather than just the typical BOM-based sourcing workflows and low-level commodity sourcing efforts that use “empty” e-RFX tools. We detailed the full requirements for such a supply network-based platform in a four-part series (see related articles below), but in Part 4, one of the trends highlighted included a pivot from such empty apps to content-enabled apps increasingly provided by large service providers that use cloud-based analytics and intelligence platforms as a way to deliver continuous insight and value. In that piece, we highlighted Deloitte’s Global Sourcing Insights (GSI) solution as a prime example:

GSI is a strategic sourcing and extended supply network design workbench that allows clients to explore high-level sourcing strategies by uploading their supply network configuration and then performing what-if and predictive scenarios in the tool that is pre-integrated with regional and country-specific cost and risk data. It is truly the harbinger of things to come with consulting organizations that need to survive and thrive by productizing their IP.

Many organizations strive to perform “best shoring” to optimally determine what regions to source from. Deloitte’s GSI solution is the only solution I have ever seen that is so well suited to best shoring, especially in a retail-oriented supply chain. It not only helps optimize the regions that you shore (source) from but also drives down to the cost elements and sub-regions that help you tailor their supplier-level sourcing execution activities that perform cost, risk and capability discovery and then subsequent “risk-adjusted cost” analysis against a “benchmark supply chain” of your peers (and if you load up your own manufacturing plants as suppliers, you can also do make vs. buy analysis).

Phew, that’s a mouthful!

Since the platform is pre-loaded with all sorts of external content and benchmarking data on costs, spend and risk, you can test whether the supply chain that you’ve built over the years still holds untapped opportunities. It basically is like a risk-adjusted should-cost analysis in a box. That’s why it’s more of a “best sourcing” tool than a simple “best shoring” analysis. We spend a lot of time go through it and the bottom line is that it’s pretty badass — and that it has some implications far beyond the consulting ecosystem and how it’ll impact firms that sell app suites, niche apps, analytics, market intelligence (apps/services), “networks”, BPO and the like.

In this Spend Matters PRO analysis, we’ll look under the covers at an offering we feel is on the vanguard of an emerging solution model in sourcing and supply chain. If you are a practitioner who subscribes to Spend Matters Plus and are interested in this content, please drop us a line and we’ll send you a copy.

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

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While it is possible to label SciQuest as a procurement technology suite vendor (source-to-pay, source-to-contract and procure-to-pay), the reality is that SciQuest competes in multiple, infrequently overlapping segments of the procurement technology market. To date, SciQuest has generally had different sets of customers, prospects and different competitors for its core P2P product, primarily serving the higher education, research and public sector verticals through sourcing optimization, spend/supply analytics and contract lifecycle management solutions. This stands in contrast to many of its peers, which have generally chosen to focus on fewer market segments rather than more.

This final installment of our multipart Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot series covering SciQuest offers a competitive analysis and comparison with other procurement technology providers (suite and otherwise). 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 SciQuest.

Top 50 Supplier Innovation Case Studies: Nos. 21-30, IBM to Nokia [Plus +]

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This is the third 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 and some key takeaway lessons. In this installment, we’ll look at IBM, Kraft, L’Oreal, Mars, NOKIA and more.

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

SciQuest

SciQuest is arguably the most challenging procurement technology suite vendor to compare directly to the competition. This perhaps explains why it tends to surface less in competitive procure-to-pay (P2P) or source-to-pay (S2P) suite opportunities outside of its traditional key vertical sectors for transactional procurement (e.g., higher education, laboratory/research, life sciences, public sector). From a comparative perspective, SciQuest causes us to scratch our heads, often with delight, but occasionally with frustration, given how far it has come from a suite and modular perspective and the potential it has in the market that it has yet to realize.

But what gets us most excited about SciQuest’s procurement technology capabilities and what are our quibbles? This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot explores SciQuest’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 S2P, P2P, source-to-contract (S2C) or modular, standalone solution 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 SciQuest. 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.

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

SciQuest

Three members of the Spend Matters team spent the start of last week at SciQuest’s customer conference in Nashville, Tennessee. The event, coming just shortly after Accel-KKR closed its acquisition of SciQuest, featured a mix of customers, prospects and partners from several different industries and market sectors. Many procurement organizations we spoke to at the event are currently using SciQuest in select areas rather than the full suite. Others, especially in SciQuest’s core historic markets of higher education and government, are using multiple modules and, in certain cases, the broader suite to support procurement requirements. We also had to a chance to spend a number of hours in the demonstration center looking at SciQuest’s latest 16.2 release in detail.

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot explores SciQuest’s strengths and weaknesses in the source-to-pay (S2P) suite market, providing facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations decide if they should shortlist the vendor. 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 SciQuest. 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.