PRO Review: OB10, Cortera, Tradeshift, and Private Equity and Procurement

This week on Spend Matters PRO, we hit technology hard, from finalizing our thoughts on our ongoing OB10 series (Click for Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3) to introducing Cortera's new Purchase Insights offering and completing our series on Tradeshift. We also continue to dabble in the realm of private equity and procurement.

An OB10 Update: Summary Analysis, Prospect/Customer Recommendations and Competitive Dynamics -- In looking at the latest from OB10, it seems that the network and e-invoicing connectivity/enablement provider is caught in an interesting middle ground between providers that have taken an entirely technology-centric approach to buyer/supplier connectivity (e.g., TradeShift) and those whose primary business is supporting and automating manual AP processes (e.g., BrainWare, Kofax). The closest analogous vendor/network provider to OB10 is certainly Ariba, but Ariba is completely different in goal and orientation (even if Ariba has OB10 directly in their crosshairs, as we referenced earlier in this series).

Cortera – Looking at Supply Chain Risk Through the A/R Lens -- Today, August 14, Cortera (formerly eCredit, but quite different these days) opens the doors to their Purchase Insights offering. Cortera has built critical mass among their subscribers and are now able to offer a new risk product drawing on $1.6 trillion in annual B2B spend data assembled from their 5,000+ corporate members reporting on their outstanding accounts receivables.

Private Equity and Procurement: Building a Lasting Savings Foundation Requires Getting Operational (Part 3) -- For private equity firms, the final frontier of procurement and savings influence is often direct materials. Ironically, smaller PE firms with middle market investments are more likely, based on our research and experience, to become involved in making recommendations around sourcing in the following types of direct materials categories: metals (ferrous, non-ferrous, semi-finished, finished, parts, etc.), plastics/resin, packaging, electronics (PCBs, PCBAs, etc.). Because most private equity MDs are very distant from understanding the worlds of manufacturing and design/engineering, few are willing to dive in and consider recommendations to drive savings and risk reduction opportunities in areas that can truly impact production operations and the top line.

TradeShift's Supplier Enablement Strategy for E-Invoicing – Should Ariba and OB10 Be Worried? (Part 4) -- Call us nefarious here at Spend Matters PRO, but the little process we described in Part 3 of this series leveraging TradeShift and Fast Track as a workaround to the Ariba supplier network even for SaaS P2P instances (to minimize dollar volume based supplier fees) could save companies an absolute fortune in supplier fees. After all, suppliers will almost always find creative ways of using chargebacks through higher unit prices over time, especially in the case of their high dollar value invoice suppliers that receive lesser benefit from network-based automation compared with suppliers transacting more frequently with lower dollar volumes.

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- Sheena Moore

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