eProcurement Troubles: Finding Approved Suppliers That Don’t Seem to Exist (Part 3)

This post is based on content contained in the Spend Matters Compass series paper: The Definitive Guide to Conflict Minerals Compliance for Manufacturers: An A–Z Guide to Conflict Minerals and Semi-Finished Metals. The paper, authored by Spend Matters Chief Research Officer Pierre Mitchell and Jason Busch, is available for free download in our Spend Matters research library.

There are many ways to go about overcoming the vanishing supplier problem in P2P systems for either core or non-core spending areas, though of course it would great if there were a “quick source” marketplace.

In certain cases, there is. “Tail-spend” provider Fedbid is moving into the private sector (from previously serving the public sector only), although their approaches currently lack direct integration into eProcurement and sourcing systems. Some procurement BPOs could do it too – Procurian and Proxima, for example, already enable this for larger capital-type expenditures but haven’t really brought it to the mass market. The India-based BPOs and/or market intelligence firms also could potentially enter into this space.

But ultimately, imagine sending a third party your requirements through a single eProcurement front-end. Then in turn, this third-party would respond with options based on timeline, depth, opportunity, gain-share model, etc. Ideally, this essentially would amount to a third- party buying desk in the cloud with no minimum commitments. Procurement’s stakeholders want this from procurement, right? So, why wouldn’t you want the same for yourself, and embed that new capability as YOUR new capability? Hint to providers: there’s a largely unmet need in the market for this today!

And simply handing the problem off to a third-party or BPO type model, before understanding how the right processes and systems should first tie in, is not necessarily the right answer. The ultimate solution here for most companies will likely encompass a hybrid approach that spans the right set of enabling eProcurement tools, integrated supplier management systems, third-party marketplaces, third-party content/services and potentially, outsourcing support for tactical buying.

Download Part 1 and Part 2 of this post here.  Or download the full paper, The Definitive Guide to Conflict Minerals Compliance for Manufacturers: An A–Z Guide to Conflict Minerals and Semi-Finished Metals, in our research library immediately.

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