Trade Extensions Joins Spend Matters as an Associate Sponsor

Here at Spend Matters, we admit to favoring certain areas of procurement technology in our coverage over others. Sourcing is one of these, owing to my own roots in the profession (five years at FreeMarkets before launching this site). Yet sourcing technology has come such a long way in this time. And one of the absolute technical and functional leaders in the space is one that our North American readers may not be as familiar with, compared with others in the sector. This provider, our latest Associate Sponsor, is Trade Extensions.

If you were to list out the 10 most sophisticated sourcing events – based on absolute quantities of data collection, charter/complexity of the effort, etc. – that have taken place in the profession in the past few years, Trade Extensions would likely grab the most spots on the list of any vendor. Yet their clients tend to be extremely secretive about what they’re doing with the product in terms of optimization, scenario analysis, and constraint, owing to the competitive advantage they perceive that it brings them (e.g., combining demand planning and forecasting, product design considerations, inventory, working capital, supply network design, and sourcing together into a single massive event/project).

It’s not surprising that Trade Extensions clients include some of the most sophisticated in their industries. P&G, Cargill, Kimberly Clark, Unilever, Dow Chemicals, and Alcan are just a handful. But it’s not just organizations like this using Trade Extensions to extend procurement’s influence vastly into supply chain, finance, and other areas of the business; its consultants do as well. Trade Extensions counts AT Kearney and McKinsey as customers, who use the products for their own sourcing and supply-chain consulting work.

Trade Extensions is in the midst of a rapid expansion, having grown by 50% in 2013. It is currently putting more people on the ground in North America and extending its sourcing focus beyond just the massively complex events that have differentiated it from others. Companies are increasingly using Trade Extensions for “basic” sourcing events, as well in transportation, packaging, and other areas. Yet complexity is where Trade Extensions excels – and truly extends sourcing into supply chain.

Please join us in extending a warm welcome to Trade Extensions to Spend Matters as our latest Associate Sponsor. As part of our collaboration together, we’re planning to inspire our readers by showing category-based examples in the coming months and quarters about how to extend the paradigm of procurement into broader supply chain. Trust us, it will blow your mind when you realize what’s possible. But we suspect that organizations that aren’t ready for the more advanced approaches will still learn a thing or two about how to move up a sourcing maturity notch with the more foundational capabilities Trade Extensions can provide.

Incidentally, the lead scientist behind Trade Extensions’ algorithms and optimization engine, Arne Andersson, is also an extremely accomplished jazz musician. If you’re ever in Sweden or visiting Trade Extensions offices, try and catch him at a gig – or at least get him to play a few riffs on his horn (while his application crunches away solving your combinatorial sourcing event in the background).

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