Spend Matters 50/50: Trade Extensions – A Provider to Know in 2015

Spend Matters Almanac


Trade Extensions is one of our 50 Providers to Know. We will be highlighting 100 companies (50 to Know, 50 to Watch) from our 2015 Spend Matters Almanac over the span of 100 days. Practitioners are encouraged to browse the categories listed in our Almanac to find the provider that best fits their needs.

Trade Extensions is a fascinating firm, very different from pretty much any other on our Almanac list. Founded by brilliant Swedish mathematicians, then getting an injection of British commercial blue-chip management some years ago, the firm has stayed true to its roots in complex optimization, advanced sourcing or market-informed sourcing, as we like to call it.

That means taking on the biggest, most challenging sourcing tasks and problems in the world. A logistics tender with literally thousands of different routes, suppliers, pickup and delivery points? No problem. A complex supply chain question around whether to use a prime contractor or structure the supply chain with multiple suppliers, perhaps across many geographies and multi-tier supply? That's fine. Perhaps even a strategic planning exercise to compare external supply options with internal production or even investment in new equipment? Easy.

Well, not easy, given the math involved, but more likely to be handled effectively by the Trade Extensions product than by virtually anything else. Given the complexity of these tasks, it is no surprise that the upside is also significant in many cases. Using market-informed sourcing well can drive real, competitive advantage in a much clearer and more measurable manner than most procurement solutions. That is one reason why case studies are hard to come by – firms genuinely don't want the competition to know what they are doing.

This is intrinsically complex stuff, but Trade Extensions has made efforts to allow mere mortals to use the product successfully, such as its excellent "TESS Academy™" training material. (Read the review here.) The result is a firm that, while not huge, has a client list that probably includes more of the world's top 50 firms than perhaps any other procurement software vendor except SAP or Oracle – even that might be a close run thing! Think of the world's largest consumer goods, retail and pharma firms, and you won't be far wrong.

Are you a provider? Get your company listed alongside Trade Extensions and the rest of the 50/50 providers by signing up for a FREE Almanac listing today.

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