Directworks: An E-Sourcing Tool for Direct Materials and Manufacturing — Year-End Tech Review

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This post is part of our 2016 Year-End Procurement Tech Review, in which we offer procurement practitioners a bird’s-eye view of some key vendors and their solutions in select categories. This is the last week of this series, and today we’re highlighting a company in the direct materials sourcing space.

Founded as Co-eXprise in 2004 with a goal of building a new type of direct sourcing solution not yet available in the North American marketplace, Directworks has since evolved. What started as a solution to integrate the new sourcing tools of the day (RFX, auctions, project management, dashboards, etc.) with bill of materials, supplier management and collaborative workflow management has been evolving into a direct materials sourcing workbench.

Quick Facts

  • Founded: 2004
  • Headquartered in Wexford, Pennsylvania
  • Number of employees (range): 26–50
  • Percentage of revenue from procurement/supply: 100%
  • Serves customers in Asia, Europe, North America and South America
  • Industries responsible for the majority of their business: automotive, medical devices, capital equipment, durable consumer goods, technology and aerospace
  • Customers include BorgWarner, Nexteer Automotive, B/E Aerospace, MSA Safety, Stryker, Rexnord, Martinrea, HNI, Danaher, ZF/TRW and Valerus
  • Available modules: Sourcing, Product Manager, Supplier Value Management, Supplier Parts Qualification
  • Integrated with many other applications

Background & Overview

After its founding as Co-eXprise, the firm was a truly unique provider in the market, bridging secure collaboration, product lifecycle management and procurement capabilities. It even had its own data center, which it hosted in its headquarters. The original development team built a number of basic technology building blocks, including workflow management, business process rules and collaboration technologies that they layered underneath of a centralized repository, project management, collaborative bills of material, cost models and analytics.

Today, Directworks is a pure SaaS e-sourcing solution built for (mid-size) manufacturers and automotive companies that allows a direct materials buyer to define a bill of materials structure (from a procurement perspective), source that bill of materials, track suppliers in use and monitor them to a limited extent (it does not provide a full quality/performance module). Functional areas of the application include item, product and process management components. The solution also includes an RFQ engine and a supplier company repository.

Competitors include:

  • Pool4Tool
  • SynerTrade
  • BravoSolution
  • SciQuest
  • Ivalua
  • Fullstep (in Europe and Latin America)
  • Allocation Network (Europe)
  • SupplyOn (Europe)
  • Determine
  • SAP Ariba
  • GEP
  • Zycus
  • Scanmarket
  • Trade Extensions

Commentary & Summary

Directworks provides a purpose-built solution that both sophisticated and less sophisticated manufacturers may find appealing to standardize on in the areas of direct materials strategic sourcing and supplier collaboration. It is a truly unique combination of product assets that is difficult to directly compare to most other procurement technology providers.

Discrete manufacturers that require significant process and workflow configuration based on their own design and engineering, new product introduction, procurement, supply chain, shop floor, quality and supplier development initiatives should consider Directworks if they are seeking to standardize and align processes with others in the market. As should other manufacturers looking for a cost-effective, integrated sourcing and supplier collaboration cloud-based application.

For a more comprehensive analysis and guide for procurement organizations looking to understand whether they should consider adding the provider to their shortlists for consideration, please head over to the Spend Matters Almanac.

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