Trade Extensions: Redefining E-Sourcing (Coupa and Beyond)

There are only a few events left that focus primarily on strategic sourcing over broader procurement topics. And there are fewer still at which you can learn something new in every presentation.

Trade Extensions customer events have always done just that. The Spend Matters team has attended half a dozen or more of these events over the years. Earlier today I continued the tradition, touching down in Atlanta to attend “Redefining E-Sourcing,” Trade Extensions’ U.S. customer event, which so far has lived up to its name, albeit with a current chapter in the history of the provider's story coming to an end with its acquisition by Coupa -- and a new one about to begin.

In addition to multiple presentations by Wal-Mart and discussions with numerous other firms that are taking advantage of sourcing optimization in various ways, the event has featured several philosophical discussions about sourcing, including a panel on what it might mean to adopt an open source — or “Wikinomics” — sourcing model.

While I’ll blind names to prevent anyone from getting in trouble, I’m planning to write a more detailed analysis on some of my key learnings from the event for publication tomorrow. This will include examples and lessons learned from the following topics:

  • How best to adopting supply chain considerations as a component of sourcing, including how to make them inseparable. One example is flipping the “supply network design” concept on its head, instead designing a “sourcing network” that puts procurement considerations at the core (as much as inventory and working capital)
  • Lessons from global logistics sourcing at large scale, including how best to support country-specific requirements through sourcing optimization and strategies for enabling competitive advantage at the P&L (and company) level in different regions using sourcing
  • Thinking through how to manage tradeoffs between functional, supplier and even intracompany requirements when collaborating in sourcing
  • Fostering a culture of information sharing and openness around supply chain data — from sourcing templates to supply market capacity to externalities and uncertainties such as weather — with suppliers, partners and others
  • Trade financing considerations and sourcing optimization
  • How to make sourcing optimization more user friendly and what this means in practice, as well as and what happen when Trade Extensions releases a vastly enhanced and simplified user interface this spring that will make the application more approachable for typical procurement users while still enabling centralized direction and oversight (the Spend Matters team recently previewed this UI in a live demonstration)

For a deeper look at Spend Matters coverage of Trade Extensions’ solutions, including Spend Matters analysis of the Coupa/Trade Extensions combination, see our past coverage below.

An earlier version of this article suggested there was no or limited mention of Coupa at the event (thus far). In fact there was. But I was late showing up this morning to the first session owing to flight schedules and delays. 

Share on Procurious

Discuss this:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.