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APEX Analytix: What Makes It Great (Supplier Relationship Management and Risk SolutionMap Analysis)

In a market facing increasing consolidation each year, APEX Analytix stands out as a best-of-breed provider that excels in areas where suite providers merely meet the benchmark (or fall below it).

Results from Spend Matters’ SolutionMap vividly illustrate the gaps in the category of Supplier Relationship Management and Risk. While some larger providers post strong scores in general supplier information management, on-boarding or platform-related SXM capabilities (e.g., workflow management), few deliver the same consistently benchmark-topping scores that APEX Analytix does in its specialty areas.

The Greensboro, North Carolina-based provider has long been known for its broader portfolio of recovery audit, overpayment and self-audit software. But where APEX Analytix leads with its specialized supplier management solution — especially with granular supplier information and risk management capabilities — makes clear that specialization can yield considerable functional depth where end-to-end solutions sacrifice in pursuit of breadth.

Where does the provider stand out most, and why should this matter for procurement and finance organizations? Let’s delve into the SolutionMap benchmark to find out where APEX Analytix is great.

“What Makes It Great” is a recurring column that shares insights from each quarterly SolutionMap report for SolutionMap Insider subscribers. Based on both our rigorous evaluation process and customer reference reviews, each brief offers quick facts on the provider, describes where it excels, provides hard data on where it beats the SolutionMap benchmark, and concludes with a checklist for ideal customer scenarios in which procurement, finance and supply chain organizations should consider it.

APEX Analytix: Quick Facts

  • HQ (and support locations): Greensboro, North Carolina (Suwanee, Georgia; Bentonville, Arkansas; UK; Hong Kong)
  • Customers: more than 250, including Walt Disney Co., JP Morgan Chase, Northwestern Medicine, WPP Group USA Inc., Verizon Communications, American Eagle Outfitters, UPS, FedEx, Independence Blue Cross
  • Regions served: Global
  • Available modules: Supplier Discovery, Supplier Registration, Supplier Inquiry (invoice and payment tracking), Simple E-invoicing (for long tail), Cash Discount Management (dynamic discounting, supplier initiated discounts and supply chain financing for long tail), Supplier Statement Audit, Supplier Risk and Performance Management, Document Exchange (simple contract management, image recognition, configurable data capture, workflow, notifications)

Where APEX Analytix is Great

APEX Analytix is perhaps best known for its accounts payable recovery audit business, but the provider also offers a powerful solution for supplier information management (SIM), particularly the aspects of data collection and validation. In fact, APEX Analytix posts the highest uncontested scores in the SXM benchmark for nearly three dozen fields, and it attains a rare top score of “5” in three instances — Supplier Portal (Roadmap), Supplier Management Services and Performance-based Contracting — an achievement that puts it among a small group within SolutionMap overall.

Here’s where APEX Analytix excels in the Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) and Risk SolutionMap:

Best-in-Class Supplier and Financial Information Validation Capabilities

  • APEX Analytix was a pioneer in the recovery audit market, so its strengths in financial information collection, controls and verification are unsurprising. Sample capabilities include the ability to provide capture and validation services for SWIFT codes, IBAN codes and bank account numbers on a global basis; the incorporation of various payment methods, transfers and controls; and validating bank account ownership and routing information.
  • In the Q2 2019 SolutionMap, APEX Analytix posts the top scores in the benchmark for extended supplier information management in 80% of all areas tracked. These include uncontested top scores for fields such as supplier information (industry codes), SIM/SPM/SRM Configurability — Finance, and supplier (pre)registration, as well as ties for top score in financial data/ACH integration, certificates/insurance and product/service information (e.g., UNSPSC).
  • As noted previously on Spend Matters PRO:
    • The platform integrates with more than 650 global government, regulatory and authoritative data sources, including the standards (e.g., D&B), industry-specific validations (e.g., FACIS) and government validations (e.g., U.S. SAM).
    • This list also includes 250 country address lists, 230 politically exposed person lists, 90 prohibited watch lists, 56 country tax ID/VAT ID lists, 54 secretary of state sites, global banking system validation databases (e.g., ABA, SWIFT, IBAN, IFSC), bank account ownership validation (U.S. and U.K.), industry code and company information databases (e.g., D&B), a corporate linkage database, and the U.S. SBA database.
    • In total, the solution comes preloaded with more than 180,000 validation rules (not a typo). 

Workflow Configuration and Rules Engine

  • APEX Analytix excels not only at collecting and validating supplier information but also in using that information to guide compliance processes and guard against fraud. The system’s powerful rules and workflow editor make it easy to define branches in the process and rules for verifying each piece of data that enters the system.
  • In the Q2 2019 SolutionMap, APEX Analytix meets or exceeds the benchmark in all areas we track for platform-level workflow components (e.g., native workflow support, workflow cloning, visual workflow management). It also ties for the top score in rule sets/groups and for approvals.
  • As noted previously on Spend Matters PRO:
    • For a solution provider with a background in managed services centered on financial outcomes, it is surprising (at least to us) how well APEX’s rules creation and workflow editing compare with best-in-class products built by companies only delivering software.
    • The solution enables users to create validation rules down to the individual field level, define them with arbitrary regular expressions, define extensive field lists, define cross-validations, and use them to trigger additional sub-workflows and validations. These capabilities are only matched by a few providers, and primarily providers that also have deep analytics solutions. We say that having compared and reviewed more than 50 workflow and rules engines from different procurement, finance and supply chain software vendors.

Top-Performing Risk Modeling and Monitoring Capabilities

  • In addition to validations and rules/workflow creation, APEX Analytix provides a range of out-of-the-box reporting dashboards that are designed to help an organization monitor the on-boarding process; track and report on key processes and associated metrics; and define bottlenecks to speed up on-boarding and approvals.
  • APEX Analytix’s process monitoring capabilities include audit reports, communication history reports, supplier aging reports, risk monitoring reports and supplier lifecycle reports.
  • In the Q2 2019 SolutionMap, APEX Analytix claims the top score (both tied for first and uncontested) in over half of the capabilities evaluated for risk management. Of note are uncontested top scores for all aspects of model definition (e.g., numeric models, sentiment models), as well as for internal KPI monitoring and social media monitoring. It ties for the top score in key capabilities such as financial monitoring, government status monitoring and regulatory monitoring.

APEX Analytix vs. the Benchmark

Based on the Supplier Relationship Management and Risk SolutionMap benchmark featuring 15 providers, APEX Analytix scores above the benchmark for 222 of 270 elements evaluated. It tied for the top score in 78 cases and posted the highest ratings of any provider in 34 requirements, handily surpassing the composite “average” supplier management provider in all instances. APEX Analytix even claimed the top score of “5” on a scale of 0-5 in three elements — a rare achievement in any SolutionMap.

Within the specific areas we evaluate for supplier management alone (i.e., not considering common platform-level elements evaluated across various SolutionMaps), APEX Analytix again produces commendable scores, performing at or above the benchmark in the vast majority of areas.

Best-Fit Customer Scenarios

APEX Analytix is a recommended fit for all buying personas for the Spend Matters Supplier Relationship Management and Risk SolutionMap, placing it in the Value Leader quadrant (upper right) in all instances. Best-fit shortlist scenarios will include:

  • Organizations that require best-in-class financial validations and controls for suppliers
  • Extensive configuration of validation and verification rules is needed to facilitate supplier data gathering and maintenance
  • Tracking capabilities are needed to handle complexities around global supplier on-boarding and international compliance management
  • A portal that can serve as the supplier hub for a P2P system is desired
  • Capabilities for supplier auditing and recovery are desirable beyond core SIM capabilities
SolutionMap: What Makes It Great