CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE: Advanced Procurement Analytics — find the risks hiding in your data, prioritize and take action [PRO]

In our response to the coronavirus outbreak, this Spend Matters PRO “Coronavirus Response” series is continuing its mission to examine categories of relevant solutions (and example providers) that professionals in procurement, finance and supply chain organizations should investigate to reduce, and even mitigate, coronavirus supply risk. And even if the solutions are only addressing a subset of the issues, the ability to respond intelligently in the short term can also help set organizations up for the future when sanity returns to the world.

Today’s brief focuses on solutions for advanced procurement analytics — the third category shown below in the seven solution categories that we’re covering:

1. Supply risk management solutions that include supply chain risk, CSR risk, supplier financial risk, etc.
2. Sourcing and commodity management, including advanced sourcing, direct sourcing, automated supplier discovery, and commodity management to help dynamically plan and source. (Read about the direct sourcing solutions here.)
3. Advanced procurement analytics to enable direct procurement and/or to perform “spend planning” when demand drops out or spikes.
4. P2P that emphasizes working capital, dynamic discounting, payment control and related finance priorities to help inject cash into the P2P process — especially for many cash-starved suppliers. (This category is discussed in-depth here.)
5. Fraud, P2P and vendor management safeguards when new suppliers need to be set up quickly, and also when lowlife fraudsters try to use the pandemic as a way to steal money and IP.
6. Providers with deep contract analytics that can analyze a contract portfolio for affected contracts from suppliers (and customers) for not just force majeure clauses, but other related clauses that tie to the multiple risks popping up at once in the pandemic.
7. Contingent Workforce and Services solutions that are able to, at a minimum, help rapidly ramp up on-demand workers to deal with massive resource shortfalls. We are looking at four categories of solutions for sourcing remote/online work; solutions for sourcing and managing contract workers at geo-specific capabilities; solutions to “direct source” and manage contract workers; solutions for data management and analytics. (The first PRO brief from this category, about sourcing remote/online work, can be read here.)

Owing to the magnitude of the crisis, Spend Matters recently made the series introduction available for free to all readers. PRO subscribers can see our follow-up pieces that profile the other categories and their solutions in that market. We will include a lot of information on each category PRO brief that readers can see without hitting a paywall, but since we also draw heavily from our existing deep-dive analysis of the providers from our SolutionMap database, some information will be available only to our PRO subscribers.

Today, we start our coverage of advanced procurement analytics and three solutions from LevaData, Sievo and Suplari with particular strengths in direct material and commodity analysis — because shortages of direct materials and components will have the most immediate effect on your supply chain.

We do acknowledge that long-term unavailability of certain direct materials and components will in turn produce unavailability in indirect products down the line, but stage one of any crisis response must be to keep critical production lines running and focus on direct. Similarly, if an unavailability of supply looks to be permanent, you will need to do some supply chain redesign, and we’ll cover that use case in an upcoming sourcing and commodity management piece in this series.

We also will be covering other analytics and will likely launch new categories — like indirect spend planning in the context of integrated business planning, financial planning & budgeting, insourcing/outsourcing decision support, and so on.

The initial three vendors we are profiling here are all unique in the spend analytics space and all have deep capabilities in the analysis of direct material and commodity spend. If any other practitioners, providers or consultants would like to contribute to this coverage, please let us know about solutions that are helpful related to advanced procurement analytics useful within the current COVID-19 crisis.

If your organization doesn’t have an advanced sourcing and procurement analytics platform, one of these three platforms could be the most fit-for-purpose, off-the-shelf platforms to help your direct material/commodity-heavy organization analyze its way through the COVID-19 crisis.

Each category-specific PRO piece in this series will have three sections:

* Problems and Use Cases. We’ll highlight the problems in force (which will vary through different phases of the crisis) and the various scenarios where solutions can provide deeper insights, intelligence and scalable workflows.
* Solution Rationale and Value. We’ll outline how various solutions can help solve the problems and the specific questions that they’ll help answer.
* Example Providers. We’ll highlight the solution providers that can support the problems and deliver some value.

Some providers are offering COVID-specific programs and “freemium” commercial offers, and we’ll note those whenever we update this piece. We’ll also start the series with providers that we already have deep knowledge on, but we’ve been seeking information from other vendors too.

OK, let’s dive into advanced procurement analytics.

Through April 2020, a special PRO Expert Survival Pack is available to procurement practitioners only* at up to 50% off — Learn more

For full access to this PRO content: