Coupa acquires LLamasoft, beefing up supply chain planning data for its business spend management solutions

In its fourth acquisition this year, Coupa on Monday announced the acquisition of LLamasoft, a specialist in supply chain design and planning solutions that Coupa will leverage to expand the direct procurement capabilities it offers within its platform for business spend management (BSM).

Coupa said it paid about $1.5 billion for LLamasoft, whose solution serves clients such as Boeing, Coca-Cola, ExxonMobil, GM, Hitachi Transport System, Ipiranga and Walmart.

In a call with Spend Matters, they described the plan to be in line with prior acquisitions, focusing on fast unification of the team, brand and product. The acquired solution will now go to market as "Coupa Supply Chain Planning."

Coupa said it will gain supply chain capabilities such as:

  • Optimization for supply networks, inventory and transportation
  • Demand and supply planning
  • Sales and operations planning
  • Low-code/no-code rapid supply chain app development

California-based Coupa plans to create supply chain process flows that work across source-to-pay and treasury functions — for example, sourcing transportation and logistics and giving treasurers instant access to the cash forecast impact of supply chain decisions.

Coupa likes the idea of taking its community intelligence gathered from the $2 trillion in spend that has gone through its BSM platform and marrying it with LLamasoft’s data, which comes from supply chain processes like demand management, inventory, transportation and operations planning. Michigan-based LLamasoft will now get that BSM information to help build custom apps and supply chain models, or “digital twins.” Coupa said the combined solutions will drive better decisions for procurement, supply chain and other business units.

“LLamasoft will use Coupa community intelligence data to create more accurate supply chain models,” said Donna Wilczek, Coupa’s Senior Vice President of Product Strategy and Innovation. “We know that LLamasoft’s AI-powered capability to create these models is second to none, but more data will improve the models and the decisions. Coupa will then turn these decisions into spend transactions, bridging the gap between supply chain and procurement while creating more community intelligence and driving smarter decisions faster.”

LLamasoft co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer Toby Brzoznowski said the no-code platform works with customers’ patchwork of existing systems like SAP Ariba and Oracle to gather information but show business leaders information in a new light.

“The planning systems that people have put in place over the last 20 years, once you implement them, they’re like concrete, you can’t change them overnight,” Brzoznowski said. “So what we’re giving these people the ability to do is do something that is more flexible — try new business processes, new strategies.”

In the coronavirus crisis, Coupa said companies need supply chain technology to assess alternatives and balance trade-offs to get the desired business results.

Rob Bernshteyn, Coupa Chairman and CEO, lauded what LLamasoft brings to the table.

“Together, we will deliver a more powerful business spend management platform to help organizations everywhere maximize the value of every dollar they spend in a smarter, simpler and safer way,” he said in a press release.

Razat Gaurav, CEO at LLamasoft, said in the release that he is "excited for employees of both organizations who share a culture that prioritizes delivering innovation and exceptional customer value.”

LLamasoft features and functions

Coupa told Spend Matters that LLamasoft customers have identified $16 billion in value by using its supply chain solutions, which have evolved to address increasingly complex supply chains since LLamasoft was founded in 2006.

Michael Schanker, Coupa VP of Strategic Marketing, reviewed key differentiators leading to LLamasoft’s sizable customer success in large enterprise organizations.

“LLamasoft stands out through the strength of capabilities around digital twin, AI and machine learning, and usability,” Schanker told Spend Matters.  “The digital twin supply chain approach allows for better understanding of trade-offs and enables the sophisticated AI-powered diagnostic and predictive scenarios. Of course, none of this matters if users won’t adopt, so LLamasoft’s focus on business-user usability and self-service app development is a powerful differentiator and clearly in alignment with Coupa’s user-centeric philosophy.”

In a Spend Matters PRO research article on the reasoning behind this deal, our analyst team defines and explores the overlap between direct procurement and supply chain functions. And another PRO post delves into LLamasoft’s functional capabilities. Later in Spend Matters Nexus columns, look for more coverage about what the Coupa-LLamasoft deal means for the procurement technology market and investors.

LLamasoft has been on Spend Matters’ radar for years, and it was recently mentioned in this unlocked PRO article: “Coronavirus response requires integrated Supply Chain Management — not just Spend Management. Here’s what’s needed.” In the post, LLamasoft was the example used for the category about supply chain planning/integrated business planning.

Busy 2020 for Coupa

Coupa has acquired more than 10 companies in its history, and it is known for integrating those firms’ intellectual property and capabilities into market-ready offerings as part of its platform for business spend management.

This year alone, Coupa has acquired three other providers: BELLIN, a treasury management firm; the supplier diversity specialist ConnXus; and Yapta, a travel-and-expense price optimization solutions provider.

See Spend Matters' Coupa coverage of Coupa's acquired solutions:

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