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HICX: Vendor Analysis, 2022 update (Part 1) — SXM solution overview, SWOT, HICX competitors and tech selection tips

01/18/2022 By

Procurement has a data problem, and HICX is trying to address that in supplier management.

Year after year — including 2021, as highlighted in Deloitte’s recent Global CPO Survey — the data topic is high on the agenda of procurement teams that understand how critical data is, and the cost of poor data. Supplier master data management (MDM) is one central element of the overall data challenge. HICX, a UK-based provider, is positioning itself as an expert on that front with an interesting approach that also includes overarching SXM capabilities.

HICX started with a focus on MDM and added, over the years, more capabilities to become a supplier management solution. This is because data maintenance is something that people are reluctant to do. Especially when the people in charge of data entry are not the ones using the data. And, the trend to implement supplier portals has reinforced this issue. Suppliers are in charge of entering and maintaining more and more data (as this removes efforts on the internal procurement teams) yet they are not the direct users of that data (although they have an indirect benefit of ensuring that data is complete and up to date).

Also, suppliers often face a plethora of systems that their customers use and that need supplier-related/maintained data. This proliferation of systems makes the experience for suppliers and buyers something close to the overload seen in “Brazil” — something of another age.

This is where the evolution of HICX is interesting and valuable.

HICX wants to remove friction to enable suppliers to focus on real added-value activities (for them and for their customers). To do this, it has created a streamlined supplier experience that covers data maintenance and other more business-related activities (sourcing, PO management, etc.). Suppliers have a one-stop shop to access critical information to develop (RFX) and run (PO, invoices, etc.) their business with their customers. Also, the data maintenance is embedded in these activities — they act as an incentive (“while you are there …”) to update/complete their data profiles.

To be the single-entry point we describe and, as a consequence, be the digital backbone supporting relationships, HICX built unique capabilities (expertise and tech) in terms of:

  • Data model — extensible and dynamic to cope with the needs of various customers and systems
  • Integration — supplier data is the cornerstone of all procurement activities, and more. Therefore, the data needs to be distributed to other systems. And to be “the mother of all portals,” HICX also needs to create bridges from/to these systems to allow suppliers to access (and act on) transactional objects in the portal and/or to access the systems more seamlessly.
  • UX (UI and workflows) — to provide the simplest user experience possible to suppliers and buyers, to encompass the whole supplier lifecycle, and to support administration/configuration.

Spend Matters gained insights into HICX’s offering after doing detailed scoring and ranking for our SolutionMap benchmark. In the category for Supplier Relationship Management and Risk, HICX stood out among a crowded field and attained the top designation of Value Leader, meaning it had high capability scores and good customer feedback.

Part 1 of this Spend Matters PRO Vendor Analysis 2022 update provides an overview of HICX’s solution, offers a SWOT analysis, a look at HICX’s competitors and gives tech selection tips. Part 2 will examine the solution strengths/weaknesses, provide a detailed overview of each module and give an analyst summary.

Here’s why HICX matters:

  • To the market — HICX offers a unique approach to SXM and supplier portal enablement. Because its value proposition is centered around “supplier experience,” it is able to centralize all interactions and to orchestrate relationships related to a broad range of activities that happen in other solutions (Sourcing, P2P, ERPs, etc.).
  • To customers — HICX enables customers to manage the whole supplier lifecycle and relationships by positioning itself as a single-entry point for external collaboration, liberating precious time that customers and their suppliers can allocate to more strategic activities.
  • To potential buyers — HICX provides a solution to address the data challenge that many organizations have while understanding that suppliers play a key role in data management processes. Therefore, removing friction is critical to ensuring adoption, efficiency and process quality.
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