Author Archives: Nick Heinzmann

‘Just Coupa It’: By Buying Aquiire, Coupa Targets Google-like Search and the End of Punch-Outs

Coupa announced its latest acquisition Monday with its purchase of Aquiire, a provider of e-procurement and procure-to-pay software. The deal brings to Coupa’s business spend management suite — which now includes support for e-procurement, P2P, source-to-pay, travel and expense management, and services procurement — many of the latest features for front-end shopping and catalog management, particularly several patents related to real-time search and third-party-hosted catalog integration capabilities. Viewed as part of Coupa’s larger strategy, however, Aquiire is just one piece of a larger puzzle that Coupa has been trying to assemble for the last decade.

The purchase of Cincinnati, Ohio-based Aquiire, along with Coupa’s own innovations in the guided buying area and the company’s 2017 acquisition of Simeno, forms the basis of a shift away from one-to-one, proprietary “punch-out”-based B2B e-commerce models and toward a streamlined, almost touchless approach to finding and buying goods and services. This entails far more than creating a friendly user experience that’s “Amazon-like.” Coupa wants to go one step further, making the search for a corporate purchase as easy as answering a question with Google: one question (sometimes auto-suggested) into the box, numerous answers delivered within the next screen, in real time, prioritized by relevance, price and desired procurement controls.

Coupa’s goal is to make B2B purchasing as easy and reflexive as everyday information retrieval on the broader web. Said another way, when you need to know something, you Google it; when you need to buy something at work, you would Coupa it. Obviously, Coupa is not going to become a verb anytime soon on the scale of Google. The key is to provide a B2B buyer-relevant search that is tuned to the “persona” of the individual buyer to quickly get him or her the needed goods and services from the preferred supply sources and buying channels.

This Spend Matters PRO research brief explores the feasibility of the “Google-like” search concept, as well as how Coupa’s acquisition of Aquiire enables it. It also touches on how Coupa’s approach to front-end shopping enablement compares with the broader e-procurement market, as well as what this means for competitors.

The Road to Cognitive Procurement: LevaData Models a New Standard for Sourcing Maturity

Most procurement groups are coming around to the idea that they need digital transformation. Yet even with a convincing case for taking an AI-based “cognitive” procurement approach to processes like sourcing, excuses about bad data and poor backing from management inevitably stop organizations from taking the first step. LevaData, like other solution providers, is increasingly trying to help procurement not just take on technology but create the roadmap for organizational maturity that leads to better business outcomes.

Coupa Buys Aquiire, Adding to Its Lead in Catalog Search and Front-End Shopping Usability

Coupa is buying Aquiire, a provider of e-procurement software that brings notable capabilities in real-time search and catalog management, for an undisclosed sum, the company announced Monday. In purchasing Aquiire, Coupa gains not only additional modern front-end shopping capabilities (some might argue among the most advanced) but also a complement to the industry-leading catalog management technology it gained from acquiring Simeno in December 2017.

APICS Becoming ASCM: CEO Abe Eshkenazi Details the New Direction

marketing procurement

APICS announced recently it was launching a new supply chain organization that would push the industry association out of its niche for talent development and into corporate transformation strategy. Called the Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM), the new organization seeks to create a fully encompassing group for all professionals who touch the supply chain. More than a rebrand, the creation of ASCM signals a shift in strategy at APICS as well as within the businesses of the customers that the association serves, APICS CEO Abe Eshkenazi told Spend Matters in a recent interview at the APICS 2018 conference in Chicago.

Afternoon Coffee: U.S.-China Trade Talks May Resume in December, Sievo Launches Dynamic Benchmarking Solution

With NAFTA renegotiated into the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), trade watchers are now turning their attention to China. Sievo announced Wednesday the launch of its dynamic benchmarking solution, which allows procurement and finance organizations to compare their sourcing and spend management performance against industry peers in real time. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news.

Afternoon Coffee: New Trade Deal for North America Reached, Port of San Diego Hit by Cyberattack

The U.S. and Canada beat a deadline Sunday to salvage the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), forming a new trilateral pact with Mexico called the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). The Port of Sand Diego was hit by a cyberattack last week, affecting public records requests and business services. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news.

A Big Green Idea: How Procurement Can Balance Profitability and Sustainability

External forces — from climate change to shifts in generational expectations — are causing businesses to take a hard look at the sustainability of their supply chains, and procurement organizations are uniquely positioned to effect environmental and financial change for the greater good, speakers said at Procurious’ 2018 Big Ideas Summit on Thursday in Chicago. In presentations from leading procurement professionals and supporting technology providers, speakers encouraged attendees to reconsider what was possible in the supply chain, including common misconceptions about sustainability.

Afternoon Coffee: Japan Braces for Another Typhoon, Bezos to Blast Into Space Supply Chain

Japan, already battered by months of extreme weather this year, is facing another typhoon this weekend. Blue Origin, the rocket and space transportation company run by the Amazon founder, has won a contract to provide engines for a joint venture between Boeing and Lockheed Martin. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news.

Afternoon Coffee: LTG Breaks Down Future Direction of PeopleFluent Acquisition, TGI Friday’s Looks Local in Brexit Planning

Learning Technologies Group announced Tuesday several organizational changes related to its April acquisition of PeopleFluent. Brexit negotiations may have stalled, but companies are still preparing their supply chains for a range of possible outcomes. The food industry in particular has begun shifting its supply base to favor more local sources. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news.

Afternoon Coffee: Walmart Requires Produce Suppliers to Join Blockchain, Human Rights Abuses Put South American Gold Supply Chain at Risk

Walmart issued a letter to suppliers Monday explaining that direct suppliers of lettuce, spinach and other greens must join its food-tracking blockchain by Jan. 31, 2019. Poor monitoring and prosecution of illegal activity in several South American countries has led to rising risk in global gold supply chains. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news.

To Deliver Superior Field Services Outcomes, Businesses Should Look to the Freelance Economy

Managing a modern-day field service function presents numerous challenges to business leaders. Consistently getting the right person for a service request to the right place at the right time has only become more difficult in today’s hyper-competitive, on-demand business environment. To meet these challenges, businesses have increasingly looked to augment their current W-2 field service employees by engaging third-party vendors. But while diversifying beyond full-time technicians is a reasonable start, businesses should not stop at merely outsourcing field services functions to external partners.

Afternoon Coffee: Intel Chip Shortage Strains Tech Sector, New Tariffs on Chinese Goods Take Effect

Intel’s manufacturing capacity can’t keep up with increasing demand from customers, leading to a shortage of CPU chips. The U.S.-China trade war escalated again Monday, as U.S. tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods and retaliatory tariffs by Beijing on $60 billion worth of U.S. products took effect. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news.