Author Archives: Spend Matters Analyst Team



Coupa, BELLIN and Treasury Management Systems: What CPOs and CFOs need to know about TMS and links to procurement technology (S2P, P2P, AP)

market intelligence

Earlier today, Coupa announced its acquisition of BELLIN, a treasury management system (TMS) provider. We covered the announcement on Spend Matters.

And on Spend Matters Nexus, a subscription service that focuses on sector M&A, we provided background insight into BELLIN, treasury (as a function) and the value proposition for procurement and AP in bringing procurement and treasury systems closer together from a systems perspective.

In this Spend Matters PRO analysis, we provide an introduction to treasury management system (TMS) components, describe the rationale for a TMS (over manual or kludged processes) and describe their touch points (foundational and advanced) with procurement technology systems / process architectures — including source-to-pay, procure-to-pay and accounts payable systems.

This research brief is aimed specifically at CPOs and CFOs, as well as source-to-pay process leads/owners and treasurers.*

But before we begin, let us tease out why this move should be perceived as exciting by CFOs. To bastardize one of the most famous statements of all time, this is a small step for Coupa, and a GIANT leap for procurement technology. Think about what “business spend management” is for a minute.

What is “spend”? It's cash flowing out the door.

So in practice, business spend management in Coupa jargon is essentially supplier cash disbursements management — ideally impacting cash before disbursement! But treasury is cash with a big C and therefore it’s spend with a capital "S." In practice, this is Coupa's first real foray — any vendor’s, for that matter — into broadening into "big spend management,” something we wrote about 5 years ago in fact!

Prior to making this more concrete in terms of what comprises a treasury management solution and its touchpoints with a source-to-pay (or procure-to-pay) procurement architecture, let us also keep our eyes on the prize by broadening the focus of business spend management.

If the business itself (i.e., CFO/CEO/board) is focused on return on invested capital (ROIC) and C as a proxy for cash (although in practice it’s always harder to liberate it than it is in theory), then procurement can transcend its role of just improving "R" through “spend”/savings, and take a more strategic role in bringing procurement and treasury together:

  • Freeing up cash through working capital improvement programs
  • Variabilizing costs to reduce invested capital and asset footprints
  • Reducing costs of capital and improving earnings (e.g., rebates) via innovative trade financing programs
  • Aligning spend planning and cash planning to sync up procurement and treasury with each other and the business during the FP&A process
  • Investing cash into innovative suppliers (e.g., digitally disruptive ones) rather than T-bills

OK, enough (attempting) to wax eloquent on the future of finance and procurement for now.

Let’s get down to what we’re here to introduce today: “TMS 101,” BELLIN, Coupa, the enterprise opportunity, and impact on the market.

* For vendor analysis, market and M&A-centric analysis, see our Spend Matters Nexus coverage of the deal.

Workforce Logiq: What Makes It Great (Temp Staffing SolutionMap Analysis)

Workforce Logiq is a global industry leader, offering a range of contingent workforce/service solutions — like MSP, direct sourcing that the company calls “self-sourcing,” classification compliance, payrolling and analytics from the recently acquired ENGAGE Talent. The Workforce Logiq technology platform was significantly upgraded/modernized over the past two years, bringing it up to technological parity, at the very least, with competitors. Currently, the company’s VMS capabilities are available only as a part of an overall managed services agreement.

The company manages over $3 billion in spend across 50 countries with about 50,000 active buy-side users. Today — demonstrating its wide applicability — Workforce Logiq serves large and midsize enterprise clients across many industries, with over 75% of clients in IT Services, Technology, Telecommunications, Automotive, Financial Services, Healthcare, Energy, Retail and Media.

Workforce Logiq leverages a range of proprietary technology solutions (e.g., VMS, self-sourcing/talent pool management, data management and AI-driven predictive analytics, etc.) to deliver its service solutions to clients. CEO Jim Burke has shared his view of the company as “a technology-enabled services business” that combines “technology, data and a global team of industry expert advisers.”

Over the past two years, the company has invested heavily in its technology. That includes significantly upgrading its VMS technology solution as well as acquiring ENGAGE Talent, a data management and AI-driven analytics platform. The modernized VMS and cross-over to the ENGAGE Talent platform has resulted in Workforce Logiq significantly stepping up its technology game relative to many of its competitors.

Workforce Logiq’s VMS capabilities include those for the sourcing and management of temporary staffing and SOW-based services. However, in our Spring/Q1 2020 SolutionMap ranking of technology vendors, the VMS was scored only in the Temp Staffing category. In that SolutionMap category, the scoring also accounts for the availability and on-going integration of ENGAGE Talent analytics capabilities.

The Spend Matters SolutionMap’s Spring/Q1 2020 release contains functional and customer satisfaction benchmarks on 69 providers within the procurement technology landscape. But where does Workforce Logiq stand out most and help “set the bar” in solutions for the sourcing and management of temporary staffing, and why should this matter for procurement and finance organizations?

Let’s delve into the SolutionMap benchmark to find out where Workforce Logiq is great.

“What Makes It Great” is a recurring column for SolutionMap Insider subscribers. The columns share insights from each SolutionMap update, which are now released in the spring and fall. Based on both our rigorous evaluation process and customer reference reviews, these columns offer quick facts on the vendor, describe where it excels, provide hard data on where it beats the SolutionMap benchmark and conclude with a checklist for ideal customer scenarios in which procurement, finance and supply chain organizations should consider it.

Analysis of Apttus-Conga deal — Background, transaction analysis and a bit of armchair speculation

Mergers and Acquisition News in procurement industry

Apttus made waves in the CLM market this week with an announcement of its intent to acquire Conga, merging the two firms under the Conga brand to create a hefty player for “configure, price, quote” (CPQ) software, CLM and document management with roughly $400 million in revenue. The deal is perhaps not the transaction one would expect of either player. Both vendors have considerable product overlap, bringing together a set of sell-side CLM capabilities and deep historical hooks into the Salesforce ecosystem.

Still, there is some rationale for the deal. As you peel the onion on customers, the CLM market and where future deals could arise, you can see the potential logic behind Apttus owner Thoma Bravo’s move. At its core, the deal is about quickly producing scale, as the combined firm counts well north of 11,000 customers. It also brings a significant toolbox of CLM adjacent tools (e.g., CPQ, BPM/workflow management) into one ecosystem, which in turn creates a competitive alternative to the other elephant in the CLM room (especially from a customer count standpoint), DocuSign, which with its acquisitions of SpringCM and Seal Software has built its own contract management ecosystem enabled by its ubiquitous e-signature product.

So just what exactly do Apttus and Conga offer customers today, and what are the key takeaways for the CLM market? Spend Matters has not yet been briefed on the “new Conga” product merger plans and firm strategy, but we do have deep background into Conga, given its recent participation in the Spring/Q1 2020 CLM SolutionMap, and a few ideas about how the transaction could play out for another strategic buyer down the road.

Let’s explore these now ...

Release note: Accounts Payable (AP) Automation is new for the Spring/Q1 2020 SolutionMap

Spend Matters is pleased to announce the debut of a new SolutionMap category — AP Automation — for today’s Spring/Q1 2020 SolutionMap release. AP Automation has been released in addition to the Invoice-to-Pay SolutionMap ranking and 11 other technology categories. This release note provides SolutionMap Insider subscription members with details about the evaluation process.

Six vendors are ranked in the category for this release, when SolutionMap is shifting from quarterly updates to spring and fall updates. This is the last quarterly release and the first spring release, so you’ll see it labeled “Spring/Q1.”

This category undergoes the same rigorous two-part process where Spend Matters’ analysts compare vendors by examining hundreds of solution capabilities and ranking vendors according to feedback from the providers' own customers.

AP Automation includes solutions and services that support the processing and payment of invoices. These solutions include e-invoicing capabilities such as invoice capture and digitization, invoice validation, invoice matching, GL coding and approvals. They also support payment-related functionality for payment file creation, mass payments (p-card, check, ACH, FX), one-time payments (v-cards, PayPal), payment reconciliations, credit memo management, trade financing (early payment and dynamic discounting) and payment transmission (including cross-border). Solution vendors may also provide some level of supplier management and supplier collaboration via supplier networks and/or portals.

AP automation is a major portion of the Invoice-to-Pay (I2P) technology market and will be harmonized with the broader I2P SolutionMap category in the future. For now, it will be considered a standalone map.

For this Spring/Q1 2020 release, three existing SolutionMap participants expanded their categories to include AP Automation, and three vendors in the AP Automation category are new to SolutionMap. If an existing provider expanding into AP Automation had previously received Invoice-to-Pay customer references, they were applied to the AP Automation category. The set of AP Automation customer references had 15 new individual customer references for this release.

The new providers are:

* SoftCo
* Tipalti
* Yooz (participated in I2P in past SolutionMap cycles)

Those providers expanding into AP Automation are:

* Basware (also participating in P2P)
* Tradeshift (also participating in P2P)
* Coupa (also participating in S2P and CW/S)

All readers can get a first look at the free Spring/Q1 2020 SolutionMap rankings here.

SolutionMap Insider members can learn more about each vendor in the Spring/Q1 2020 Provider Scoring Summary reports right here.

Read the full release note for more details on the evaluation process.

Spring/Q1 2020 SolutionMap Source-to-Pay release notes

This Spend Matters SolutionMap Insider release note provides insight into the Spring/Q1 2020  SolutionMap release for the Source-to-Pay suite category, reviewing the process that we followed for this release.

Also, SolutionMap is shifting from quarterly updates to spring and fall updates. This is the last quarterly release and the first spring release, so you’ll see it labeled “Spring/Q1.”

The providers in the Spring/Q1 2020 Source-to-Pay SolutionMap include Coupa, Determine, GEP, Ivalua, Jaggaer One, Synertrade and Zycus. All of these providers were required to participate in SolutionMap for each underlying module, as well. These individual areas include Sourcing, Spend and Procurement Analytics, Supplier Relationship Management & Risk, Contract Lifecycle Management, E-Procurement and Invoice-to-Pay. All of these providers are also included in the individual Strategic Procurement Technologies (SPT) and Procure-to-Pay (P2P) suite views.

SAP Ariba did not update their scoring and, as a result, their scores were adjusted based on a common shift factor (that preserves positional integrity relative to peers) and any platform updates, or lack thereof, that the analysts have received since the last time the RFIs were filled out. We expect them to participate in upcoming releases.

The Source-to-Pay customer data set is composed of a subset of the 936 individual organization references included in the overall SolutionMap scoring as of Q1 2020*.

*Customers using more than one module that a vendor provides can opt to fill out a single survey (e.g., a customer using two modules for P2P and four modules for SPT would need to fill out only one survey).

Get a first look at the Spring/Q1 2020 SolutionMap comparative quadrant graphics here.

Insider members: Access the latest Provider Scoring Summary reports right here.)

Spring/Q1 2020 SolutionMap release note: Contingent Workforce & Services (CW/S) Enterprise Technology Solutions — Temp Staffing, Contract Services/Statement of Work (SOW), Direct Sourcing of Workforce/Services

The Spring/Q1 2020 SolutionMap release marks the seventh research cycle for Spend Matters’ Contingent Workforce & Services (CW/S) “enterprise technology” SolutionMap, the sourcing and management of three underlying spend categories: Temp Staffing, Contract Services/Statement of Work and Direct Sourcing of Workforce/Services (formerly Independent Contract Workers, or ICW).

This release note updates SolutionMap Insider subscribers on the changes since the last release. Also, SolutionMap is shifting from quarterly updates to spring and fall updates. This is the last quarterly release and the first spring release, so you’ll see it labeled “Spring/Q1.”

Changes to Spring/Q1 2020 Contingent Workforce & Services (CW/S) SolutionMap


New Provider
One new provider joined SolutionMap:

* Workforce Logiq — participating in the Temp Staffing category

New Persona
The Turn-Key persona has been added to the Temp Staffing SolutionMap because, as the persona definition states, some TCO-oriented, 80/20 rule businesses favor “a combination of software capability and supporting services to contractually deliver results and a defensible ROI; pre-loaded capabilities, content, and know-how” over a powerful technology tool that may also be complex relative to their needs. Read more about the Turn-Key persona here.

Full List of Providers in Contingent Workforce & Services (CW/S)


The full list of providers includes:

* Beeline
* Coupa
* Elevated Resources
* Field Nation
* Shiftgig
* Shortlist
* SirionLabs
* TalentNet
* Talmix
* TalonFMS
* Upwork Enterprise
* VectorVMS
* VNDLY
* Workforce Logiq — NEW
* WorkMarket (ADP)

Get a first look at the Spring/Q1 2020 SolutionMap comparative quadrant graphics here.

(Insider members: Access the latest Provider Scoring Summary reports right here.)

Release Notes: E-Procurement – Spring 2020

This Spend Matters SolutionMap Insider release note provides insight into the Spring/Q1 2020 SolutionMap release for three categories: E-Procurement, Invoice-to-Pay (I2P) and Procure-to-Pay (P2P). The note reviews the process that we follow and highlights what has changed since the last SolutionMap release.

Also, SolutionMap is shifting from quarterly updates to spring and fall updates. This is the last quarterly release and the first spring release, so you’ll see it labeled “Spring/Q1.”

What’s new in the Spring/Q1 2020 E-Procurement, Invoice-to-Pay and Procure-to-Pay SolutionMap?

One new provider joined SolutionMap: Xeeva is now participating in the E-Procurement category.

Wax Digital has changed its name to Wax Digital / Medius.

The E-Procurement, I2P and P2P customer reference set added 60 new individual customer references in Spring/Q1 2020.

Get a first look at the Spring/Q1 2020 SolutionMap comparative quadrant graphics here.

Insider members: Access the Provider Scoring Summary reports right here.

CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE: Allocation Network — industrial sourcing and supplier management for COVID-19

In response to the coronavirus outbreak, this Spend Matters PRO series examines selected technology providers that procurement, finance and supply chain organizations should explore to reduce and mitigate COVID-19 supply risk — and to recover faster on the upswing. The introduction to this series grouped the technology providers that we will cover into five specialty areas, with one vendor shown here as an example:

* Supply risk management (e.g., riskmethods)
* Sourcing and commodity management, including advanced sourcing, direct sourcing and commodity management to help dynamically plan and source (e.g., Allocation)
* Advanced procurement analytics to enable direct procurement and/or to perform “spend planning” when demand drops out or spikes (e.g., Sievo)
* P2P that emphasizes working capital, dynamic discounting, payment control and related finance priorities (e.g., Basware)
* Fraud, P2P and Vendor Management Safeguards (e.g., APEX Analytix)

Today, we profile the third essential COVID-19 procurement technology vendor: Allocation Network (Allocation). It is also one of the most capable solutions for procurement in the diversified manufacturing domain, based on our Q4 2019 SolutionMap ratings for Sourcing and Supplier Management. Allocation provides a direct-materials-centric platform that “grew up” in the automotive industry — arguably the hardest and most demanding for supplier identification, sourcing, first article testing and ongoing quality.

With COVID-19 impacting existing supply bases, especially in China, the rest of Asia and Europe (thus far), there will be numerous emerging needs for companies across manufacturing. These include: rapidly identifying new sources of supply, conducting complex sourcing events for materials, parts and components (which may be tied to broader bills of material), qualifying suppliers based on targeted requirements (e.g., for a specific line), and managing and tracking suppliers based on custom scorecarding.

After the pause button is lifted on production — in cases where one is put into place — these needs will become especially acute during the recovery phase in specific regions (which may be different from the recovery phase in other geographies). For European and North American manufacturers, Allocation is one of only a select few vendors who could become their “go-to” sourcing and supplier management specialist in the wake of COVID-19.

This PRO brief explains why.

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

Updated — CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE: Consider These Procurement Technology Solutions to Get You Through the COVID-19 Pandemic (Introduction)

risk management

UPDATED Sunday, March 22: Spend Matters analysts have updated this PRO Coronavirus Response piece to include two additional categories and related providers, in addition to our five original categories. All of our recommended vendors are now listed in each category. Last week, this post was unlocked from behind the paywall so all Spend Matters readers could see the types of procurement technology solutions that can be helpful for businesses during the COVID-19 crisis. These solutions can only do so much, but we’re seeing some creative uses for their tools. And the providers are also responding with specialized programs and free/freemium offers to help out.

If you are a practitioner, consulting firm or a provider that has found novel ways to help cope with the disruption from the coronavirus pandemic, we’d very much like to hear from you and share your lessons and capabilities. We’ll also update our coronavirus resource page, which lists all of our COVID-19 coverage.

As this series continues, individual vendor profiles will be included in category-specific briefs for PRO subscribers — but, as always, the excerpts on the PRO briefs will be updated with helpful information that is free for all readers.

The genesis of this series is that the Spend Matters analyst team got together virtually in an emergency brainstorming session about the coronavirus outbreak. The purpose was to review our existing research and identify the most critical groups of procurement solution types and example providers that could be potentially useful to procurement organizations managing through the COVID-19 pandemic. We decided during this session to publish a comprehensive series to inform our subscribers.

As such, this PRO series will initially explore seven types of providers. And it will detail multiple providers in each category*, including how each specifically can address COVID-19 procurement challenges. We will add to this list as more practitioners, consulting firms and solution providers come forward to share their learnings and their relevant capabilities. If you are a member of one of these groups, and you are addressing the pandemic in a way that others can learn from that you can share, please contact us here and let us know more!

These are the seven categories of providers that we will profile in this series:

1. Supply risk management (e.g., riskmethods, resilinc, EcoVadis, Resilience360, RapidRatings, etc.) See the riskmethods profile for this series here.)

2. Sourcing and commodity management, including advanced sourcing, direct sourcing and commodity management to help dynamically plan and source (e.g., Allocation Network, Jaggaer, Synertrade, Tealbook, etc.)

3. Advanced procurement analytics to enable direct procurement and/or to perform “spend planning” when demand drops out or spikes (e.g., Sievo, LevaData, Suplari, and others.)

4. P2P that emphasizes working capital, dynamic discounting, payment control and related finance priorities (e.g., Basware, Coupa, Tradeshift, Taulia, etc.) to help inject cash into the P2P process — especially for harder-hit suppliers who are more than happy to trade discounts for mission-critical cash.

5. Fraud, P2P and vendor management safeguards (e.g., APEX Analytix, AppZen, ConnXus and others) 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 affected 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. Sample providers include specialists such as Seal Software (now DocuSign), Conga (which acquired Counselytics), LegalSifter, and Kira Systems — as well as AI-capable CLM providers such as Icertis, Agiloft, SirionLabs, Exari (now part of Coupa), and a few others.

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 caused by the pandemic — especially within healthcare (e.g., see this Reuters article calling out staffing agencies that are paying $3,000-4,000 per week for fill-in travel nurses). 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. Some existing providers that we cover include Upwork, Shiftgig, Field Nation, Fiverr, Shortlist and others. But we expect many more use cases and providers to emerge given that the pandemic inherently affects people way more than it impacts widgets (other than critical medical supplies/equipment).

We can’t profile every provider in this quick-hit series, especially those that have not gone through a formal briefing, demonstration and fact-check process. And we’ll almost certainly be adding more providers and use cases as the situation unfolds. For example, supply chain planning and execution systems are getting tested right now as dynamic re-planning needs to occur (e.g., how to reschedule truck loads when drivers call in sick or have nowhere to rest/eat when the truck stops are closed).

Please note, this series will not duplicate past coverage. It is meant to build on existing research and share, specifically, how solutions can address the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic (and those challenges that will emerge during it). Our approach is one of not just about throwing tech at the problem, but more of “the art of the possible” and tapping supply markets for innovation and capabilities (which is what procurement is increasingly tapped for itself). And we also want to state emphatically that this isn’t an opportunistic effort to capitalize on mass death. It’s a critical time for empathy, leadership and goodwill to try to help each other however we can.

Finally, our guidance does not focus on technologies to support “the basics,” such as listening to your major customers who are sending you guidance on risk mitigation (for example, a major retailer is advising suppliers to turn up the heat in warehouses, if possible, to reduce the likelihood of transmission). Nor other foundational work streams such as doubling down on janitorial support to disinfect surfaces, checking in with critical suppliers and getting feedback, evaluating the most critical contracts to get out of (and/or amend), understanding if you can get additional allocation if needed (with your hard-earned “customer of choice” status, right?), adjusting savings targets, reducing budgets (generally), etc. Some of this can seem like “supply risk motherhood and apple pie.” But, to borrow another cliche, you still need to “Just do it”!

Yet, some opportunities are not as obvious. So, in this PRO series of research briefs, we will focus on sharing specific use cases and example vendors that can make the difference beyond the basics, and put you, ideally, in a better situation than your peers — rather than simply treading water (or worse).

In this first installment, we will begin by framing each area in terms of the specific business issues that targeted technologies solutions can address. We’ll also give a preview of some providers in each area (i.e., vendors we will explore in greater detail in our category-specific drill-downs that we’ll be publishing soon within these “early” weeks of the global COVID-19 pandemic). Let’s begin.

* We’ll start the series with providers that have briefed Spend Matters about their solution, including going through detailed product demonstrations and research fact-checks in the past (resulting in PRO coverage and, if applicable, SolutionMap ratings). We may opt to add additional providers beyond these depending on the length of the crisis. Please note, owing to the fluidity of the situation and “need for speed” we may not provide fact-checks to the vendors mentioned if time does not permit, as we are basing our write-ups on our working knowledge of the solutions already, as demonstrated and validated previously.

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

Category Analytics and Intelligence Providers: Defining and Exploring a Nascent Market for Procurement Solutions (Part 4 — IT, Marketing and Should-Cost Software)

This final PRO installment of Spend Matters’ assessment of category analytics and category intelligence looks at providers focused on IT, marketing and should-cost modeling/analysis.

Accurate intelligence and benchmarks on goods and services are essential to effective sourcing, yet few procurement organizations have comprehensive coverage for all data sources across all categories that they manage. So to help practitioners get a better lay of the category intelligence and analytics landscape, Spend Matters has begun a market scan of technology, data/benchmarking and cost-modeling providers that deliver “category analytics and intelligence” to procurement and other functions. And while few firms in the nascent mega market are perfectly alike, our initial findings have convinced us that category analytics and intelligence could become one of the most important provider markets for procurement to deliver best-in-class performance in the 2020s.

This Spend Matters PRO brief provides an introduction to category analytics and intelligence market and an overview of select providers by category. Part 1 of this series defined what exactly the market consists of, potential ways to segment it, and a basic framework for comparing vendors within and across sectors. Part 2 provided an overview of providers in the direct materials, indirect materials and cross-category specialist (direct and indirect) sectors, and Part 3 covered labor/services and transportation. Now for Part 4, let’s examine the providers focused on IT, marketing and should-cost modeling/analysis.

Category specific providers mentioned in this brief include: aPriori, Digital Decisions, Decideware, easyKost, What’s the Price (Buynamics), NPI Financial, Sourceit, 3quotes and Zylo.

Category Analytics and Intelligence Providers: Defining and Exploring a Nascent Market for Procurement Solutions (Part 3 — Labor/Services and Transportation)

Accurate intelligence and benchmarks on goods and services are essential to effective sourcing, yet few procurement organizations have comprehensive coverage for all data sources across all categories that they manage. So to help practitioners get a better lay of the category intelligence and analytics landscape, Spend Matters has begun a market scan of technology, data/benchmarking and cost-modeling providers that deliver “category analytics and intelligence” to procurement and other functions. And while few firms in the nascent mega market are perfectly alike, our initial findings have convinced us that category analytics and intelligence could become one of the most important provider markets for procurement to deliver best-in-class performance in the 2020s.

This four-part Spend Matters PRO brief provides an introduction to category analytics and intelligence market and an overview of select providers by category. Part 1 of this series defined what exactly the market consists of, potential ways to segment it, and a basic framework for comparing vendors within and across sectors. Part 2 provided an overview of providers in the direct materials, indirect materials and cross-category specialist (direct and indirect) sectors. This installment (Part 3) covers labor/services and transportation. Part 4 will cover IT, marketing and should-cost solutions.

Category specific providers mentioned in this brief include: Avetta, Bodhala, Chainalytics, Coupa, Brightfield TDX, DAT Solutions, HCM Strategies, Jaggaer, SAP Live Insights, Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA), TenderEasy, Trax Group and Sisense.

Category Analytics and Intelligence Providers: Defining and Exploring a Nascent Market for Procurement Solutions (Part 2 — Direct Materials, Indirect Materials and Cross-Category Specialists)

Accurate intelligence and benchmarks on goods and services are essential to effective sourcing, yet few procurement organizations have comprehensive coverage for all data sources across all categories that they manage. So to help practitioners get a better lay of the category intelligence and analytics landscape, Spend Matters has begun a market scan of technology, data/benchmarking and cost-modeling providers that deliver “category analytics and intelligence” to procurement and other functions.

Increasingly, we believe these solutions will replace Excel as the sourcing operating system for a broad range of strategic categories. And while few firms in the nascent mega market are perfectly alike, our initial findings have convinced us that category analytics and intelligence could become one of the most important provider markets for procurement to deliver best-in-class — or better — performance in the 2020s.

This Spend Matters PRO brief provides an introduction to the category analytics and category intelligence market and an overview of select providers by category. Part 1 of this series defined what exactly the market consists of, potential ways to segment it, and a basic framework for comparing vendors within and across sectors. This installment (Part 2) explores the characteristics, relative maturity and competitive dynamics of providers in the direct materials, indirect materials and cross-category specialist sectors that offer a combination of direct and indirect materials coverage. Parts 3 and 4 will cover labor and services, transportation, IT, marketing and should-cost solutions.

Category-specific providers mentioned in this brief include these: Beroe, Fastmarkets, GEP, ICIS, IHS, Infomine, ION Group, ISG, LeaseAccelerator, MetalMiner, Mintec Global, The Plastics Exchange, The Smart Cube, RTI Global, Logicsource, SourceOne (Corcentric), SDI and ThomasNet.