Author Archives: Spend Matters Analyst Team



Category Analytics and Intelligence Providers: Defining and Exploring a Nascent Market for Procurement Solutions (Part 1 — Introduction)

marketing

If data is the new oil, then identifying the reservoirs and shale formations from which to extract prices, benchmarks and other pertinent purchasing information is a critical task for procurement and supply chain organizations. Why? Because the success of any sourcing effort depends on not just identifying the appropriate specifications and suppliers to satisfy a requisition but also on determining accurate market prices, benchmarks, forecasts and supplier capabilities to both strategically and tactically execute.

Yet all too often, sourcing and procurement groups begin drilling blindly. They use last year’s results to benchmark the cost of goods and services, rather than what those purchases should cost when considering all possible options. Most organizations lack a guide for finding the data sources and related tools like analytics and forecasting that can enable a more ambitious approach, as the various companies that can provide some intelligence are often difficult to identify.

Some companies may be trade publishers with access to exclusive data; others may be consulting firms that have moved into the data business, using price and benchmarking information as a foot in the door to upsell advisory services or technology; and still others may be native technology providers that have collected data as part of their normal delivery process than can be repackaged or analyzed to provide valuable insights.

Rather than drill randomly, sourcing and procurement groups need a map of the landscape for category analytics and category intelligence that helps them make smart purchasing decisions.

So we’ve set out to create that map.

In 2019, we began constructing a landscape assessment of firms that provide data/intelligence or tailored technology to support category-based sourcing efforts.

Spend Matters has spoken with more than 50 firms so far that fall outside the usual suspects when considering procurement and supply chain providers — many of which practitioners may not even be generally familiar with. But each of these firms in some way can help organizations deliver new competitive advantage if selected appropriately, and the deeper we get into this nascent “market,” the more we think 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 series introduces the category analytics and intelligence market as we have begun to define it, segmenting providers into subgroupings by category. It includes evaluations of firms in eight initial groupings:

* Direct materials
* Indirect materials
* Cross-category specialists
* Labor and services
* Transportation
* IT
* Marketing
* Software (should-cost solutions)

The solution providers that we identify will be featured in extended Vendor Introductions reviews and will be available as we produce them during 2020 and beyond. Vendors that we already have profiled are linked when mentioned below. Further, we plan to expand and evaluate additional vendors and categories (e.g., warehousing) as we continue our research on this new coverage area.

Today, we begin by defining the sector, sharing an overall segmentation of the market and providing a framework by which to evaluate category analytics and intelligence providers to see if they meet your specific needs.

Beyond the Traditional SRM Scorecard: Supplier Management Metrics to Diagnose Your Supplier Management Operations (Part 1: Search and Enablement)

Editor's note: This is a refresh of our 2017 series on supplier management metrics, which originally ran on Spend Matters PRO.

In recent years, prominent procure-to-pay (P2P) providers have increasingly offered opt-in peer benchmarking capabilities. This newly available data has changed the way consultants and advisors evaluate procurement performance. Benchmarks and key performance indicators (KPIs) once analyzed on a periodic basis, for instance, are now becoming embedded into procurement processes and continuously updated with new information as it becomes available.

Because of this, procurement organizations are becoming increasingly aware of the benefits measuring performance based on a standard set of benchmarks and KPIs can bring to overall P2P performance. Yet the same cannot be said of supplier management activities, despite the significant cost and risk they pose to procurement. In fact, Spend Matters has found that most procurement organizations are not yet measuring a complete set of KPIs to manage the lifecycle of supplier activities and associated supplier information. Solution providers have not helped this situation, either, instead glossing over supplier management in favor of KPIs and peer benchmarking services in core transactional procurement areas.

It’s time to change this. To give procurement organizations operational metrics that mirror the KPIs available in P2P, this multipart Spend Matters PRO series provides an action guide for measuring and quantifying some of the benefits of "day in the life" operational supplier management activities. It also provides a roadmap and foundational input for building a business case to support these initiatives, including investments in dedicated technology solutions and tactical KPIs for managing them.

Part 1 of this series offers diagnostic KPIs for self-assessing supplier search and enablement performance. For each metric, we include commentary and insight on why it matters to procurement, guidance on enablement and measurement, suggestions for procurement technology systems that can be used for support and variable inputs for tracking.

We also encourage all Spend Matters readers, including non-Spend Matters PRO subscribers, to download our recent 2017 landscape definition and overview on supplier management and supply risk management, which provide details on the different technical components of these solution areas.

Coupa buys Yapta: A look at the T&E deal and provider capabilities

This week, Coupa, a provider of business spend management solutions, announced its acquisition of Yapta, a solution provider that enables businesses to automatically monitor and re-book air and hotel reservations when prices drop. Yapta also provides category specific spend analytics and intelligence. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

While likely not a large market shakeup, the acquisition of Yapta still catapults Coupa from one of many brands competing against “the big T&E kahuna,” SAP Concur, in the enterprise and SMB space to one of the few specialized technology providers that can tell a broader story that includes truly non-invasive travel savings and category management.

Travel is a very significant category for most companies. According to the 2018 GBTA BTI Outlook — Annual Global Report & Forecast report, travel spending reached $1.33 trillion in 2017, up 5.8% over 2016 levels. The report also forecasted that business travel spend would expand to $1.7 trillion by 2022.

Business travel spend as a percent of total spend varies by industry and company. However, available market data suggests that aggregate global business travel spend is approximately 2-3X the aggregate global spend on temporary staffing services. In other words: Too significant for procurement to ignore.

Spend Matters spoke to Yapta CEO James Filsinger and Coupa’s Donna Wilczek, senior vice president of product strategy and innovation, about the acquisition. Coupa told Spend Matters the Yapta solution will augment and integrate (and ultimately be unified) with Coupa’s business spend management (BSM) platform with offerings in both its Travel & Expense and Spend Analysis segments. This Spend Matters PRO analysis provides an introduction to Yapta and offers an analysis of the combination.

Segmenting the Procurement Tech Market: A Simple Visual Guide to Picking the Right Software Tools

procurement software

Identifying potential software vendors that fit your procurement organization’s current (and possibly future) needs is unfortunately easier said than done. We won’t place all the blame on any one instigator, but the Google search algorithm is doing more harm than good when directing technology evaluators toward “definitive” directories for procurement solutions.

Many of the top search results for phrases like “procurement software tools” aim more for breadth of coverage than depth or, frankly, accuracy. Absent from most top 10/50/100 lists are clear, logical segmentations of procurement software vendors into easily understood areas of the market landscape.

We hear this not only in our conversations with practitioners but also, oddly, in our discussions with software companies. Many vendors think they belong in a market segment like e-procurement (because they support electronic means of procurement), when e-procurement specifically covers transactional purchasing software as enabled by catalogs, requisitioning, and ordering/shopping tools.

So let’s clear the polluted SEO air.

This Spend Matter PRO brief provides a simple visual segmentation guide to the procurement tech market, segmenting software vendors into clear buckets that reflect the source-to-pay process. The aim is not to provide a definitive or exhaustive market overview but to begin creating clarity where there is still confusion for this market. 

And as we add to this segmentation project, we hope to create increasingly meaningful, interactive versions of this market segmentation that further help procurement organizations, software companies, and the consultants and investors who support these groups all make better decisions. After all, these are the providers driving the overall "total addressable market," or TAM, for the sector.

Q4 2019 SolutionMap Release Notes: Sourcing, Spend & Procurement Analytics, Supplier Relationship Management & Risk, Contract Lifecycle Management and Strategic Procurement Technology Suites

This Spend Matters SolutionMap Insider research note provides insight into the Q4 2019 SolutionMap release for Sourcing, Spend and Procurement Analytics, Supplier Relationship Management & Risk, Contract Lifecycle Management, and Strategic Procurement Technologies Suite SolutionMap areas, reviewing the process we follow and highlighting what has changed since the last release.

Within the individual areas covered in this brief, the following providers have been added to the Q4 2019 release:

— Promena is a new participant in the Sourcing SolutionMap category.
— Spendata is a new participant in the Spend & Procurement Analytics SolutionMap category.
— Vendorful is a new participant in the Sourcing and Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) & Risk SolutionMap categories.

Wax Digital has added a new category to its existing participation this quarter: Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM).

In addition, 31 new or refreshed customer references (and 51 individual map references) were added in the Strategic Procurement Technology areas for Q4 2019.

*Get a first look at the Q4 SolutionMap comparative quadrant graphics here.

The Q4 2019 SolutionMap marks the first time Jaggaer solutions have been evaluated against Q2 2019 RFI requirements by the Spend Matters analyst team, and are able to again appear in this quarter’s editions of the Provider Scoring Summaries.

(SolutionMap Insider members: access the Q4 Provider Scoring Summary reports right here.)

Q4 2019 SolutionMap Release Notes: E-Procurement, Invoice-to-Pay and Procure-to-Pay

This Spend Matters SolutionMap Insider Release Note provides insight into the Q4 2019 SolutionMap release for E-Procurement, Invoice-to-Pay (I2P) and Procure-to-Pay (P2P), reviewing the process that we follow and highlighting what has changed since the last release.

The E-Procurement, I2P and P2P customer reference set added 20 new individual customer references in Q4. There were no new providers added for Q4, although Jaggaer One (formerly Jaggaer Indirect) has successfully been scored against the new Q2 2019 RFI requirements for the first time.

*Get a first look at the Q4 SolutionMap comparative quadrant graphics here.

As Jaggaer has unified three of its product lines — Jaggaer Indirect, Jaggaer Direct and Jaggaer Advantage — into Jaggaer One, which allows customers and prospects to select the best modules from each offering to fit an organization’s unique needs, Spend Matters has broken out the naming convention for the Jaggaer offerings more specifically for Q4 2019 SolutionMap in the persona ranking graphics. This means that in the E-Procurement and Invoice-to-Pay category this quarter, the solution/product formerly known as Jaggaer Indirect is now listed as: Jaggaer eProcurement and Jaggaer Invoice-to-Pay.

Due to Jaggaer’s participation in both E-Procurement and Invoice-to-Pay, the provider also appears in the Procure-to-Pay Suite view, as Jaggaer Procure-to-Pay.

The Q4 2019 SolutionMap marks the first time Jaggaer solutions have been evaluated against Q2 2019 RFI requirements by the Spend Matters analyst team, and are able to again appear in this quarter’s editions of the Provider Scoring Summaries.

This SolutionMap Insider research note provides insight into these and additional changes in the Q4 2019 SolutionMap release.

(Insider members: Access the Q4 Provider Scoring Summary reports right here.)

Q4 2019 SolutionMap Release Notes: Source-to-Pay Suites

This Spend Matters SolutionMap Insider release note provides insight into the Q4 2019 SolutionMap release for Source-to-Pay, reviewing the process that we followed for this quarter’s release.

The providers in the Q4 2019 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.

*Get a first look at the Q4 SolutionMap comparative quadrant graphics here.

The Q4 2019 SolutionMap marks the first time Jaggaer One (formerly Jaggaer Indirect) is participating in the S2P Suite view, having participated in each underlying module.

SAP Ariba did not update their scoring and, as a result, saw their scores 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 886 individual organization references included in the overall SolutionMap scoring as of Q4 2019*.

This SolutionMap Insider research note provides insight into the nature of the expanded RFI, methodology, customer references and additional changes in the Q4 2019 SolutionMap release.

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

Q4 2019 SolutionMap Release Notes: Contingent Workforce & Services (CW/S) Enterprise Technology Solutions — Temp Staffing, Contract Services/Statement of Work (SOW), Direct Sourcing of Workforce/Services

Q4 2019 marks the sixth 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).

Beginning in Q3 2019, Spend Matters changed the name of the Independent Contract Workers (ICW) category to Direct Sourcing of Workforce/Services, primarily to express the proper scope of the category’s coverage of those solution providers that enterprises use to source and manage both workers and small services firms in a relatively direct manner. (At the very least, a traditional supplier’s role is more limited and the technology solution enables more direct sourcing and talent management by an end-client.)

The full list of providers in the Q4 2019 CW/S SolutionMap includes:

— Beeline
— Coupa
— Elevated Resources
— Field Nation
— Shiftgig
— Shortlist
— SirionLabs
— TalentNet
— Talmix
— TalonFMS
— Upwork Enterprise
— VectorVMS
— Vndly
— WorkMarket (ADP)

As noted further below, a vendor may participate in a SolutionMap category but may not necessarily appear on the SolutionMap comparative quadrant graphics (get a first look here).

Given Spend Matters’ procurement orientation, we evaluate “enterprise technology” vendors within a source-to-pay (S2P) reference model. In other words, we look at vendors in terms of their capabilities that address some or all enterprise requirements that arise within an S2P lifecycle (i.e., from supplier sourcing to worker or supplier payment).

We have gathered extensive business profile information, have more than 100 active customer survey references and have assigned scores to specific solution capabilities (RFI line items) ranging from well over 100 to about 300, depending upon how many SolutionMap categories a particular vendor participated in.

Medius buying Wax Digital: Customer recommendations after the deal

M&A can sometimes be a threat to customer value. Even in the best situations, acquisitions can introduce uncertainty for customers in terms of pricing, support and related areas. And in the worst, M&A can put actual and implied contractual terms and supplier obligations (if not expectations) at risk come renewal time — and even threaten the underlying reasons for why a technology was selected in the first place. For customers, skepticism in vendor M&A is always better than the alternative. But we look at the combination of Medius and Wax Digital from a slightly different lens, as the combination under the backing of a growth-oriented private equity owner joins together two organizations that could, for a variety of reasons, bring benefits to customers with less potential for downside risk than many M&A transactions.

Regardless, the informed customer — the one that has every intent on getting the most out of their technology supplier after it is acquired or merged with another entity — will always invest the time to understand a combination from an objective lens, how it may benefit them above and beyond the current commercial relationship that is in place and their true BATNA (best alternative to negotiated agreement) for all current and potential engagement elements. Such insight, even if a transaction like Medius-Wax appears to benefit them on the surface, will always pay dividends, and will put procurement and finance buyers in the driver’s seat to make the best decisions for them.

This Spend Matters PRO analysis provides recommendations for customers of Wax Digital and Medius. If you are new to our coverage of the transaction, we recommend starting first with our free site coverage: here and here. Spend Matters Nexus subscribers (those within the M&A ecosystem including sponsors, CEOs, boards and corporate development leaders) can also read our deeper analysis of the combination here:

* Part 1: Company Backgrounds, Product Strengths/Weaknesses, Deal Rationale
* Part 2: Wax strengths, customers, integration considerations
* Part 3: Strategy and competitive landscape analysis for AP automation and invoice-to-pay.
* Part 4: Strategy and competitive landscape analysis for procurement and ERP vendors

We encourage all subscribers to reach out to us to understand how this and other transactions may impact where they sit in the market.

Disclosure: Azul Partners served as an adviser to Marlin Equity in the Wax-Medius transaction.

Procurement Technology, Consulting Pricing Trends and Negotiation Strategies – The Times They Are a-Changin’ (Part 1)

Editor's note: This is a refresh of our 2012 series on solution provider pricing trends and negotiation strategies, which originally ran on Spend Matters PRO.

This 4-part series will provide a look at software provider and management consulting pricing trends and negotiation strategies within the procurement and operations area. It provides insight to buying organizations that may be helpful in negotiating with vendors such as Ariba, SAP, Oracle, Emptoris, Zycus and others, as well as recommendations for how best to engage with consultancies for price and value in the current environment.

So You Want to Build a P2P Marketplace? An Introduction to Unique B2B Technology, Platform and Application Requirements

e-procurement

Procure-to-pay (P2P) solutions do not just have to take the form of “vanilla” cloud/SaaS applications. Increasingly, organizations are becoming aware of the power of B2B marketplace models and platform-as-a-service (PaaS) models, which can enable greater flexibility to configure P2P capabilities for a combination of internal and third-party users — and in certain cases, to leverage the buying, distribution, payment / financing (in the case of banks), and supply chain assets of the marketplace sponsor to create entirely new business models through the use of technology.

In many ways, this is the realization of the vision of the original B2B marketplaces from two decades ago (e.g., Commerce One MarketSite, i2 TradeMatrix, Ariba/Tradex, Atlas Commerce, etc.), but with technology that can support the complex requirements involved in many-to-many and multi-tier collaboration models, as well as integration approaches that go beyond standard API calls.

This is B2B nirvana for procurement and supply chain geeks like us who have lived through multiple cycles of marketplace enthusiasm (madness?). The fact that a number of vendors exist today that can service these models effectively is testament to just how far technology has come in recent years. This includes not only the usual P2P best-of-breed subjects supporting these models (e.g., Basware, Coupa, Ivalua, SAP, Tradeshift, etc.) but also names you might not be familiar with as well.

This Spend Matters PRO brief provides an introduction to the types of platform and functional capabilities necessary for organizations considering building a marketplace model or leveraging an existing PaaS application ecosystem to go outside the box of standard P2P process models and operating models for internal use only.

Leveraging Spend Matters’ experience in managing the technology selection processes for marketplace initiatives and our SolutionMap vendor RFI requirements, our analysis introduces a range of platform and application requirements that companies should consider when evaluating solutions that can power the requirements of marketplace models for B2B relationships beyond the standard requirements expected of P2P solutions.

These include core platform components, data schema, data management, workflow, personalization, supplier portal, supplier information management, analytics, globalization and related requirements.

Elevated Resources: What Makes It Great (Temp Staffing/VMS SolutionMap Analysis)

ELEVATE VMS — a product of Elevated Resources Inc., a contingent workforce services provider — is something of a new kid on the block in the evolving contingent workforce and services (CW/S) enterprise technology solution market. So it’s likely that few practitioners have heard of this VMS. But that’s because ELEVATE was not typically marketed as a technology solution separate from the Elevated Resources MSP and other service offerings.

This changed in early 2019 when Elevated Resources experienced a large increase in interest and demand for the ELEVATE VMS solution apart from the company’s service offerings. So while ELEVATE is a new face in the VMS solution market, it is actually a sophisticated technology platform and SaaS application that has been developed over a period of years within Elevated Resources.

Right out of the blocks, ELEVATE’s target market is almost exclusively mid-size organizations with $1 million to $100 million in contingent workforce spend. Today, it is true that ELEVATE might not stand up competitively to a top-tier VMS for the use case of, say, a 50,000-employee organization operating in 25 countries. But it can very well stand up as a robust, truly cost-effective solution for midsize organizations with a predominant presence in the U.S. (though the solution’s geographic footprint is being expanded). In addition, ELEVATE VMS has the experience and know-how of Elevated Resources standing behind it; and in the Spend Matters SolutionMap, the company has achieved outstanding client survey scores.

Spend Matters breaks down the broadening and evolving CW/S enterprise technology solution market into three main categories. Those are solutions to manage:

* Temp Staffing, the primary historical focus and largest category of spend under management for established VMS providers (e.g., Beeline, Coupa-DCR Contingent Workforce, SAP Fieldglass, etc.)
* Contract Services/SOW (Statement of Work), the spend category now contributing the highest growth to VMS providers’ spend under management.
* Direct Sourcing of Workforce/Services (DSW/S), while the largest volume of spend under management and numbers of users lie in the Temp Staffing solution category, top VMS providers have been evolving and increasingly providing capabilities to enable clients to directly source and engage contingent workers and manage the corresponding spend and risk.

At the time of our Q3 2019 Solution Map RFI submission, ELEVATE provided solution capabilities for temporary staffing to a handful of clients (these have been validated through client references). While Elevated Resources was able to demo a substantial range of SOW management capabilities, the rollout of that part of the solution was early stage and no client references were submitted. Therefore, for the Q3 SolutionMap, ELEVATE was only evaluated in the Temp Staffing category.

So where does Elevated Resources and its VMS fit into the burgeoning CW/S solution market? As of Q3 2019, the Spend Matters vendor ranking system, SolutionMap, contains functional and customer satisfaction benchmarks on more than 50 providers within the overall procurement technology landscape, including 14 providers within the CW/S segment. But where does Elevated Resources stand out most and help “set the bar” for the Temp Staffing segment? And why should this matter for procurement and HR organizations? Let’s delve into the SolutionMap benchmark to find out where Elevated Resources is great.

“What Makes It Great” is a recurring column that shares insights from each quarterly SolutionMap report for SolutionMap Insider subscribers. Based on both our rigorous evaluation process and customer reference reviews, each brief offers quick facts on the provider, describes where it excels, provides hard data on where it beats the SolutionMap benchmark and concludes with a checklist for ideal customer scenarios in which procurement, finance and supply chain organizations should consider it.