E-Sourcing Content

ProcurePort: Vendor Introduction (Solution Overview, Strengths/Weaknesses, SWOT, Market Analysis) [PRO]

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Introduction offers a candid take on ProcurePort and its capabilities. The brief includes an overview of ProcurePort’s strategic sourcing offering, a breakdown of what is comparatively good (and not so good) about the solution, a SWOT analysis and a selection requirements checklist for companies that might consider the provider.

ProcurePort offers a strategic sourcing solution that’s main focus is on configuring and managing RFX and auction processes. The vendor started out in 2011 as a reverse auction platform, later adding support for RFX creation and adjacent capabilities for contract and supplier information management (SIM). In 2018, ProcurePort acquired a separate P2P platform that it now sells under its brand, but the upstream and downstream solutions are separate products and not sold as a unified source-to-pay offering. (This analysis does not consider ProcurePort’s P2P product.)

The ProcurePort customer base includes both larger manufacturers and small companies (i.e., teams of two or three practitioners managing approximately $50 million in spend). Manufacturers in particular gravitate to ProcurePort for its ability to handle large item counts — ranging from 1,000 to 15,000 items in some cases — as well as its positioning as a competitively priced tool (single seats and bundles are priced significantly below those of S2P competitors like Coupa, Ivalua and Jaggaer).

In addition to its SaaS solution, ProcurePort also offers managed services for reverse auction management and spend analysis (e.g., spend classification).

Let’s take a deeper look at ProcurePort and its solution.

CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE: Fraud, P2P and Vendor Management Safeguards — Protecting cash and rapidly vetting suppliers in a crisis [PRO]

In this installment of our “Coronavirus Response” series, Spend Matters will explore fraud, P2P and vendor management safeguards. With the COVID-19 crisis creating new fires for procurement to put out and critical supply risks arising to address, fraud is an unfortunate reality that businesses need to remain on guard against — especially in times where bad actors mobilize to take advantage of distracted and newly remote operations. This PRO brief will focus on the first three solution providers that we’ll profile in this category: AppZen, ConnXus and APEX Analytix.

The mission of this series is to examine categories of relevant solutions and example providers that professionals in procurement, finance and supply chain organizations should investigate to reduce, and even mitigate, coronavirus supply risk. And even if the solutions are only addressing a subset of the issues, the ability to respond intelligently in the short term can also help set organizations up for the future when sanity returns to the world.

Today’s brief focuses on the fifth of the seven solution categories that we’re covering:

1. Supply risk management solutions that include supply chain risk, CSR risk, supplier financial risk, etc.
2. Sourcing and commodity management, including advanced sourcing, direct sourcing, automated supplier discovery, and commodity management to help dynamically plan and source. (See this category’s recommended solutions for direct sourcing here.)
3. Advanced procurement analytics to enable direct procurement and/or to perform “spend planning” when demand drops out or spikes. (Its profile for this series is here.)
4. Procure to Pay (P2P) that emphasizes working capital, dynamic discounting, payment control and related finance priorities to help inject cash into the P2P process — especially for many cash-starved suppliers. (This category is discussed in-depth here.)
5. Fraud, P2P and vendor management safeguards 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 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.
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. 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. (The first PRO brief from this category, about sourcing remote/online work, can be read here.)

Owing to the magnitude of the crisis, Spend Matters recently made the series introduction available for free to all readers. PRO subscribers can see our follow-up pieces that profile the other categories and their solutions in that market. We will include a lot of information on each category PRO brief that readers can see without hitting a paywall, but since we also draw heavily from our existing deep-dive analysis of the providers from our SolutionMap database, some information will be available only to our PRO subscribers.

For fraud and vendor safeguards, the immediate need for companies in all sectors will include proactively detecting fraudulent behavior from all possible sources, whether it’s employees abusing normal corporate channels (e.g., stocking their own homes with toilet paper on the company dime) or cybercriminals posing as suppliers to reroute payments into personal bank accounts. At the same time, manufacturers may need to identify new sources of supply, leading them to rapidly onboard new suppliers. Yet without proper safeguards in place, a frantic selection could lead to longer-term problems, should the supplier have past issues with regulatory compliance or run an unsustainable operation.

The initial three solutions — from AppZen, ConnXus and APEX Analytix — all have capabilities in proactive fraud detection or supplier risk management, especially as it pertains to the validation of supplier information. We will likely add providers with similar and other strengths in fraud detection and vendor risk management at a later stage.

Each category-specific PRO piece in this series has three sections:

1. Problems and Use Cases. We’ll highlight the problems in force (which will vary through different phases of the crisis) and the various scenarios where solutions can provide deeper insights, intelligence and scalable workflows.
2. Solution Rationale and Value. We’ll outline how various solutions can help solve the problems and the specific questions that they’ll help answer.
3. Example Providers. We’ll highlight the solution providers that can support the problems and deliver value.

Some providers are offering coronavirus-specific programs and “freemium” commercial offers, and we’ll note those whenever we update this piece. We’ll also start the series with providers that we already have deep knowledge on, but we’ve been seeking information from other vendors too.

Let’s jump into how fraud and vendor safeguard solutions can help.

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

CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE: Sourcing and Commodity Management — Securing direct materials during the crisis and recovery phases [PRO]

In this installment of our “Coronavirus Response” series, Spend Matters will explore sourcing and commodity management, with a focus on direct materials. With COVID-19 impacting logistics and existing supply bases, in China (even though China seems to be recovering), the rest of Asia and Europe (thus far), there will be numerous emerging needs for companies across manufacturing. This PRO brief will focus on the first three solution providers that we’ll profile in this category: Allocation Network, Coupa and Jaggaer.

The mission of this series is to examine categories of relevant solutions and example providers that professionals in procurement, finance and supply chain organizations should investigate to reduce, and even mitigate, coronavirus supply risk. And even if the solutions are only addressing a subset of the issues, the ability to respond intelligently in the short term can also help set organizations up for the future when sanity returns to the world.

Today’s brief focuses on the second of the seven solution categories that we’re covering:

1. Supply risk management solutions that include supply chain risk, CSR risk, supplier financial risk, etc.
2. Sourcing and commodity management, including advanced sourcing, direct sourcing, automated supplier discovery, and commodity management to help dynamically plan and source.
3. Advanced procurement analytics to enable direct procurement and/or to perform “spend planning” when demand drops out or spikes.(Its profile for this series is here.)
4. Procure to Pay (P2P) that emphasizes working capital, dynamic discounting, payment control and related finance priorities to help inject cash into the P2P process — especially for many cash-starved suppliers. (This category is discussed in-depth here.)
5. Fraud, P2P and vendor management safeguards 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 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.
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. 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. (The first PRO brief from this category, about sourcing remote/online work, can be read here.)

Owing to the magnitude of the crisis, Spend Matters recently made the series introduction available for free to all readers. PRO subscribers can see our follow-up pieces that profile the other categories and their solutions in that market. We will include a lot of information on each category PRO brief that readers can see without hitting a paywall, but since we also draw heavily from our existing deep-dive analysis of the providers from our SolutionMap database, some information will be available only to our PRO subscribers.

For sourcing and commodity management, the emerging needs for companies across manufacturing will 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).

The initial three solutions — from Allocation Network, Coupa and Jaggaer — all have capabilities in advanced sourcing for direct materials and/or strong support for scenario modeling and optimization. We will likely add providers with similar and other strengths in sourcing and commodity management at a later stage.

Each category-specific PRO piece in this series has three sections:

1. Problems and Use Cases. We’ll highlight the problems in force (which will vary through different phases of the crisis) and the various scenarios where solutions can provide deeper insights, intelligence and scalable workflows.
2. Solution Rationale and Value. We’ll outline how various solutions can help solve the problems and the specific questions that they’ll help answer.
3. Example Providers. We’ll highlight the solution providers that can support the problems and deliver value.

Some providers are offering coronavirus-specific programs and “freemium” commercial offers, and we’ll note those whenever we update this piece. We’ll also start the series with providers that we already have deep knowledge on, but we’ve been seeking information from other vendors too.

Let’s jump into how sourcing and commodity management can help.

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

Scanmarket CEO: Coronavirus crisis is forcing companies to identify an array of business risks

The coronavirus outbreak has made online work more vital than ever, and with all of the digital transformation and increased use of procurement technology, vendors have more visibility into what’s actually going on with businesses, which even during this crisis must remain focused on serving clients while their own personnel work from home — sometimes in cities and countries under lockdowns.

To get the pulse of what’s happening, we got in touch with e-sourcing specialists Scanmarket, a company that’s facing both of those pressures. The cloud-based provider operates globally but has its core group in Denmark, one of the first countries to institute a nationwide lockdown.

In any crisis, businesses’ timelines for answers speed up and priorities change. So we talked with Scanmarket CEO Betina Nygaard to get some insight on how the crisis is unfolding and how businesses are addressing all of the risk they’re facing.

For coronavirus crisis, SourceDay customers share a consistent lesson: Prioritize supplier collaboration today

As manufacturers weather the uncertainty wrought by the coronavirus pandemic, they’re learning that effectively managing the information supply chain with a distributed workforce requires adjustments from the traditional approach.

Supply chain managers are now cut off from their office’s communications that they’ve grown dependent on to collaborate with suppliers — things like spreadsheets saved to desktops, office phones set up to make international calls on behalf of the company. The supply chain managers are either feeling the pain of relying on manual processes or adapting to a new world where critical supply chain information is intermediated by SaaS solutions.

The latter approach is how customers of SourceDay, a provider of supplier collaboration solutions for manufacturers, are handling the COVID-19 outbreak. In a briefing with Spend Matters on Thursday, the Austin, Texas-based provider shared data it has been tracking across its user base on how the outbreak is affecting manufacturer behavior, along with case studies of how the SourceDay users have applied the tool to combat this crisis.

The lessons from SourceDay customers outline a clear trend: Pursue mass segmentation and communication of priorities with suppliers rapidly, or risk being overwhelmed by the deluge of change orders, delays and cancellations created by the pandemic.

Spring/Q1 2020 SolutionMap release note: Sourcing, Spend and Procurement Analytics, Supplier Relationship Management & Risk, Contract Lifecycle Management and Strategic Procurement Technology Suites

This Spend Matters SolutionMap Insider release note provides insight into the Spring/Q1 2020 SolutionMap release for the following five categories: Sourcing, Spend and Procurement Analytics, Supplier Relationship Management & Risk, Contract Lifecycle Management, and Strategic Procurement Technologies Suite. The note reviews the process we follow and highlights what has changed 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 SolutionMap

In the above individual areas, the following providers have been added for this release:
* Conga is a new participant in the Contract Lifecycle Management SolutionMap category.
* Rosslyn Analytics is a new participant in the Spend & Procurement Analytics SolutionMap category.
* Suplari is a new participant in the Spend & Procurement Analytics SolutionMap category.
* Xeeva is a new participant in the Spend & Procurement Analytics SolutionMap category.

Wax Digital, has changed its name to Wax Digital / Medius, and Orpheus was acquired by McKinsey. Their offering is now “Spend Intelligence by McKinsey.

In addition, 72 new or refreshed customer references (and 60 individual map references) were added in the Strategic Procurement Technology areas.

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

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

SolutionMap update for Spring/Q1 2020 ranks 69 procurement technology vendors and adds AP Automation category

Spend Matters today has updated its free SolutionMap benchmark rankings for the new Spring/Q1 2020 release. The latest SolutionMap compares 69 procurement technology providers across 13 categories — which includes a new ranking map for Accounts Payable (AP) Automation vendors.

Six providers are featured in the first AP Automation category, which reflects the growing importance that vendors are placing on payments.

SolutionMap began in 2017 and has become the definitive procurement technology benchmark. It will now be updated in the spring and fall instead of each quarter.

Click on the headline above to find out which vendors are in the new AP Automation category — and to learn about new vendors to SolutionMap.

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Coronavirus and Supply Risk Management: Tips for being prepared

Global Risk Management Solutions

Are you prepared for future supply risk? Do you have a structured supply risk management approach? Given the current coronavirus headlines, you should. And here’s how to start.

Coronavirus is the quintessential example of a supply chain disruption, and its impact has been rapid and global. Given all the news about it and its effects, we have pulled together some of our best information about managing supply risk.

Customer reviews for Market Dojo are in the new SolutionMap Customer Insights report

This week’s SolutionMap Customer Insights report focuses on customer reviews for Market Dojo, an e-sourcing specialist with a suite of solutions for RFX, document and template management, supplier information management, innovation management, and category (analysis and strategy) management

The applicable SolutionMap category for this report is in our ranking of Sourcing solutions. SolutionMap Insider members can read about Market Dojo in our latest report.

In each Customer Insights report, we provide a one-page summary of details from the SolutionMap peer review process. It includes ratings on how well the vendor meets its customers' expectations, three key differentiators for the vendor and a list of quotes from customers about the vendor’s greatest strengths.

Barriers to digital procurement: What is stopping companies from doing just the basics?

hurdle

Mid-size businesses that already have an ERP system can struggle with convincing the C-suite that more technology purchases for procurement can help the whole business. In reality, these are the businesses that have the most to gain from digitally upgrading the basics — shedding manual practices, ending paper-based processes, adding visibility across the business, reducing risk and preparing the business to digitally mature even further.

If your business struggles to find insights and cost-savings, you need to upgrade the digital basics.

If your business has an ERP but you’re still handling a lot of paper, manually entering data and relying on specialists to read spreadsheets and brief stakeholders, then you need to make the business case for digitizing the basic functions. Best-of-breed modules these days work well, won’t break the bank and offer an attractive return on investment.

Customer reviews for EC Sourcing are in the new SolutionMap Customer Insights report

This week’s SolutionMap Customer Insights report focuses on customer reviews for EC Sourcing, a veteran of managing sourcing events and one of a select group of technology providers targeting the middle market with an e-sourcing platform.

The applicable SolutionMap category for this report is in our ranking of Sourcing vendors. SolutionMap Insider members can read about EC Sourcing in our latest report.

In each Customer Insights report, we provide a one-page summary of details from the SolutionMap peer review process. It includes ratings on how well the vendor meets its customers' expectations, three key differentiators for the vendor and a list of quotes from customers about the vendor’s greatest strengths.

2020 Predictions in Supplier Management: 5 Areas for Improvement in SXM [PRO]

In our other post today on SXM predicaments in 2020, we discussed some of the current predicaments around supplier management centered on supplier data, supplier segmentation and category management.

To address these issues, buying organizations need to get serious about supplier data management as well as overall supplier management strategies. Unfortunately supplier management is often a secondary responsibility for procurement organizations where the focus tends to be on sourcing and delivering savings. The exception is in some cases in the IT space where some organizations have established vendor management offices (VMOs) to manage the more strategic and critical supplier relationships.

The sourcing and savings focus also results in a lack of interest in making sure that supplier data is managed correctly. Onboarding suppliers often falls to accounts payable organizations whose focus is on making sure that the vendor master data is accurate from a standpoint of getting invoices paid and preventing fraud.

More mature organizations have, however, realized that suppliers need to be managed (not only sourced) and that there is an enormous amount of value to be realized through better supplier management and collaboration — as well as, in some cases, co-innovation.

But we also need improvement in the applications and technology to support this. In this Spend Matters PRO article, we will explore five predictions in how we think applications and the SXM market will evolve to meet these challenges and help procurement organizations manage their  suppliers better.