E-Sourcing Content

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.

Givewith Q&A: How technology allows social impact to be ‘seamlessly embedded into transactions’

As social and environmental issues become more important to regulators, consumers, investors and C-suites, companies have begun programs to address sustainability, corporate social responsibility (CSR) and topics related to ESG — environmental, social and governance issues.

Besides satisfying outside interests, businesses also can find value in these pursuits — but they may not be getting all of the benefits that they could. So we interviewed the founder of Givewith, CEO Paul Polizzotto, to shed some light on the issues.

Givewith uses technology to help companies match their sustainability and ESG efforts with a nonprofit or social enterprise that benefits those areas. Givewith evaluates hundreds of nonprofits and social enterprises and works with companies all around the world to help turn everyday business into a social benefit.

2020 Predicaments in Strategic Sourcing: How to Make It More Strategic

(Editor’s note: Spend Matters’ analysts are taking on the new year by looking at their areas of procurement technology to see what’s broken and what can and should be fixed this year. Here, analyst Magnus Bergfors lays out the predicaments faced in strategic sourcing. And for our PRO subscribers, his other post today offers his predictions for 2020.)

Strategic sourcing as a concept was introduced in the 1980’s and heavily influenced by consulting firms such as McKinsey (which gave us the famous Kraljic matrix) and A.T. Kearney — and is a process that is designed to help procurement organizations successfully source or renegotiate products and services in a deliberate manner.

While this process can deliver billions in savings, there is a larger problem. This approach is binary — you either run a strategic sourcing project or you don’t — and it’s very episodic in that once you have implemented the strategy, you then move on to the next project. This is the proverbial “drive-by sourcing” and “three bids and a buy and a cloud of dust.” This means that the follow-up and management of the contract is ignored.

Then there's the concept called category management. It has its roots going back to the Kraljic matrix (which profiles various spend/supply categories and then tailors the resulting supplier sourcing/management strategies), but the term “category management” really originates in retail, where the idea is to treat your categories as individual business units. Applied to procurement, it becomes a process to continuously manage your category.

In 2020, how should these two concepts be addressed by procurement technology vendors?

2020 Predictions for Strategic Sourcing: Continuous Analysis Needed for Category Management [PRO]

In today’s Spend Matters post about predicaments in strategic sourcing, we talked about the missing support of category management in existing e-sourcing solutions. The result of this is a lack of connection between the category management strategy and the tactical execution of sourcing events, which leads to a fragmented execution of the overall sourcing and procurement strategy.

To truly transform procurement you need to start from the top by defining your category management framework, then create the actual category strategies based in this framework and finally cascade this down into sourcing events as applicable. This is obviously doable without having a system to support it, but then, in my experience, you run a significant risk of creating category strategies once a year that you then put away and don’t look at until next year when it’s time for an update. By using a tool that has contract data, spend data and supplier management data (natively or through integration), you could create a dashboard that would support the continuous analysis of trends, risk, demands or supply changes. The defined strategy should also guide you to the right type of sourcing event with the right category-specific features and configuration.

Creating this type of solution is obviously not easy, especially the category strategy part, but we are seeing some interesting developments in the market and hearing some interesting things from vendors, and linking e-sourcing to category management is the next logical step in the evolution of sourcing technology.

In this Spend Matters PRO brief, we’ll look at a number of developments about how we believe this will play out.

Customer reviews for Scanmarket are in the new SolutionMap Customer Insights report

This week’s SolutionMap Customer Insights report focuses on customer reviews for Scanmarket, a provider of strategic sourcing solutions.

The applicable SolutionMap category for this report is in Sourcing.

SolutionMap Insider members can click here to read about Scanmarket 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.

Success is ‘the provider’s responsibility,’ Scanmarket says in webinar on implementation, ROI and services

SciQuest

Talk of digital transformation and which procurement technology to acquire take up a bulk of the conversation about how businesses should grow, but leaders in procurement software say that businesses should not ignore the implementation and consulting services that should be deployed along with the latest solutions.

In a recent webinar about getting a solid return on your technology investment, Spend Matters Founder Jason Busch talked with Scanmarket about how its team of experts helps customers succeed in using the new tool, deploying it with change management, setting the KPIs to match the buyer’s goals and assessing the success in the months after implementation.

Scanmarket CEO Betina Nygaard: ‘The e-sourcing process will change completely’

Many procurement technology firms have a short history before flaming out or being acquired, but one stalwart firm has hit a rare milestone — and has secured a strong future for itself. Scanmarket, the Denmark-based provider of strategic sourcing software, turned 20 this year — and made sure that the family business will carry on with the same mission. To learn more about what it takes to run a long-standing best-of-breed sourcing business, we talked to Scanmarket CEO Betina Nygaard for her insights about the past and the future of e-sourcing. "I think the e-sourcing process will change completely," she said.

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.)

Synertrade: What Makes It Great (Sourcing SolutionMap Analysis)

Direct materials sourcing is the elephant in the procurement technology suite room. While many source-to-pay solutions offer strong functionality in support of sourcing processes, only a handful truly support all of the requirements to enable the complexities of direct materials sourcing (e.g., sourcing optimization, bill of materials-based sourcing, commodity management).

Among this select group, Synertrade is capable of delivering a comprehensive, fully integrated and rapidly deployable source-to-pay suite that also provides organizations the ability to rapidly configure heavy internationalization and systems integration requirements. This is particularly visible in its sourcing module, where it scores above the benchmark for two-thirds of requirements evaluated, including dozens of cases where it posts some of the highest scores of any provider in the Sourcing SolutionMap.

But where does Synertrade stand out most and help “set the bar” in sourcing, and why should this matter for procurement and finance organizations? Let’s delve into the SolutionMap benchmark to find out where Synertrade 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.

An inside look: Premier Inc. acquires Medpricer, a purchased services procurement solution [PRO]

healthcare

Let’s take a closer look at the Premier Inc. acquisition of Medpricer announced recently. For this Spend Matters PRO brief, we talked with leaders of both firms to get further insight into the acquisition and what it means. We also offer some reasons why this development is significant for procurement practitioners. Premier Inc., a $1.2 billion diversified healthcare improvement company, has acquired Medpricer, an innovative solution provider focused on the management of the enormous and largely unmanaged “purchased services” category of spend within hospitals and healthcare systems.

Premier bought Medpricer for $35 million and expects the acquisition to be modestly accretive in 2020. The company has stated that Medpricer will continue to operate as an independent unit and brand, and will remain GPO neutral, while augmenting Premier’s own technology and analytics capabilities. Medpricer’s CEO will continue to lead the business as part of Premier’s Supply Chain Services segment.

Headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, Premier describes itself as “a leading healthcare improvement company, uniting an alliance of more than 4,000 U.S. hospitals and health systems and approximately 175,000 other providers and organizations to transform healthcare.” The company leverages integrated data and analytics, collaboratives, supply chain solutions, and consulting and other services to promote "better care and outcomes at a lower cost.” It also collaborates with members “to co-develop long-term innovations that reinvent and improve the way care is delivered to patients nationwide.”

“Medpricer’s spend management platform,” the company has noted, “uses artificial intelligence to validate, compare and onboard purchased services suppliers; track and measure spend by category, supplier and facility; benchmark contracts terms to ensure competitive rates; set and manage specific savings targets; and manage contract compliance.” It was also noted that purchased services — which “often fall outside the scope of national group purchasing contracts” — are estimated to “account for up to 30% of a typical healthcare provider’s non-labor expenses, and represent a total addressable acute care market of approximately $160 billion.”

Premier told Spend Matters that “Medpricer is an important component of its evolving cost management strategy and is an integral next step in our continuing expansion toward a fully integrated purchased services platform.” Premier also noted that it has the “ability to fund and materially accelerate the development of Medpricer’s offerings.”

Spend Matters recently posed some questions to Premier. We received written answers and also had an opportunity to talk with Premier’s Senior Vice President of Supply Chain, David Hargraves, and Medpricer’s President and CEO, Chris Gormley.

Why would Medius buy Wax Digital? (Part 2: Wax strengths, customers, integration considerations)

Yesterday, AP automation specialist Medius announced it was acquiring Wax Digital, the UK-based source-to-pay suite provider. Together, they hope to carve out a unique niche in targeting procurement and finance organizations primarily in Europe and North America (although both have global customers and users).

In Part 1 of this Spend Matters Nexus series, we provided an overview and introduction to Wax Digital and Medius, touched on the product strengths and weaknesses for Wax, and explored the rationale for the transaction.

As we continue our analysis today, we add in the customer voice to the mix, specifically focusing on Wax Digital’s economic buyers (e.g., CPOs, procurement VPs, etc.) and what they think about the solution, because customer feedback is one way we score solutions for our free vendor ranking system, SolutionMap. We also will go deeper on some of the more specific strengths of the solution at the platform and functional levels, and explore how this might affect users of the combined solution. And we’ll look at integration touchpoints for Wax and Medius.

Later this week and next, we will continue our exploration of the combination, delving into the impact on the competitive landscape, including an analysis of how the combination may affect competitive AP automation and invoice-to-pay vendors as well as procure-to-pay and source-to-pay suites. Finally we will explore how the total addressable market (TAM) expands when combining finance and procurement together. TAM is a key metric that sponsors use to analyze investment opportunities.

Jason Busch serves as Managing Director of Spend Matters Nexus, a research and advisory group that works with sponsors, CEOs and boards on due diligence, M&A strategy and product strategy. Spend Matters and Spend Matters Nexus are owned by Azul Partners. Disclosure: Azul Partners served as an adviser to Marlin Equity in this transaction.

Customer reviews for Keelvar are in the new SolutionMap Customer Insights report

This week’s SolutionMap Customer Insights report focuses on customer reviews for Keelvar, an e-sourcing vendor known for its sourcing optimization software.

The applicable SolutionMap category for this report is in Sourcing.

SolutionMap Insider members can click here to read about Keelvar 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.