Procurement Research Content

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.

Procurement’s technology revolution needs digitally literate workers with highly refined soft skills to succeed, Efficio report finds

Procurement is facing a turning point, one that gives it the opportunity to become more integral to the success of businesses than ever before, according to a survey by Efficio, a consulting firm that works with procurement professionals around the world.

Technology, like it does in many other internal departments, plays a major role in procurement’s transformation, but the Efficio survey states that a focus only on technology misses the point: People and their ability to capitalize on the benefits of technology will be vital to success.

“The procurement function can become more effective through an operating model that achieves the right mix of technology, insights and expertise” and puts people at the center, according to the authors, who analyzed feedback from 500 procurement professionals who participated in the survey, “The Human Factor: Strategic Procurement and the Leaders of Tomorrow.”

The experts at Efficio recently teamed with the UK’s Cranfield University School of Management to poll the procurement pros and find out how to craft that operating model. Researchers looked specifically at the need for future procurement leaders to have people skills, strategic abilities and digital fluency.

Workday and Scout RFP: Customer Recommendations [PRO]

This Spend Matters PRO research brief provides analysis in support of Workday and Scout RFP customers following last week’s news that Workday is acquiring the sourcing provider. Previous coverage of the transaction with content aimed at CEOs, strategy / corporate development leaders and investors can be found on Spend Matters Nexus (see Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4).

Nexus coverage provides an overview of the transaction, an introduction to Scout RFP, Scout RFP strengths / weaknesses, competitive analysis and recommendations (for ERP providers, suite providers and best-of-breed providers, separately) and potential Workday and Scout RFP integration touchpoints.

Today on Spend Matters PRO, we turn our attention to those which will be most impacted by the announcement: Scout RFP and Workday customers. We encourage Spend Matters PRO practitioner clients who are using or considering Scout RFP or Workday for procurement to contact us for more information on how the acquisition could affect them.

Allocation: What Makes It Great (Sourcing SolutionMap Analysis)

Direct materials procurement technology has always been a bit of a blind spot for North American manufacturers. Many such businesses are already using indirect materials-centric and services-centric applications (e.g., procure-to-pay, vendor management systems), but few also have specialized direct materials-centric procurement tools as a part of their solution belt. A host of factors, however, is starting to change this, to include recent trade volatility, digital transformation of manufacturing alongside business in general, and increasingly complex supply chains that demand a more advanced approach to sourcing and supplier management.

Well-poised to address these drivers is Allocation, a German solution provider that, based on its performance for the past year in our Sourcing SolutionMap vendor rankings, offers one of the broadest and deepest platforms for direct supplier management and direct material sourcing on the market today. With a strong customer base in discrete manufacturing, Allocation can walk into just about any automotive, aerospace, CPG or other manufacturing-based procurement organization and talk the talk, backing up its knowledge with a set of specialized capabilities.

But where does Allocation 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 Allocation 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.

Mintec: Vendor Introduction (Part 1 — Background and Solution Overview) [PRO]

No matter how well they prepare, commodity buyers can do nothing about the weather. So until a supervillain decides to make a mid-life career shift to be a SaaS vendor — weather-as-a-service (WaaS), anyone? — procurement organizations buying in the food & beverage categories will have to manage commodity price volatility as it happens.

To do that, many businesses in the food retail, food manufacturing and hospitality industries turn to Mintec. Founded in 1982, Mintec is a UK-based provider of commodity data and analytics tools for the food and drink vertical. It collects, validates and organizes data across hundreds of agricultural commodities and related inputs (e.g., packaging, plastics, labor), which it then distributes via a SaaS platform designed for category planning and analysis.

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Introduction offers a candid take on Mintec and its capabilities. It includes an overview of Mintec’s SaaS offering (Mintec Analytics). Part 2 will offer a breakdown of what is comparatively good (and not so good) about its solution, a SWOT analysis of Mintec, and a selection requirements checklist for businesses that might consider the provider.

E-Procurement Tech Selection and the Deep Persona: Analysis & Commentary [PRO]

The e-procurement solutions market has been growing for the last seven years. Because of this rapid growth, the market is also fragmented, with numerous vendors competing for procurement organizations’ attention. Yet no one vendor is an ideal fit for all companies, due to the unique requirements of different organizations’ sizes, industry/vertical and prior technology investments (or lack thereof).

So how can companies with different needs evaluate procurement solutions amid an array of vendors with different capabilities?

Spend Matters’ vendor rankings in SolutionMap account for these differences using a persona-based approach. Each SolutionMap persona is calibrated to weight evaluation requirements so that it reflects the profile of certain kinds of buyers. For example, the “Nimble” persona reflects small and medium-size businesses that prioritize fast time-to-value and ease of use in the selections; the “CIO Friendly” persona emphasizes technical foundation and interoperability with other enterprise systems to make for a straightforward implementation.

So what do SolutionMap personas look at for e-procurement, and how can they help your organization make better technology decisions?

In a series of PRO articles, we’ll analyze the market according to the different e-procurement personas: Nimble, Deep, Turn-key, Configurator and CIO Friendly. (See persona definitions* below.)

This review is organized just like the RFI for SolutionMap, according to these topics: platform capabilities, features & functionalities, and customer value.

Now let’s look at the e-procurement features and vendors as viewed by the Deep persona.

CPO Masters of Complexity (Part 1)

It sure seems like most everyone’s life is getting more complex. When I casually ask friends how they’re doing, the response is usually something about being ridiculously busy and barely being able to keep their head above water. In this age of constant connectivity, rampant over-scheduling at work and home, and constant barrage of information, complexity seems like the new norm.

The same is true for chief procurement officers (CPOs). According to our eighth annual “Global Chief Procurement Officer Survey,” CPOs largely see procurement-related risk on the rise — nearly 60% of the 481 respondents indicated that risk has risen either significantly (19%) or somewhat (42%). This is part of a broader theme of increased complexity that came out in the survey findings, where we profile complexity in four main areas: external complexity (headwinds coming from outside of the four walls of procurement), internal complexity (challenges of managing internal relationships and alignment with business objectives), talent complexity (building effective procurement teams and operating models), and digital complexity (defining and executing on digital strategies that are aligned with broader digital transformation efforts). In this post, I will focus on the first two areas of complexity. A subsequent post will discuss the last two areas.

Customer reviews for Determine (Corcentric) are in the new SolutionMap Customer Insights report

This week’s SolutionMap Customer Insights report focuses on customer reviews for the suite  provider Determine, a Corcentric company.

The applicable SolutionMap categories for this report are Source-to-Pay, Procure-to-Pay, and Strategic Procurement Technologies (SPT includes Sourcing, Analytics, CLM and SRM). Determine has been bought by Corcentric. Integrations between the two provider platforms are not factored into the Customer Insights analysis, which is entirely based on Determine’s capabilities.

SolutionMap Insider members can read about Determine 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.

Workday’s acquisition of Scout RFP (Part 2: ERP competitors analyzed)

Yesterday, the finance and HR solutions provider Workday announced it was buying Scout RFP, an easy-to-use sourcing solution. You can find previous free coverage on the transaction on Spend Matters here and here. In our first Nexus subscriber brief covering the procurement technology sector’s M&A news, we offered background on Scout, explored the provider’s strengths and weaknesses, and gave our initial insights into the rationale for the transaction.

As we continue our analysis on Spend Matters Nexus, we turn our attention to landscape implications of the transaction that may affect other technology providers. Today’s research brief provides a competitive analysis for the ERP market segment including providers such as Epicor, Infor, Oracle, Microsoft, Netsuite (Oracle), SAP, Sage and Unit4.

In this analysis, we also provide context via a brief history lesson on how (and why) ERP providers have traditionally offered procurement capability as an extension of financials, tracing the emergence of ERP from MRP. Specifically, we trace how and why this legacy has led to a situation of technology that is inadequate for procurement’s needs (which gave rise to the source-to-pay technology market in the first place).



Subsequent competitive analyses of the transaction will consider both suite and best-of-breed / independent procurement technology providers, including the valuation impact on the sector (and what some of the key drivers to valuation have been recently). We will also explore in greater detail the process, sales and technical integration considerations for Workday as it digests this procurement amuse-bouche.

But for now, let’s dust off our competitive bifocals as we magnify the competitive considerations of the deal, examining Workday’s ERP peers competing for their share of the $50 billion procurement technology total addressable market (TAM), as estimated by Coupa’s  Business Spend Management TAM.

Jason Busch serves as Managing Director of Spend Matters Nexus, a membership, research and advisory organization serving technology acquirers (private equity, corporate development, etc.) and CEOs in the procurement and finance solutions marketplace (including contract management, B2B marketplaces/connectivity, indirect procurement, services procurement, direct procurement, commodity management, payment, trade financing, GRC/third-party management and related adjacent sectors).

Workday scouts its 14th acquisition: Scout RFP (Deal Summary, Company Background and Coverage Highlights)

Workday’s plan to buy Scout RFP makes this its 14th acquisition, according to crunchbase. Spend Matters has been covering Scout RFP and has some quick takes on this deal.  Material sourced from: First Take Analysis: Workday’s Acquisition of Scout RFP (Part 1: Scout Background, Strengths/Weaknesses, Deal Rationale) and Workday to acquire Scout RFP for $540 million in cash

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

This week’s SolutionMap Customer Insights report focuses on customer reviews for Beeline, an independent provider of solutions for sourcing and managing contingent labor.

The applicable SolutionMap categories for this report are in all three of our contingent workforce areas: Temp Staffing, Contract Services/SOW and Direct Sourcing of Workforce/Services.

SolutionMap Insider members can click here to read about Beeline 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.

Wax Digital: What Makes It Great (Sourcing SolutionMap Analysis)

While plenty of vendors like to wax poetic about how complete or end-to-end their procurement solutions are, few of these ballads stand up to critical scrutiny. Many vendors that tout their “unified platform” often cannot deploy their solutions with as seamless of a module integration as initially claimed.

This is not the case with Wax Digital, a UK-based provider that offers a relatively complete, integrated source-to-pay solution on one code base that is already used globally in more than 100 countries. This approach allows Wax Digital to claim numerous strengths for sourcing capabilities that its competitors cannot, such as the ability to connect with adjacent suite areas like supplier onboarding/management or easily integrate third-party applications and data. And, as the SolutionMap benchmark demonstrates, its backbone in sourcing capabilities (e.g., RFX construction, surveys, opportunity analysis) are often above average, too, making a strong case for Wax Digital to be considered for competitive shortlists where true end-to-end S2P capabilities are desired.

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