Procurement Research Content

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

This week’s SolutionMap Customer Insights report focuses on customer reviews for SynerTrade, a source-to-pay suite provider. 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).

SolutionMap Insider members can read about SynerTrade 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.

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SIG Summit sneak peek: It’s not your average procurement conference

Readers of Spend Matters and SIG’s member companies have a lot of overlap. I’ve read many articles on this site from companies that are part of the SIG community. Through the years, Spend Matters has never failed in delivering amazing content that is actionable and reality-based, as well as non-sponsored ratings for those of us who work with procurement technology.

In that way, SIG and Spend Matters are kindred spirits. SIG provides its members thought leadership, networking and career training so sourcing, procurement and risk professionals can stay on top of the latest innovations — from updated best practices to the technologies that continue to change the way we work.

As the President and CEO of SIG, I’ve seen the industry grow and the roles of sourcing, procurement and risk professionals morph. We’re all staring down the barrel at these new technologies of robotics, automation and machine learning and wondering, Is my job next? Well, it could be. But I not only believe that this technology comes in peace, I want to show you how it can help you be a little bit better at your job every day.

Want to find out how? Join me and over 350 of your colleagues next week at SIG’s Global Executive Summit in Carlsbad, California, Oct. 14-16.

Brightfield (TDX) Raises a Whopper of a Round: Analysis + Implications for Contingent Workforce/Services Technology [PRO]

Earlier today, Spend Matters reported that a $53 million Series A funding round was raised by Brightfield (TDX), formerly a consulting firm that became a provider of AI-derived market intelligence for the contingent workforce/services community. Spend Matters believes the size of the round — very large for a series A — is indicative of a number of factors beyond the fact that Brightfield (TDX) is a more mature organization in terms of product, customers and revenue than most companies going up for an earlier stage funding round.

Indeed, Brightfield “2.0’s” rapid data-driven success after its pivot — and the comparatively gargantuan investor vote of confidence at the Series A level — represent several converging trends. We will explore these in this Spend Matters Nexus research brief, which also provides overall analysis and key takeaways for services procurement providers, investors and practitioners. Our analysis begins with a company and solution overview of Brightfield and its TDX platform, Talent Data Exchange.

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).

CIPS’ Bill Michels shares the latest on growing in the Americas

The Chartered Institute for Procurement and Supply (CIPS) is a well-known group for professional development and certifications. Its roots lie in Europe and Australia, but it has recently been expanding to the Americas.

For the past year or so, procurement veteran Bill Michels has been CIPS’ vice president of operations for the Americas, leading the group’s efforts to grow beyond its traditional areas.

To find out how that’s going, we caught up with Michels for a two-part Q&A series, where he discusses new CIPS’ initiatives, the lifecycle of a CPO, what it means to be strategic in the digital age, and the role of soft skills.

S2P powerhouse Wax Digital adds to our market insights

Source-to-pay suite provider Wax Digital has been capitalizing on source-to-pay market growth in the UK and beyond, and it is a bellwether for the health of the S2P market in the UK. Unlike other homegrown vendors in the same region like MarketDojo and Keelvar in sourcing, Wax Digital is an end-to-end suite vendor — and one that has successfully defended its turf against bigger global names.

It’s been on Spend Matters’ radar for years (see coverage below). And we’ve recently gained more insight into its capabilities when it joined our SolutionMap category for Suppler Relationship Management and Risk for the Q3 2019 quarterly update. Our analysts evaluated its offering and ranked it against its competitors in the marketplace. Let's take a look.

Mastercard Track adds payment features in bid to disrupt B2B market

procurement

Mastercard is ramping up its effort to be a player in the B2B payments market by adding payment tools for Mastercard Track, its product launched in 2018 that intends to make inroads into the procure-to-pay technology space.

This week, Mastercard Track announced in a press release that it has added the product Business Payment Service, describing it as “a single connection bringing together multiple payment types, greater control and richer data to optimize B2B transactions for both suppliers and buyers.”

Automation of accounts payable and facilitating payments are hot topics in P2P, and Spend Matters’ analysts have been covering the issues with our PRO subscription series defining AP automation and an in-depth look at Mastercard Track, introducing its capabilities and analyzing its potential to disrupt the market.

20 Tips to Maximize Private Equity, Investment and Strategic Buyer Outcomes (Part 3: Before the Process — Third-Party Validated Analysis and the Importance of Understanding the Strategic Buyer Landscape) [PRO]

Aside from companies already owned by private equity firms, it is the rare solution provider — or any company — that is selling to private equity, going out for a later investment round or seeking a strategic buyer that has prepared adequately for the transaction process in such a way that the efforts will fully maximize the valuation, terms and other factors in its favor. That is, unless it gets lucky, and to be fair, some folks get lucky!

As expert advisers — primarily to “buyers” — we’ve seen this phenomenon play out time-and-time again in the procurement solutions universe. But it doesn’t have to continue to be that way. This series is focused on leveling the playing field for more advanced sellers of all types, gained by sharing our lessons learned from over 20 years of involvement in transactions in the sector, and especially our work as advisers to private equity investors, nearly all of which are extremely methodical and rigorous in their deal screening and due diligence processes.

So far in this Spend Matters Nexus series, we covered the initial seven tips to prepare — ideally far in advance — of the process itself (see Part 1 and Part 2). Today we continue with the next two tips to pay particular attention to in the lead-up to a process (but still ideally before it begins). And later in the series, we will explore tips to leverage in the actual process itself, ideally once you’ve fully prepared ahead of time to maximize your chances of an optimal exit, transaction or investment.

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).

Icertis’ customer reviews are in the new SolutionMap Customer Insights report

This week’s SolutionMap Customer Insights report focuses on customer reviews for Icertis, a top provider of cloud-based, enterprise contract lifecycle management (CLM) software. The applicable SolutionMap category for this report is in CLM. 

SolutionMap Insider members can read about Icertis in our latest report. In each Customer Insights report, we provide a one-page summary of information gleaned from the SolutionMap peer review process. The summary includes ratings on how well the vendor meets user expectations, three key differentiators for the vendor and a list of quotes about the vendor’s greatest strengths.

20 Tips to Maximize Private Equity, Investment and Strategic Buyer Outcomes (Part 1: Preparing Wisely) [PRO]

In recent years, we’ve spent thousands of hours working with private equity groups, CEOs and boards to evaluate acquisition targets — and with sellers to optimize exit scenarios and outcomes in the procurement solution market. In each M&A advisory or SolutionMap due diligence benchmark engagement, there has not been a single study in which we have not learned something new as a team. While from a seller perspective specific tactics can change over time based on conditions in the capital markets, the overall economy and other externalities (e.g., the current “dry powder” excess), there are well over 20 universal tips that we’ve identified that can apply in nearly all scenarios.*

So we decided to write this Spend Matters Nexus brief to share our top 20 lessons learned from the perspective of sellers’ to maximize their private equity, investment and strategic buyer outcomes (based on working “the other side” of the transaction). Today, we start with an initial five tips to prepare wisely (ideally) before a process begins. In the second installment, we’ll continue to share the next five tips for preparing wisely as the actual process approaches (i.e., “pre-process” tips). Then in Parts 3 and 4, we will jump to the actual deal process itself, offering tips for stewarding the effort and driving to an optimal outcome.

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).

As colleges restart, so too does ASCM’s supply chain competition for students

The 2020 ASCM Case Competition, previously called the APICS Case Competition, is an event that allows student teams to use their knowledge of supply chains to solve real-world business problems. It is hosted by the Association of Supply Chain Management, which evolved from APICS, and Deloitte, the consulting firm that helps companies combine supply chain initiatives with business strategies. Registration opened Aug. 1. Find out the next steps for your team.

Blockchain Update: Its Use Accelerates in Food Traceability, Auto Finance, Pharmaceuticals, Global Shipping

Since we ran our first blockchain update article in January, key areas of supply chain and logistics operations in multiple industries have continued to implement successful blockchain trials and projects. The open traceability of a blockchain system has proven especially popular in the food security marketplace, where it is being used both to fight infectious outbreaks of bacteria like E. coli and drive revenue in French supermarkets by giving customers access to sourcing data on dozens of fresh products. In markets like automotive, pharmaceuticals, coffee, and global shipping, blockchain innovations continue to make headlines in a growing array of industry supply chains and applications.

Announcing Spend Matters Nexus — Where Capital and Strategy Converge

As I hinted at last week, we’re excited to announce the launch of a new research, advisory and networking organization — Spend Matters Nexus.

The Nexus membership program is designed for investors/acquirers (private equity, corporate development, etc.) and solution provider CEOs in the procurement and finance technology/solution ecosystem. Membership offers a new strategic lens to the solution areas covered on Spend Matters.

Nexus was borne out of an increased demand for research subscriptions, due diligence and strategy support with our private equity clients in late 2018 (which has picked up exponentially this year). But recently, our team realized there was a flip side to working with technology acquirers — providing relevant market intelligence for solution provider CEOs, boards and leadership teams on their own strategy, corporate development and business development/partnership initiatives.

Spend Matters Nexus will hopefully become invaluable for both groups. The goal is to provide market intelligence, strategy and due diligence advisory for private equity firms and investors. For CEOs, boards and leadership teams, the program offers insights spanning strategy, corporate development and business development/partnership topics. For all members, there are invitation-only networking opportunities.