Services and Indirect Spend Content

Afternoon Coffee: Catalant raises $35 million; Amazon, DHL, 9 others join electric vehicle alliance; president to sign USMCA

Catalant Technologies, which enables organizations to leverage external talent and services in an agile way, announced its closing of a $35 million Series E equity round. In other news, an electric vehicle alliance gets the attention of some heavyweight companies like Amazon, DHL, Ikea North America and eight others. And the USMCA trade deal that replaces NAFTA will be signed into law Wednesday in Washington. Afternoon Coffee: A Friday jolt of procurement and supply chain news. Have a good weekend!

Customer reviews for Field Nation are in the new SolutionMap Customer Insights report

This week’s SolutionMap Customer Insights report focuses on customer reviews for Field Nation, a provider of workforce management solutions. The applicable SolutionMap category for this report is in Direct Sourcing of Workforce and Services (DSW/S).

SolutionMap Insider members can read about Field Nation 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.

Afternoon Coffee: Tradeshift restructuring; Is ‘New Law’ like Atrium disrupting itself?; U.S. won’t label China a currency manipulator; Shelby Group funding

Tradeshift announces a $240 million funding round, and CEO Christian Lanng talks to Spend Matters about the details, strategy and the future. Read the full interview here. In other news, China won't be labeled a currency manipulator, the U.S. Treasury says. And catch up on interesting developments in New Law, where tech considerations have outweighed having lawyers for one business, Atrium. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news.

2020 Predicaments in Services Procurement — No Light at the End of the Tunnel

(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 Andrew Karpie lays out problems in services procurement. In another piece also published today for our PRO subscribers, he lays out his predictions for 2020.)

In some industry verticals, services is the largest and most poorly managed non-payroll spend category. But the buying and consuming of services is nearly always poorly managed and controlled within enterprises — leading to potentially billions of dollars of unnecessary spend and opportunity costs (lost value). A problem of such enormous scale and complexity is not going to be addressed overnight.

Various estimates suggest that, in the U.S., spend on temporary staffing services represents an average of only about 33% of total services spend across all enterprises (though that percentage can vary widely, depending upon the type of business/industry). But outside of spend on temporary staffing services, most enterprises have had, at best, fragmented and limited visibility into their non-staffing contingent workers and their complex services spend — to say nothing of control over the whole services source-to-pay lifecycle.

Part of the problem is organizational, as procurement and HR often view the contingent workforce segment of services spend very differently in terms of priorities and the strategies (and service/solution providers) used to manage it. Technology solution fragmentation is also a major problem. The inadequacy, fragmentation or absence of complete, fit-for-purpose technology solutions for managing the broad range of different services spend types represent one set of obstacles to making major gains in management of services spend in the short run. This set of obstacles is tied to the non-technological barriers of legacy enterprise architecture (i.e., silos, etc.), run-of-the mill organizational inertia and the difficulty of changing, even as the services world evolves.

As we head into 2020, thinking about the future of services procurement, what should we know about the technological obstacles and non-technological barriers to significant progress on addressing what must be overcome?

2020 Predictions for Services Procurement: Scenarios and Black Swans [PRO]

As discussed in “2020 Problems in Services Procurement — No Light at the End of the Tunnel,” services constitutes the largest and perhaps most poorly managed non-payroll spend category. It covers an expansive set of sub-categories, from temporary staffing to other forms of directly sourced contingent workforce to a multitude of contracted B2B services (consulting, MRO, travel, IT management, legal, marketing).

“Human performance,” usually connected with the use of tools and resources/assets, has traditionally been the basis for the production and delivery of services. But services also have been becoming more digitized, both in terms of production and delivery. And there are now pure digital services, the production and delivery of which involve little or no human performance. Many are familiar with IBM Watson, but for nearly every form of human-based service, there is some type of digital/augmented solution that exists or is being worked on by an upstart firm. Look no further than the legal services industry, transportation or BPO industry and the impact that AI is having on those services.

There is no hiding the fact that gaining control over services represents a massive, complex undertaking — without exaggeration, a new frontier — for procurement. And obstacles and barriers to making significant, rapid progress abound, including inadequate (incomplete, fragmented) technology solutions and legacy enterprise architecture as well as organizational inertia. Still, there is hope — and there is innovation afoot.

This outlook and backdrop strongly conditions our view on what is likely to happen in 2020. Most of us would probably place our bets on a continuation of recent trends in the space (see “Incremental Scenarios” below). But we cannot rule out unexpected events/developments over the course of the year, either (see “Disruptive Scenarios” below).

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

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.

PeopleTicker: Vendor Introduction, Analysis and SWOT [PRO]

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Introduction offers a candid take on PeopleTicker and its capabilities — features that help companies establish market-based salary/pay-rate and contingent labor rate benchmarks and gain related insights into the market and their own business patterns. The brief includes an overview of PeopleTicker and its solution offerings, a summary solution evaluation, a SWOT analysis and a selection checklist for companies that might consider the provider.

Coupa acquires Yapta, boosting its T&E capabilities

Coupa announced today that it is buying Yapta, a website that monitors airline and hotel prices in real time and rebooks at the lowest price. The addition to Coupa’s business spend management suite of offerings bolsters its travel and expense capabilities, according to the announcement.

The Contingent Workforce and Services (CW/S) Insider’s Hot List: January 2020 [Plus+]

Welcome to the January 2020 edition of Spend Matters Insider’s Hot List, a monthly look at the contingent workforce and services (CW/S) space that’s available to our PLUS and PRO subscribers. For those new to the Hot List, each edition covers the prior month’s important or interesting technology and innovation developments in the CW/S space. Let’s catch up on developments in December as we head into a new year. Seasonally not an active month, December was punctuated by a few key investments in CW/S solution innovators and a number of developments, which indicates that innovation continues to gather steam in the CW/S space.

Preparing for 2020: Digital Procurement Trends in Review (Part 2: Vendors and Capabilities) [PRO]

Zycus Horizon

For our first Spend Matters PRO series in 2020, we’re preparing for the future by understanding recent trends. So we’ll look at last year through the lens of category management. Since Spend Matters’ analysts are essentially category managers for the mega supply market of over 1,000 providers that help buy-side practitioners manage their spend, supplies, services and suppliers, we’ll look back at 2019 trends through both the demand-side lens of practitioners/buyers and the supply-side lens of providers. In this analysis, we’ll use:

— Findings from our advisory work with procurement practitioners (and supported by primary research)
— Trend analysis of top provider performance taken from our SolutionMap database — from a solution scoring standpoint and also from a customer satisfaction lens
— Observations from our M&A due diligence advisory work from our Nexus service offering
— Solution development activities from the providers in the market
— Insights from service providers in the market who are increasingly themselves developing technology to create hybrid service offerings

Part 1 focused on the practitioner trends of 2019, and Part 2 will review vendor trends in innovation, supplier networks, contingent workforce/services, M&A and other areas where our analyst team has weighed in.

Preparing for 2020: Digital Procurement Trends in Review (Part 1) [PRO]

For our first installment of Spend Matters PRO in 2020, it’s important to know the past as we prepare for a new year. So we’ll look at last year through the lens of category management.

Since Spend Matters’ analysts are essentially category managers for the mega supply market of over 1,000 providers that help buy-side practitioners manage their spend, supplies, services and suppliers, we’ll look back at 2019 trends through both the demand-side lens of practitioners/buyers and the supply-side lens of providers.

In this analysis, we’ll use:

— Findings from our advisory work with procurement practitioners (and supported by primary research)
— Trend analysis of top provider performance taken from our SolutionMap database — from a solution scoring standpoint and also from a customer satisfaction lens
— Observations from our M&A due diligence advisory work from our Nexus service offering
— Solution development activities from the providers in the market
— Insights from service providers in the market who are increasingly themselves developing technology to create hybrid service offerings

The two-part series will focus primarily on the overall market, and then dive into specific areas where our analyst team has weighed in. Finally, we’ll foreshadow some predictions that we’ll be making in the coming weeks regarding the biggest problems that still need to be solved in the market — issues that actually have a chance of being meaningfully addressed in 2020.

Sourcing and Engaging the Independent/Freelance Workforce — An Emerging Ecosystem? (Part 5) [PRO]

This Part 5 is the conclusion of a Spend Matters PRO series that has explored different aspects of the state of an independent contract workforce (or ICW) ecosystem and its current importance for contingent workforce/services (CW/S) procurement practitioners and executives in enterprise organizations.

Part 1 of this series was published a year ago, and an impetus for this series was a research brief published in late 2015 (“Sourcing and Engaging the Independent Workforce: FMS and Beyond — Filling in the ‘White Space’ ”). That post first raised the question of whether we could expect the formation of a new type of digital ecosystem that enabled enterprise organizations and IC workers to engage in a sustainable, mutually beneficial way. Three years later, the question was taken up again, but in the context of whether enterprise CW/S procurement practitioners should be paying more attention to — or doing more to leverage — ICWs.

The final part of this series summarizes the research in Parts 1-4. It also presents our thinking on whether CW/S procurement practitioners should become more serious about ICWs as a part of their contingent workforce programs. Part 5 concludes with some suggestions for practitioners.