Trade Extensions sells the most advanced sourcing optimization technology that Spend Matters has encountered on the market today (read our research, linked below, if you want to understand why). It’s capable of tackling extremely complex multitier sourcing challenges. This is one of the reasons Coupa is buying it. Yet today, most customers are just scratching the surface of what the tool can enable in the majority of their sourcing events (if not all).
The Sourcing Category
Nowadays one doesn’t have to be a coffee snob to appreciate a single-origin brew, not when even Starbucks is bandying around words like terroir. The same goes for so-called bean-to-bar chocolate. For years now, businesses and consumers have pored over the provenances of foodstuffs with a fervor that used to be limited to wine. Seafood may be getting there, too, albeit slowly. Imagine ordering from a menu where each seafood dish comes with a note on where it came from.
Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Nitin Khandelwal, of GEP.
Forklift sourcing isn’t as complex as it seems (especially when we compare it with fleet), but there are a variety of factors that should be considered to ensure that you contract the right supplier.
Last Friday, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced that it is scaling back the more costly parts of its conflict minerals rule. As indicated in Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Act, companies are required to disclose whether their products contain tin, tungsten, tantalum and gold (3TG) sourced from the eastern regions of the Democratic Republic of Congo, where large shares of mining profits go to various armed rebel groups.
This Spend Matters PRO brief, part of a series analyzing Coupa’s acquisition of Trade Extensions (see also here and here), provides recommendations for Trade Extensions and Coupa customers and partners surrounding the acquisition.
Spend Matters has spoken or met with many of Trade Extensions’ largest customers in recent years (most of which prefer to remain unnamed) and the most advanced organizations view it as the tool that affords the highest degrees of competitive advantage across the procurement technology spectrum relative to peers in as much as how it is used than what it has the potential to do. This is key. In fact, there are material levels of diversity among Trade Extensions users even in the same industry. Many customers expose some parts of Trade Extensions’ potential yet could get away with another optimization solution for at least some of their events, if not all. Yet best-in-class procurement organizations unleash its full potential to drive competitive sourcing and supply chain advantage.
Whether you view Trade Extensions and sourcing optimization at this level or more tactically, this Spend Matters PRO brief provides insight and recommendations into the combination of the two providers. It is divided into three sections: Trade Extensions customer recommendations, Coupa customer recommendations and partner recommendations.
This Spend Matters PRO brief provides a solution and market analysis of Coupa’s announced acquisition of Trade Extensions. Based on subscriber feedback, we’ve already been asked to go into details about what makes Trade Extensions’ optimization capability different from Jaggaer ASO (formerly CombineNet), BravoSolution, Keelvar, Determine/Iasta and Emptoris (IBM).
In addition, this brief offers a broader market-based analysis of the acquisition. As always, we invite Spend Matters PRO advisory customers to reach out to us for more insight behind our thinking and also to discuss if Trade Extensions is right for them (as well as alternatives). We will publish a separate customer and partner analysis PRO research brief later this week.
Given our knowledge and background in this market, we tried to think of an analogy to describe the combination of Coupa and Trade Extensions’ strategic sourcing capability. We think we’ve got a good one. However, we’ll share this analogy at the end of this research brief. First, to focus on what really matters, we’ll delve into some of the less superficial solution, customer and market analysis.
Apple’s responsible sourcing efforts now include tracking cobalt as well as conflict minerals, according to the company’s 11th annual Supplier Responsibility Progress Report released Monday. Last year, Apple announced it had achieved 100% third-party auditing of conflict mineral suppliers. This year, Apple was able to publish a complete list of its cobalt smelters, all of which have participated in third-party auditing. In another milestone, Apple’s suppliers have also achieved 100% UL 2799 Zero Waste to Fill validation for all final assembly sites in China.
Last Friday, I found myself in a wood-paneled, classy meeting room at NYC’s prestigious Princeton Club. It had been a slow commute into the city that morning, so I got there just in time for the speakers to blast an energetic opening video and to loudly announce our host — Ivalua CEO David Khuat-Duy.
Khuat-Duy founded Ivalua 17 years ago in France, and the company has realized rapid year-on-year growth since its inception. For example, in 2016 the firm experienced 45% growth over the previous year and a 100% customer retention rate (which has been 98% since inception). Ivalua now serves more than 250 customers globally, and the U.S. accounts for 50% of the company’s business.
Named a Provider to Know for three consecutive years in the Spend Matters Almanac, the company “has built an end-to-end solution on a single technology stack (from the ground up) with sufficient breadth and depth across all key functional areas to enable it to serve as a single technology suite for procurement organizations. Its entire suite was built in-house on a single platform over the last 16 years.”
The market for strategic sourcing technology is highly competitive. Procurement organizations have many choices within a fragmented landscape. As Spend Matters observes in our 2017 report, Landscape Definition and Overview: Sourcing, Contracting and Supplier Management, procurement organizations can chose from four different classes of solution: procurement technology suites, which offer either source-to-contract enablement or broader source-to-pay capability; standalone sourcing solutions; direct materials-centric solutions; and sourcing optimization providers.
Within our market segmentation, Spend Matters classifies Serex, which offers a reverse auction solution, as offering technology that falls within a sub-segment of the standalone sourcing solution area.
This third and final installment of this Spend Matters Vendor Snapshot covering Serex provides an objective SWOT analysis of the provider and offers a competitive segmentation analysis and comparison. It also includes recommended shortlist candidates as alternative vendors to Serex and offers provider selection guidance. Finally, it provides summary analysis and recommendations for companies considering the vendor. Part 1 provided an in-depth look at Serex as a firm and its specific solutions, and Part 2 gave a detailed analysis of solution strengths and weaknesses, as well as a review of the product’s user interface and user experience.
Last Friday, Spend Matters Founder Jason Busch and Chief Research Officer Pierre Mitchell teamed up to present the webinar Risk and Compliance Management: Embedding Risk Management in Procurement and Supply Chain. Busch and Mitchell began with a segmentation of the types of supplier and supply chain risk and compliance management technologies out there, before moving into the topics of how to embed these technologies throughout your procurement and supply chain functions. They discussed the best ways to create linkages with other areas of procurement technologies, as well as how to create a procurement culture that is risk-aware.
Procurement groups often emphasize different strategic sourcing technology requirements based on the needs of the organization. For some, capturing and automating a basic RFX process through the most easy-to-use technology is a top priority. For others, advanced bidding/auction format and highly detailed cost breakdown capabilities take center stage. Still for others, the most highly sought after capabilities are those that allow them to reimagine the strategic sourcing process entirely by fully considering both external (i.e., supplier, supply market and supply chain) and internal constraints. Yet other companies just want a reverse auction solution that maximizes the efficiency and speed of their teams for simple (“three bids in a box”) and complex (thousands of line items) bids alike. It is this latter procurement organizational profile that is likely to most appreciate the e-sourcing capability that Serex, a recent entrant into the procurement technology market, provides.
This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot explores Serex’s strengths and weaknesses, providing facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations decide whether they should consider using as a core strategic sourcing technology. The first installment of our analysis provided a company and solution overview and a recommend fit list of criteria for firms considering Serex. Part 3 will offer a SWOT analysis, user selection guide, competitive alternatives and additional evaluation and selection considerations.
The case study results are in. The University of Chicago Medicine (UCM) deployed a source-to-pay (S2P) contract management technology platform to address their non-labor expenditure reductions. Spend Matters' Xavier Olivera will join the discussion to address the key procurement software trends within the S2P landscape. This webinar will take place March 8th, at 1 p.m. CST, and is sponsored by Ivalua.