The Supplier Collaboration Category

Building the Business Case for SRM (Part 3): Enabling Supplier Innovation

disruption

Spend Matters welcomes this guest series from Sean Harley, co-founder and CEO of LUPR.

Supplier innovation doesn’t have to be as exciting as SpaceX landing two Falcon Heavy rocket boosters back on the launch pad in Cape Canaveral (like they did in February), though this stunning feat was made possible in part by contributions from their suppliers. Value-added innovation is anything promoting efficiency or mitigating risk and can be as mundane as getting a supplier to license technology or form a JV with a supplier to support expansion in overseas markets. Just like making financial investments, promoting supplier innovation requires a portfolio approach.

Building the Business Case for SRM (Part 2): Improving Procurement Efficiency

Spend Matters welcomes this guest series from Sean Harley, co-founder and CEO of LUPR.

In this second installment of our series on developing the business case for supplier relationship management (SRM) capability investment, we are focusing on improving procurement efficiency, which can dramatically reduce non-value add (NVA) activities performed by procurement. SRM software eliminates many of these resource-draining manual tasks, promoting efficiency and enabling reallocation of scarce procurement resources.

Building the Business Case for SRM (Part 1): Enhancing Supplier Performance

Spend Matters welcomes this guest series from Sean Harley, co-founder and CEO of LUPR.

In this post in our blog series on developing a business case for investing in Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) capabilities, we are focusing on enhancing supplier performance and the bottom-line impact that results. (See the first introductory post here.) The goal is to dramatically reduce service issues related to quality and delivery. This enables savings to be realized from suppliers such as those in low-cost countries that need to be developed.

Supplier Management: When the User Experience Guides Functionality (Part 3) [PRO]

This Spend Matters PRO series provides an insider perspective on what separates best-of-breed supplier management technology providers from the pack. It emphasizes both the user interface and underlying solution capabilities of technology solutions, and, in certain cases, how the two come together. We also provide a hint at what’s to come throughout the rest of 2018 and 2019 — that is, what top performing providers will be introducing when “procurement 2020” becomes reality rather than punditry.

Need to catch up on what we’ve covered thus far? Part 1 in our series explored messaging, chat and collaboration; guided survey and template creation; and leading functional elements that enable the uploading of templates and documents. Part 2 unearthed differentiation among leading capabilities that support supplier categorization and tagging, scorecards (inclusive of alerting and predictive analytics), corrective action management, innovation management and master data management.

As our series concludes today, we will turn our attention to:

  • Guided supplier workflow management
  • Relevant risk identification for both parties
  • Integrated smart catalog and product management

HICX: Vendor Snapshot Update (Part 2) — Product Strengths and Weaknesses, Customer Perspective and Summary Recommendations [PRO]

HICX is representative of a provider that excels in a single platform-level element of a particular discipline (i.e., master data management within supplier management), using this element to build competitive differentiation and a strong customer following in a highly competitive marketplace. While much of our original Spend Matters Vendor Snapshot from 2016 (see Part 1 and Part 2) on HICX remains an accurate review of the provider in 2018, the MDM specialist has leveraged its core strengths to deliver adjacent capabilities and product line extensions.

This two-part Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot Update provides an update to our previous analysis HICX. Part 2 provides updated strengths and weaknesses, customer reference insight and summary recommendations on when to prioritize HICX as a shortlist candidate. The first installment of our 2018 update provides 2018 key facts on HICX, a solution overview, a recap of its overall footprint and solutions, insight into new features and capabilities, and a competitive landscape update.

Building the Business Case for Supplier Relationship Management Investment

category management

Spend Matters welcomes this guest series from Sean Harley, co-founder and CEO of LUPR.

Investing in enhanced supplier relationship management (SRM) capabilities is frequently discussed within procurement organizations but not often executed. The immediate need to achieve annual savings targets and satisfy stakeholders often drives a focus on sourcing, with its easily demonstrable return on investment, at the expense of SRM. Yet the basic value derived from robust SRM includes incremental gains in traditional procurement focus areas, such as price improvement, and even greater value derives from more aspirational areas such as risk reduction and the promotion of innovation and supplier diversity.

HICX: Vendor Snapshot Update (Part 1) — Updated Facts, Solution Footprint, Solution Enhancements and Competitive Landscape [PRO]

In our last deep dive analysis of HICX, a U.K.-based supply chain master data management technology firm, we noted that the provider delivered a unique set of supplier-centric MDM capabilities coupled with configurable workflow for buyers and suppliers. Our original HICX Vendor Snapshot series (see Part 1 and Part 2) still provides a useful foundation for those considering the MDM specialist as a shortlist candidate for supplier management.

For those evaluating HICX, we also recommend the latest Q1 2018 Supplier Management SolutionMap Insider coverage to understand how the provider compares in the supplier management and risk management market on a comparative basis.

This two-part Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot Update provides an refresh to our previous analysis of HICX. Part 1 provides updated key facts on HICX, a solution overview and a competitive landscape update. Part 2 provides updated strengths and weaknesses, customer reference insights, and summary recommendations on when to consider HICX as a top shortlist candidate for supplier management.

Supplier Management: When the User Experience Guides Functionality (Part 2) [PRO]

digital

When it comes to procurement and supplier management technology solutions, you can learn a lot when spending time looking both at and below the user interface surface of specific solutions. However, the user experience and underlying technology stack are increasingly interconnected — and coupled. Thus, separating the two from each other can be difficult.

This Spend Matters PRO series explores what separates best-of-breed supplier management vendors from the pack, with an emphasis both on the UI and underlying technology capabilities. Part 1 in our series explored messaging, chat and collaboration; guided survey and template creation; and leading functional elements that enable the uploading of templates and documents. In Part 2, we continue with an emphasis on exploring the intersection of functionality and usability.

Supplier Management: When the User Experience Guides Functionality (Part 1) [PRO]

tech

When it comes to supplier management technology, there seems to be a near universal playbook that most of the top technology providers follow for defining, capturing and managing supplier data. It’s not surprising, then, that when it comes to marketing such capabilities, there's essentially no differentiation at all. As a result, you'd be forgiven if you thought that many supplier management vendors sound interchangeable, despite claims of advanced master data management, metric tracking or portal superiority.

In practice, however, nothing could be further from the truth. As our latest Supplier Management SolutionMap indicates, there is significant differentiation among providers, and our PRO Vendor Snapshot reviews on providers such as Aravo, HICX and Lavante only further illustrate this point. But you need to dive deep to find the variation that counts — differentiation that only comes into play when you start unpacking the specific supplier information management, performance management, supplier portal, relationship management, initiative management, discovery, master data components and related capabilities of best-in-class providers.

The purpose of this series on supplier management functionality and user design is to, in effect, share the ingredients to the secret sauce we see in use today among both top performing providers and those making the recipe list for tomorrow’s supplier management menu. We kick off our series by first exploring messaging, chat and collaboration, guided survey and template creation, uploading of templates and documents, and simplified data creation and validation.

Forming a Strategic Partnership Program: What They Are and Why You Need One

change of control clauses

Spend Matters welcomes this guest contribution from Craig Laufer, vice president of strategic partnerships at Nielsen.

Are you tapped out on the value created by your standard supplier relationship management program? If so, you should really consider creating a strategic partnership program. A strategic partnership program is an initiative that aims to transform the relationships of your most strategic suppliers into true strategic partners. This goal is accomplished first and foremost by creating and nurturing great relationships with your strategic partners, ultimately leading to improved supplier relationships, increased influence on traditional procurement topics, and creation of business value outside of the typical buyer-seller relationship.   

How Supplier Relationships are like Marriages: Lessons from ProcureCon Indirect East

Cultivating a meaningful relationship with your suppliers can be difficult at first, but when accomplished, the effort can produce positive and lasting growth opportunities for both companies. Taking steps to get to this point, though, takes care and mutual respect. Recently at ProcureCon Indirect East, I had the privilege of listening in to “Providing The White Glove Treatment To Your Suppliers,” a panel moderated by Joseph Richardson, president and CEO of Professional Purchasing Partners. During the session, Richardson challenged the audience to think beyond a simple checklist for managing their supplier relationships, encouraging them to instead seek a true change in mindset and a willingness to develop flexible for each supplier their company worked with.

Aravo: Vendor Snapshot (Part 3) — Summary and Competitive Analysis [PRO]

suppliers

Of all the procurement solution providers Spend Matters has tracked over the years, Aravo was arguably the most ahead of its time, delivering a set of supplier management capabilities a decade before demand would catch up with supply for this multifaceted solution category.

Owning to the tenacity and passion of its original leadership and the secondary management team that would eventually take the helm, Aravo managed to survive and then thrive, waiting for the market to catch up to it — not the other way around. Today, Aravo excels at many disciplines within supplier management and third-party management, and has a track record of enabling some of the largest deployments of supplier information management (SIM) capabilities that Spend Matters has tracked in the broader market.

This third and final installment of this Spend Matters Vendor Snapshot covering Aravo provides a SWOT analysis of the provider and offers a competitive segmentation analysis and comparison. It also includes recommended shortlist candidates as substitute providers to Aravo and provider selection guidance. Finally, it provides summary analysis and recommendations for companies that can best take advantage of Aravo’s capabilities. Part 1 of this series provided an in-depth look at Aravo as a company and its specific solutions, and Part 2 gave a detailed analysis of solution strengths and weaknesses and a review of the user experience.