The Supplier Information Management Category

Building the Business Case for SRM (Part 5): Assessing Stakeholder Satisfaction

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

Part 5 of this series on developing the business case for investing in supplier relationship management (SRM) capabilities focuses on assessing stakeholder satisfaction with current SRM practices. When SRM is neglected, the speed of contracting, supplier responses to performance issues, and the ease of collaboration between all parties — suppliers, procurement and internal stakeholders — tends to suffer. The best way to identify key pain points is to conduct thorough surveys of both your suppliers and internal stakeholders. This will help you understand the wider picture, highlighting common threads that harm your ability to work effectively with suppliers.

Building the Business Case for SRM (Part 4): Reducing Supplier Risk

risk

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

In this post in our series on developing the business case for investing in supplier relationship management (SRM) capabilities, we focus on reducing supplier risk. Supplier qualification (SQ), a subcomponent of SRM, enables your organization to identify suppliers with weak quality management processes, thereby minimizing your exposure to supplier noncompliance with safety, insurance, environmental and security requirements. In addition, SQ facilitates root cause analysis with suppliers performing poorly.

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.

SolutionMap Subscriptions and Practitioner Selection Programs: A Primer and Sneak Peek at Q1 2018 SolutionMap [PRO]

Earlier today Spend Matters released its Q1 2018 SolutionMap. The release now comprises six technology areas with individual vendor rankings (spend and procurement analytics, sourcing, supplier management, contract lifecycle management, e-procurement and invoice-to-pay) and three composite suite views (strategic procurement technologies, procure-to-pay and source-to-pay).

Our goal with SolutionMap is very different from what other analyst firms seek to achieve with their ranking systems. This is apparent even at our “free” level. The SolutionMap approach starts by releasing the ranking charts in the public domain, providing multiple persona-based views of vendor capability (45 comparative 2/2 matrices in total for the Q1 2018 release). We take a truly data-driven approach to plotting vendors, where an “average” score positions a provider in the dead center of a chart. SolutionMap ranking charts also make it easy to distinguish analyst scoring from customer scoring, plotting the data on separate analyst and customer axes. Finally, the Q1 2018 release actually reflects the time frame of its publication: We update the underlying data set and charts for SolutionMap on a quarterly basis.

Admittedly, the “free” stuff is designed to pique your interest. Unlike some of our peers in the analyst world, we have not made SolutionMap “reprint friendly” for the maximum number of vendors through grade inflation. Why? Because in the world of procurement technology, not everyone is “above average” like the children of Lake Wobegon. There’s an average, and there’s a deviation from average — positive and negative. Obfuscating these deviations might produce charts that make people feel good about buying decisions up front, but other than a near-term CYA, how useful will these be in the long run for those relying on them for, well, anything?

At the new SolutionMap subscriber level — separate from Spend Matters PRO — the tangible value of SolutionMap becomes even clearer. At this level, we unpack the underlying data we show for the analyst scoring by rated sub-category. For example, in the Supplier Management SolutionMap, you can see individual, tiered-based scoring for capabilities such as master data management (MDM), supplier onboarding support, core supplier information management (SIM) and supplier performance management, among other areas. Customer ratings (e.g., level of value perceived, quick deployment, ROI) are also visible.

To see the full level of data available to SolutionMap subscribers, check out the currently available reports from the Q1 2018 release:

There are views of the data beyond those provided in these reports (e.g., tiered-based scoring and ranked scoring for all sub-components that comprise an area, such as master data management within the Supplier Management report). Per our competitive intelligence policy, however, we reserve this view for practitioners going through a selection process (or the consultancies advising them), with strict licensing. This prevents comparative information from falling into the hands of competing vendors participating in SolutionMap. We take intellectual property protection and data privacy, for providers and practitioners, very seriously here at Spend Matters; otherwise, we’d find ourselves out of business quickly.

So, how exactly does all of this work? Read on as we unpack a SolutionMap Insider-level example within Supplier Management from the Q1 2018 SolutionMap. Specifically, we compare Jaggaer with Jaggaer Advantage (formerly BravoSolution) to showcase how it all works.