Supplier Management Content

SolutionMap update for Spring/Q1 2020 ranks 69 procurement technology vendors and adds AP Automation category

Spend Matters today has updated its free SolutionMap benchmark rankings for the new Spring/Q1 2020 release. The latest SolutionMap compares 69 procurement technology providers across 13 categories — which includes a new ranking map for Accounts Payable (AP) Automation vendors.

Six providers are featured in the first AP Automation category, which reflects the growing importance that vendors are placing on payments.

SolutionMap began in 2017 and has become the definitive procurement technology benchmark. It will now be updated in the spring and fall instead of each quarter.

Click on the headline above to find out which vendors are in the new AP Automation category — and to learn about new vendors to SolutionMap.

Case study: How industry mergers required an energy firm to begin its supplier management transformation

When should companies consider acquiring the latest procurement technology?

It seems like a simple question, but many businesses don’t always get to spend time considering the latest solutions, like in the area of supplier management — they’re more often compelled to do it when the market changes through a merger or acquisition, when their old technology and manual processes don’t cut it anymore, or when their suppliers and competitors outpace them by digitally transforming.

To learn more about when and how to start your digital transformation and continue to ensure it works for your business, we talked with NRG Energy about the evolution of its supplier management technology.

Transforming from Contract Management to Commercial Value Management (Part 2): Putting Contracts at the Core of Source-to-Pay [PRO]

supplier network

In the first installment of this series, we discussed how contract management was morphing from a document-centric risk transfer legal vehicle to a broader commercial value management (CVM) competency that helps businesses:

* Perform spend planning rather than spent analysis
* Gain earlier and deeper visibility into financial obligations rather than just using the general ledger
* Operationalizing risk management rather than just one-off (or high-level) efforts
* Integrating upstream strategic sourcing to downstream P2P (of course)
* Explicitly tying sourcing and contracts into supplier management

In this installment, we will dive a little deeper into how next-generation contract management helps facilitate the flow of value (and prevent “value leakage”) within the source-to-pay process, but also the broader swaths of enterprise processes where controlling the contracts means controlling the spend — and how finance and procurement groups can use this to their advantage.

Supplier onboarding: Top 12 ways to speed up the process

virtual supplier room

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Jag Lamba, Founder & CEO of GetCerta.com, a provider of a SaaS platform for supplier management and contract lifecycle management.

At many large enterprises, it can take 3-6 months to onboard a new supplier. This is because, as each new supplier adds multiple layers of risk (operational, reputational, data security and privacy, compliance, regulatory), several internal functions (e.g., procurement, legal, infosec, compliance) need to get involved to mitigate those risks. One prospective client told me recently, after a particularly painful supplier onboarding experience, that upon looking through her emails retroactively she realized she had interacted with 20 people, created eight separate artifacts and touched 15 unique systems to onboard a single supplier. Obviously, things can and must improve.

Faster supplier onboarding doesn’t have to come at the expense of strong risk controls. In fact, the only way to move faster is with better risk controls.

Here are my top 12 strategies for onboarding suppliers faster while lowering risk.

2020 Predicaments in Supplier Management: Top 3 Problems in SXM

LinkedIn ProFinder

(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 Magnus Bergfors lays out the predicaments faced in supplier management (SXM). And for our PRO subscribers, his other post today offers his predictions for 2020.)

Just before the holidays we published a PRO brief (The 5 Building Blocks of Supplier Management Capabilities) on the complexity of the SXM market and created a framework for how to define this space. That article highlights one of the lingering issues with supplier management: There is no one-size-fits-all solution here. That is, however, a very broad predicament, and in this article we want to break this down into a few more specific predicaments.

2020 Predictions in Supplier Management: 5 Areas for Improvement in SXM [PRO]

In our other post today on SXM predicaments in 2020, we discussed some of the current predicaments around supplier management centered on supplier data, supplier segmentation and category management.

To address these issues, buying organizations need to get serious about supplier data management as well as overall supplier management strategies. Unfortunately supplier management is often a secondary responsibility for procurement organizations where the focus tends to be on sourcing and delivering savings. The exception is in some cases in the IT space where some organizations have established vendor management offices (VMOs) to manage the more strategic and critical supplier relationships.

The sourcing and savings focus also results in a lack of interest in making sure that supplier data is managed correctly. Onboarding suppliers often falls to accounts payable organizations whose focus is on making sure that the vendor master data is accurate from a standpoint of getting invoices paid and preventing fraud.

More mature organizations have, however, realized that suppliers need to be managed (not only sourced) and that there is an enormous amount of value to be realized through better supplier management and collaboration — as well as, in some cases, co-innovation.

But we also need improvement in the applications and technology to support this. In this Spend Matters PRO article, we will explore five predictions in how we think applications and the SXM market will evolve to meet these challenges and help procurement organizations manage their  suppliers better.

Q4 2019 SolutionMap Release Notes: Sourcing, Spend & Procurement Analytics, Supplier Relationship Management & Risk, Contract Lifecycle Management and Strategic Procurement Technology Suites

This Spend Matters SolutionMap Insider research note provides insight into the Q4 2019 SolutionMap release for Sourcing, Spend and Procurement Analytics, Supplier Relationship Management & Risk, Contract Lifecycle Management, and Strategic Procurement Technologies Suite SolutionMap areas, reviewing the process we follow and highlighting what has changed since the last release.

Within the individual areas covered in this brief, the following providers have been added to the Q4 2019 release:

— Promena is a new participant in the Sourcing SolutionMap category.
— Spendata is a new participant in the Spend & Procurement Analytics SolutionMap category.
— Vendorful is a new participant in the Sourcing and Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) & Risk SolutionMap categories.

Wax Digital has added a new category to its existing participation this quarter: Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM).

In addition, 31 new or refreshed customer references (and 51 individual map references) were added in the Strategic Procurement Technology areas for Q4 2019.

*Get a first look at the Q4 SolutionMap comparative quadrant graphics here.

The Q4 2019 SolutionMap marks the first time Jaggaer solutions have been evaluated against Q2 2019 RFI requirements by the Spend Matters analyst team, and are able to again appear in this quarter’s editions of the Provider Scoring Summaries.

(SolutionMap Insider members: access the Q4 Provider Scoring Summary reports right here.)

Avetta names new CEO to lead supply chain risk firm

Avetta has named a new CEO as the supply chain risk management firm continues to evolve after its acquisition of Browz this year. The Utah-based provider named Arshad Matin as president and chief executive officer, effective immediately, according to a press release issued Monday. Matin replaces John Herr, who is stepping down and will be an adviser to the board to ensure a smooth transition, the company said.

APEX Analytix: What Makes It Great (Supplier Relationship Management and Risk SolutionMap Analysis)

In a market facing increasing consolidation each year, APEX Analytix stands out as a best-of-breed provider that excels in areas where suite providers merely meet the benchmark (or fall below it).

Results from Spend Matters’ SolutionMap vividly illustrate the gaps in the category of Supplier Relationship Management and Risk. While some larger providers post strong scores in general supplier information management, on-boarding or platform-related SXM capabilities (e.g., workflow management), few deliver the same consistently benchmark-topping scores that APEX Analytix does in its specialty areas.

The Greensboro, North Carolina-based provider has long been known for its broader portfolio of recovery audit, overpayment and self-audit software. But where APEX Analytix leads with its specialized supplier management solution — especially with granular supplier information and risk management capabilities — makes clear that specialization can yield considerable functional depth where end-to-end solutions sacrifice in pursuit of breadth.

Where does the provider stand out most, and why should this matter for procurement and finance organizations? Let’s delve into the SolutionMap benchmark to find out where APEX Analytix is great.

“What Makes It Great” is a recurring column that shares insights from each quarterly SolutionMap report for SolutionMap Insider subscribers. Based on both our rigorous evaluation process and customer reference reviews, each brief offers quick facts on the provider, describes where it excels, provides hard data on where it beats the SolutionMap benchmark, and concludes with a checklist for ideal customer scenarios in which procurement, finance and supply chain organizations should consider it.

‘What other needs do you have?’ — Lessons from ConnXus, a supplier relationship expert

Supplier relationship management (SRM) has grown from just sourcing the best deal to really evaluating suppliers for diversity, ability to innovate, value generation and their risk.

In this series on SRM, we’ve discussed how the development of supplier diversity has improved supplier management overall, and we’ve explored how companies can meet their goals to have a robust supply chain that’s diverse.

Businesses now know to get their spend data in order and should know how to measure the impact of that spend. They should be able to develop suppliers and drive innovation. Responsible businesses can protect their brand reputation by assessing their main suppliers (tier 1) and those deeper in the supply chain, as well as having a plan to mitigate risks, like unethical sourcing, forced labor in the supply chain or poor performance in the past. But, it’s also clear that lacking in supplier diversity or being weak in supplier information management (SIM) are risks themselves.

To learn more about these issues, we talked with SRM expert Daryl Hammett, the general manager of ConnXus, a provider that connects buyers and qualified suppliers.

Q3 2019 SolutionMap Release Notes: Source-to-Pay Suites

This Spend Matters SolutionMap Insider release note provides insight into the Q3 2019 SolutionMap release for Source-to-Pay, reviewing the process that we followed for this quarter’s release.

The providers in the Q3 2019 Source-to-Pay SolutionMap include Coupa, Determine, GEP, Ivalua, SynerTrade and Zycus. All of these providers were required to participate in SolutionMap for each underlying module, as well. These individual areas include Sourcing, Spend and Procurement Analytics, Supplier Relationship Management & Risk, Contract Lifecycle Management, E-Procurement and Invoice-to-Pay. All of these providers are also included in the individual Strategic Procurement Technologies (SPT) and Procure-to-Pay (P2P) suite views.

SAP Ariba did not update their scoring and, as a result, had their scores adjusted based on a common shift factor (that preserves positional integrity relative to peers) and any platform updates, or lack thereof, that the analysts have received since the last time the RFIs were filled out. We expect them to participate in upcoming releases.

The Source-to-Pay customer data set is composed of a subset of the 831 individual organization references included in the overall SolutionMap scoring as of Q3 2019*.

This SolutionMap Insider research note provides insight into the nature of the expanded RFI, methodology, customer references and additional changes in the Q3 2019 SolutionMap release.

(SolutionMap Insider members: access the Q3 Provider Scoring Summary reports right here.)

*Customers using more than one module that a vendor provides can opt to fill out a single survey within each individual suite area (e.g., a customer using two modules for P2P and four modules for SPT would need to fill out only two surveys).

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