The Suppliers Category

U.S. Apparel Industry Scrambles to Diversify Sourcing Strategy in Wake of Escalating U.S.-China Trade War

apparel

For many U.S. companies in the apparel industry, the old sourcing strategy of “made in China” is turning into “China plus Vietnam plus many,” with emphasis on the many. As Washington and Beijing continue to one-up each other’s tariff threats, the prospect of a looming trade war is driving U.S. apparel companies to further diversify their sourcing strategy and shift production away from China. While China remains the top sourcing destination for the U.S. apparel industry, the country now accounts for 11%–30% of companies’ total sourcing volume, compared to 30%–50% in the past.

APEX Analytix: Vendor Snapshot (Part 2) — Product Strengths and Weaknesses [PRO]

spend analytics

Better known for its broader portfolio of recovery audit, overpayment and self-audit software, APEX Analytix also offers a specialized supplier management solution. APEX provides unique, out-of-the-box capabilities that support core supplier information management (SIM), validation and financial controls, as well as working capital optimization solutions. In addition, its supplier management solution delivers the broader configurability, workflow, rules, analytics, supplier portal and associated capabilities one would expect from supplier management software.

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot explores APEX Analytix’s strengths and weaknesses in the supplier management area specifically, providing facts and expert analysis to help procurement and finance organizations decide whether they should consider the provider. Part 1 of our analysis provided a company and detailed solution overview and a recommend fit list of criteria for firms considering APEX Analytix. The third part of this series will offer a SWOT analysis, user selection guide, competitive alternatives, and additional evaluation and selection considerations.

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Procurement Begins with Sourcing: The myConnXion Story

To understand procurement and sourcing as a buyer, we must start with the supplier. Small and diverse businesses are often cited as being more nimble, innovative and cost effective, but are often most strained in resources. Suppliers have to register their profiles with many different buyers (sometimes paying to do so, for buyers who adopt the pay-to-play model) and may not even get a contract as a result of their efforts. On the other side, many buyers end up with outdated supplier information and expired diversity certifications, contaminating their supplier database with inaccurate data. Sourcing with unreliable information hampers the abilities of procurement professionals and negatively impacts bottom line.

LexisNexis Entity Insight: Vendor Snapshot (Part 2) — Product Strengths and Weaknesses [PRO]

LexisNexis Entity Insight (LNEI) is a modern, “self-service” supplier management solution that the global data/market intelligence giant built to satisfy increasingly surging market demand for all things supplier risk management. Designed as a cost-effective, off-the-shelf solution, LNEI helps procurement, finance and supply chain organizations manage risk across their own supply networks, regardless of how nested or complex.

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot explores LNEI’s strengths and weaknesses, providing facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations decide whether they should consider the provider. Part 1 of our analysis provided a company and detailed solution overview, as well as a recommend fit list of criteria for firms considering LNEI. The third part of this series will offer a SWOT analysis, user selection guide, competitive alternatives, and additional evaluation and selection considerations.

Finalizing the Business Case for SRM Investment

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

In this final entry in our blog series on developing the business case for investment in supplier relationship management (SRM) capabilities, we bring together all of the various elements we’ve discussed in the preceding blogs. We’ll also be responding to reader feedback in the comments section. The business case for SRM must be based on a diverse and complementary suite of benefits directly supporting your organization’s business strategy, whether through hard dollar estimates or other means.

ConnXus: What Makes It Great (Supplier Management SolutionMap Analysis)

Editor’s note: This “What Makes it Great” column is normally reserved for SolutionMap Insider Subscribers, but ConnXus has generously agreed to support access for readers who are not yet members.  

Supplier management technology has traditionally been a bit like Beaujolais nouveau: developed quickly (in certain cases on an ad hoc basis to meet specific needs) but not necessarily prone to aging well. ConnXus, a relatively recent entrant on the supplier management and supplier diversity scene (see our three-part Vendor Snapshot on the provider here, here and here), is a case in point, rapidly eclipsing previous generation solutions.

ConnXus’ recent Q2 2018 SolutionMap performance provides compelling evidence that it sets the standard not only for what to expect in a modern supplier diversity solution but also what organizations should look for overall when searching for a Nimble supplier management technology provider. Join us in exploring what make ConnXus great, based on the latest functional and customer SolutionMap benchmarks from Q2 2018.

“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 explains how the provider excels and where it beats the SolutionMap benchmark, concluding with a checklist for ideal customer scenarios in which procurement, finance and supply chain organizations should consider the vendor.

SynerTrade: What Makes It Great (Supplier Management SolutionMap Analysis)

procurement software

SynerTrade is actively driving awareness of its brand beyond continental Europe, where it has a base of hundreds of customers. Yet the source-to-pay suite provider is already equipped to compete on the world procurement technology stage.

Out of the 45 participants in Spend Matters SolutionMaps for Q2 2018, SynerTrade is one of only five providers that make all 10 recommended personas for strategic procurement technologies and source-to-pay suites. One area in particular where SynerTrade differentiates itself is in the increasingly critical supplier management area, which the provider uses to unite each component of its suite.

“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 explains how the provider excels and where it beats the SolutionMap benchmark, concluding with a checklist for ideal customer scenarios in which procurement, finance and supply chain organizations should consider the vendor.

Tradeshift’s “Sellers Club” Targets Bottomline and Accounts Receivable Technology With a Many-to-Many Offering

Sarika Garg, Tradeshift’s chief strategy officer, took the podium for a few minutes at Tradeshift’s analyst day to introduce what the procurement/finance technology provider is calling its “Seller’s Club.” The concept is that the “Club” is a membership, not a subscription. While a supplier-paid offering, Garg made the point of noting that Tradeshift remains free for suppliers to transact. Our take is that the Club appears to be a new offering for suppliers that is taking aim at another class of solutions entirely compared with procurement, accounts payable automation and supplier network offerings aimed at the buyer — where Tradeshift started.

Tradeshift Analyst Day Dispatch: “Do You Want Amazon to Own Your Supplier Relationships?”

On a well-timed East Coast swing, Lisa Reisman (Azul Partners’ fearless CEO) and I dropped by New York City for Tradeshift’s analyst day, the Tradeshift Innovation Summit. Christian Lanng, Tradeshift’s founder and CEO, kicked off the afternoon with a history lesson, drawing the parallel between Salesforce and the path he suggests that Tradeshift is on. He began his talk by noting that in 1999, Oracle, Siebel and SAP were “fighting it out over CRM” when the market was “fragmented, verticalized and on-premise.” But Salesforce came along with a different vision, building “software for the end-user” with an emphasis on “cloud” and eventually its “app” platform.

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.