On Wednesday, Spend Matters Founder Jason Busch and Research Director of Services and Labor Procurement Andrew Karpie co-presented on a webinar, Contingent Workforce and Services (CW/S) Procurement: 2017 Tech Trends and Their Impact on You. In case you missed it (though you can still watch a recording of the webinar on demand), here are some of the biggest takeaways from Wednesday’s webinar.
The Technology Category
IQNavigator + Beeline’s Doug Leeby Answers Burning Questions on Product Roadmap, SAP Fieldglass and More
In Part 1 of this Q&A, IQNavigator + Beeline CEO Doug Leeby discussed customer and partner reactions to the recent merger and how he views the future of the VMS market. Today in Part 2, we ask Leeby about specifics of the combined product roadmap and what differentiates the firm he leads from SAP Fieldglass.
eBid Systems is one of more than 30 technology providers that Spend Matters tracks that provide strategic sourcing solutions to private firms and public sector organizations around the globe. eBid Systems recently re-platformed its solution, an effort which included enhancing a range of modular and functional areas — as well as the user interface — making it more competitive with other solutions in the global market. Over 50% of eBid System’s 300-plus customers are public sector organizations, almost entirely at the smaller state and municipal level, but private sector companies may also value the combination of low-cost licensing, core e-sourcing, full audit trails, rules-driven compliance, vendor management and associated capabilities provider offers.
This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot explores eBid System’s strengths and weaknesses, providing facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations decide whether they should consider it for their needs. The first installment of our analysis provided a company and solution overview and a recommend fit list of criteria for firms considering eBid Systems. Part 3 will offer a SWOT analysis, user selection guide, competitive alternatives and additional evaluation and selection considerations.
IQNavigator + Beeline Update: Doug Leeby Discusses Merger Reactions, Vision for Combined Organization
In December 2016, the announced merger of IQNavigator and Beeline rocked the contingent workforce and services market. As the shape of the new firm takes form, Spend Matters caught up with Doug Leeby, CEO of IQNavigator + Beeline, to learn how customers have reacted, how partners are dealing the emergence of a “Big 2” and what he sees as the future of the VMS market. Stay tuned for Part 2 of this interview, in which Leeby provides an update on the combined product roadmap and competitive landscape.
There is no shortage of strategic sourcing technology vendors in the market today. Customers have choices ranging from per-event pricing with smaller providers to integrated solutions that combine rich supplier management, contract management and transactional procurement capability — not to mention specialty solutions that bring generalized technology differentiation, category-specific or other unique capabilities.
Within this smorgasbord of choice — and yes, there are even vendors that started in the Scandinavian market to chose from globally now — one provider from the Pacific Northwest, eBid Systems, has carved out a distinct customer niche in state/local publication sector and higher education sourcing. Nearly 20 years since its founding, it counts 200 public sector customers and 100 private sector organizations using its technology.
This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot provides facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations make informed decisions about eBid Systems strategic sourcing technology capabilities. Part 1 of our analysis provides a company background and detailed solution overview, as well as a summary recommended fit suggestion for when organizations should consider eBid Systems in the procurement technology area. The remaining parts of this research brief will cover product strengths and weaknesses, competitor and SWOT analyses, and insider evaluation and selection considerations.
Is your procurement function using a platform-inspired approach to transcend savings from simply spend management? If not, then now might be the time. Join Pierre Mitchell and Julien Nadaud, chief product officer at Determine, tomorrow at 10 a.m. CST for Designing the Procurement Virtual Factory — Reinventing Procurement Through a Platform. Pierre and Julien will focus on the digital requirements to support new procurement and spend approaches, as well as how technology firms are trying to cope in a brave new world.
The CW/S world is rapidly changing as new and truly disruptive technologies emerge and as the employer-employee relationship evolves. How will this affect the average procurement practitioner? That is the topic to be covered on a webinar tomorrow (Wednesday, Feb. 22, at 12:30 p.m. CST), titled Contingent Workforce and Services (CW/S) Procurement: 2017 Tech Trends and Their Impact on You. We encourage our readers to tune in as Karpie and Spend Matters Founder Jason Busch break down CW/S technology trends and where they’re taking root.
We don't have to reinvent procurement, but we do need to reinvent how it's made. On Wednesday, February 22 at 10am Central, our own Pierre Mitchell will join Julien Nadaud, chief product officer at Determine, for an in-depth discussion and debate on emerging procurement platform trends and technologies. Designing the Procurement Virtual Factory – Reinventing Procurement Through a Platform will specifically focus on the digital requirements to support new approaches, as well as how technology firms are coping with a new frontier. What can you take away from this webinar? Read on!
Coupa’s first update of the year, Release 17, offers a new application called “Perfect Fit Insights” for cross-customer B2B insights and more than 50 features across the platform including new collaboration mechanisms to work with suppliers and additional e-invoicing compliance templates.
We published an in-depth analysis of Release 17 on Spend Matters PRO, but here is a quick recap on what you can expect from the solution update.
While the area of supply risk management is attracting growing interest and investment from procurement organizations, organizations typically deal with risk on a piece-part basis. That is exactly the wrong strategy, argue Spend Matters analysts Jason Busch, Pierre Mitchell and Michael Lamoureux in their latest report, Spend Matters Landscape Definition and Overview: Supply Risk Management and Compliance. One of their core aims in publishing this analysis, they write, is “to change this perspective and help organizations integrate these supply risk management initiatives more effectively.”
In a series last year, we set out to explore the digital evolution of the contingent workforce supply chain — a specific area of the services procurement world that, dare we say, has been getting hot.
We began tracing a line from the vendor management system (VMS)-dominated atmosphere starting over 15 years ago up to the more recent technology-enabled platforms such as Work Intermediation Platforms (WIPs).
Related: Join me and Jason Busch for a free webinar next week on 2017 Tech Trends and what they mean for contingent workforce practitioners.
But as we know, launching into heady discussions on the topic may be rough without laying down some simple definitions first. For that reason, we want to give services procurement practitioners a bit of a primer on three basic categories — marketplaces, service providers and private pools/networks — and examples of WIPs that fall into each (or more than one) of them.
Whoa, What’s a WIP Again? Here’s a Super Quick Review
First, let’s just quickly define WIPs. While well-known platforms such as Amazon, Uber and Airbnb have arisen in the retail, transportation and hospitality areas, tech-enabled platform businesses, functioning as new intermediaries between demand for and supply of work/services, have been proliferating. Spend Matters refers to these platforms as work intermediation platforms (WIPs).
These platforms have been able to engage workforce populations that have not been previously accessible (e.g., talent in other countries). They have created new efficient ways of executing work arrangements (direct sourcing to electronic payment); performance and fulfillment of work/services (e.g., online end-to-end); and new models of engaging workers (e.g., crowdsourcing).
After 10 years, WIPs are still at a very early stage of development. However, such a rate of maturation and acceptance is not atypical for technology-driven innovation. In our view, many WIPs around today will evolve to be successful, and new WIPs will emerge with successful formulas and models right out of the gate.
So, WIP Category #1: Examples of Marketplaces
The above platforms basically fit the marketplace model (and Upwork would also fall into Private Pools/Networks), but there are variations. So let's dig into them, shall we?
ClientLoyalty competes in what we could most accurately describe as a “sub-sub” segment of the supplier management market. Usually such niches relegate solution providers to a small corner of market obscurity, often to build profitable businesses that go unnoticed by most. But there is actually a real potential market in what ClientLoyalty is attempting to create alongside a select number of other technology providers also focused on the management of strategic supplier relationships: a market for a true supplier relationship management solution.
While there are many solutions today that address supplier information management (SIM) and also supplier performance management (SPM), only a handful actually focus on supplier relationship management — which we are hesitant to call SRM, because the term was usurped by ERP years ago and given an entirely different meaning. ClientLoyalty is one of the few, avenging the “SAP SRM” and “Peoplesoft SRM” product names that did such an original disservice to what SRM is really about. (Hint: It’s not e-procurement!)
This final installment of our Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot series covering ClientLoyalty offers a competitive analysis and comparison with other supplier management providers for shortlist consideration. It also includes a SWOT analysis, user selection guide, summary evaluation and selection considerations. Part 1 and Part 2 of this PRO research series provided a company and deep dive solution overview, product strengths and weaknesses and a recommended fit analysis for what types of organizations should consider ClientLoyalty.