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NEW! E-Sourcing: Criteria for Selecting a Provider

E-Sourcing Selection Criteria Having taken a close look at over fifty sourcing (and related tools) in recent quarters – working with dozens of practitioners on shortlist and selection processes – it is our belief that a one-size-fits-all 2/2 ranking for all vendors is not terribly useful in the real world of sourcing technology adoption and use. This is not a knock on traditional analyst firms; it is classic Taylorism (specialization of labor). But, Taylorism alone creates brittle supply chains, and procurement organizations need to be wary of hierarchical category management. While cross-functional in nature, hierarchies do not stay fixed and can lose sight of disruptive supply market forces that transcend traditional supply market category boundaries.

So, like adopting Lean/Six Sigma in the supply chain, many companies will try to adopt common tools to create some synergy across the silos. This is a good start, but only goes so far. Going back to the technology market example, Gartner tries to use tools such as "hype cycles" (the procurement ones are terrible in our opinion) and "magic quadrants" to provide commonality. Such crude tools do not get to the "mass customization" that is needed to analyze these complex service supply markets and apply them to different types of practitioner firms.

In designing our Spend Matters comparative coverage of the technology and solutions market, we wanted to properly reflect the need to see technology and solutions across a broader set of criteria, considering solutions in the context of how they will actually be used (e.g., sourcing tools applied to a direct materials manufacturing environment; sourcing tools for sourcing large, complex categories like logistics or MRO). Beyond this, organizations will still often have a need for further customization and tailoring of potential short lists to address their own unique complexities and requirements.