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DCR Workforce Provides an Entry Ramp for Mid-Sized Organizations with Smart Track NOW

For some time now, we have held DCR Workforce in high regard as a VMS solution provider that punches above its weight, especially in terms of services procurement capabilities, technology and innovation. (For more details on DCR, see Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 of our PRO Vendor Snapshot.)

It is perhaps not surprising to us, then, that earlier this spring DCR quietly rolled out capabilities to enable mid-sized organization to access the full depth and breadth of its Smart Track VMS solutions. The new offering, Smart Track Now, puts DCR on the map as the second mainstream VMS provider to bring to market capabilities targeting the middle market, the first provider being SAP Fieldglass in December 2016. With the penetration curve for VMS at large enterprises flattening, the middle market appears to be worth trying.

We recently had the opportunity to discuss, and receive a demo of, Smart Track NOW. What follows is an overview of what we learned.

Procure-to-Pay (P2P) SolutionMap: 8 Vendors Ranked by Practitioner Persona

Huzzah! The rankings and comparative graphics for the third and final solution area — procure-to-pay (P2P) suites — of our SolutionMap℠ Q2 2017 report have finally arrived. With these last 6 'quadrant'-like comparisons, the Spend Matters Analyst team has now provided a holistic look at a number of technology vendors providing e-procurement and invoice-to-pay solutions, as well as procure-to-pay suites.

What You Need to Know About SolutionMap

  • Participating vendors are scored both on Solution Capability and on Customer Value.
  • SolutionMap features vendor rankings based on common procurement organization “personas” (more below).
  • The SolutionMap will be updated quarterly to actively reflect market developments.
  • SolutionMap graphics and high-level summaries are available for free and we encourage you to re-post and share them with your network.
  • If interested in digging deeper into the back-end data and listings of typical user requirements, vendor selection tips and background on the vendor rankings, subscribe to Spend Matters PRO for full access.

What Say? Personas?

No two procurement organizations are alike. Each has its own “persona” that reflects not only its own value proposition and engagement approach, but also the stakeholders it serves. The same principle holds true of procure-to-pay (P2P) application providers. Each has a persona that reflects its value proposition, solution strategy and targeted customer segments.

Procurement organizations should seek providers whose personas best align to theirs. Here are our six personas:

  • Nimble
  • Deep
  • DIY
  • Mega
  • ERP Wrapper
  • Industry

More detail on these in the full article — log in or sign up for FREE below.

Access all 5 graphics by persona (including an all-in-one PDF) and a summary of the personas' key criteria in the full article!

Invoice-to-Pay (I2P) SolutionMap: 10 Vendors Ranked by Practitioner Persona

This particular SolutionMap charts a select group of invoice-to-pay (I2P) solution providers. It is part of our Q2 2017 SolutionMap report, also featuring e-procurement solution providers and procure-to-pay suites (coming next week).

What You Need to Know About SolutionMap

  • Participating vendors are scored both on Solution Capability and on Customer Value.
  • SolutionMap features vendor rankings based on common procurement organization “personas.”
  • The SolutionMap will be updated quarterly to actively reflect market developments
  • SolutionMap graphics and high-level summaries are available for free and we encourage you to re-post and share them with your network
  • If interested in digging deeper into the back-end data and listings of typical user requirements, vendor selection tips and background on the vendor rankings, subscribe to Spend Matters PRO for full access.

The Invoice-to-Pay SolutionMap – Q2 2017

Access the all-in-one PDF, a summary of the personas' key criteria and more detailed info in the full article.

Procurement as a Service (PRaaS) — Part 4: Assembling Third-Party Services

supplier network

In our previous installment of this series, we discussed how an industrialized procurement as a service (PRaaS) model is critical to not just running procurement more efficiently and effectively but also buying and embedding cloud services better, as well as tie procurement into broader digital business strategy efforts. The notion of procurement as a “prosumer” (producer and consumer) of procurement services is both the DNA of modern procurement itself and of global business services.

Procter & Gamble is a great example. P&G was one of the pioneers of the global business services (GBS) model, and its current capabilities here are impressive. What’s also interesting about P&G was when its CEO drove the “connect and develop” program of open innovation to tap supply markets for product innovation and looking beyond internal R&D.

So, if R&D can do that for itself, shouldn't procurement be able to do the same? And isn't it even more important for procurement to do so when considering that nearly all supply market innovation tied to supplier spending is in play? Wouldn't it be important for procurement to lead by example in aggressively adopting such third-party services and also to share best practices around how other internal stakeholders in various spend categories are doing the same? You bet. This makes procurement an innovation gate opener rather than a policy gatekeeper.

Procurement as a Service (PRaaS) — Part 3: Unpacking the Services Stack

digital

In Part 1 of the series, we delved into why procurement should run itself as a services business, and in Part 2, we shared how procurement can learn from other types of professional services businesses to bring more rigor and value to its internal customers and even external customers. On this last point, organizations such as GE, IBM and others have been masterful at industrializing various services internally, and then using themselves as success stories to externalize those services to new customers. In doing this, they are trying to establish themselves as digital platforms that will be the underlying architecture of emerging digital value chains.

So, what does this have to do with procurement? Many things:

  • As we discussed in Part 2, procurement and other stakeholders must understand how supply markets are fundamentally shifting as this digital transformation occurs. Such disruption is not just the “Amazoning” or “Ubering” of the supply chain, but services, too. For example, consider the mind-blowing transformation that Infosys is embarking on with its Mana platform and its Zero Distance approach to innovating service delivery.
  • Procurement can use this trend to its advantage to bring some leverage to relationships with large incumbent providers that may be threatened. This is also a great time to be a “customer of choice” and use strategic supplier management to capture innovation from your incumbent suppliers while also testing out emerging digital services providers.
  • It’s also critical to understand the implications of signing up on someone else's platform and what that means to switching costs down the road, as well as to what extend today’s suppliers don’t become tomorrow’s competitors.
  • Finally, if your company is going through a digital transformation to execute a new digital business strategy where your firm may also be positioning as a “platform,” then it’s important to understand platform-based business models and also cloud-based architectures (i.e., an XaaS model that lets you deliver these services scalably over the web) to more easily plug and play supplier XaaS services (see IBM cloud reference architecture as an example) into your procurement services.

The IBM architecture diagram can be a little overwhelming, so, let me show you a slightly simpler procurement version of this “aaS” architecture and give some examples of some innovative services. Actually, it’s not simple either, but it’s as simple as it can be while explaining the fundamental design of the PRaaS model in one diagram.

E-Procurement SolutionMap: 14 Vendors Ranked by Practitioner Persona

Behold, Spend Matters’ very first SolutionMap. This particular SolutionMap charts a select group of e-procurement solution providers. It is part of our Q2 2017 SolutionMap report, also featuring invoice-to-pay solution providers and procure-to-pay suites.

What You Need to Know About SolutionMap

  • Participating vendors are scored both on Solution Capability and on Customer Value.
  • SolutionMap features vendor rankings based on common procurement organization “personas.”
  • The SolutionMap will be updated quarterly to actively reflect market developments
  • SolutionMap graphics and high-level summaries are freely available and we encourage you to re-post and share them with your network
  • If interested in digging deeper into the back-end data and listings of typical user requirements, vendor selection tips and background on the vendor rankings, subscribe to Spend Matters PRO for full access.

The E-Procurement SolutionMap – Q2 2017

Access the all-6-in-one PDF, a summary of the personas' key criteria and more detailed info in the full article.