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SolutionMap Fall 2020 launches, now ranking 77 procurement technology vendors

Grab a comfy sweater and a hot pumpkin spice latte (don’t judge): It’s time for the latest SolutionMap release.

With today’s launch of the free SolutionMap Fall 2020 release, Spend Matters’ analysts have assessed 77 procurement technology vendors, adding 12 providers since our Spring 2020 update.

SolutionMap, which began in 2017, has become the definitive procurement technology benchmark due to the depth of analyst assessments, quantity of real-life customer inputs and frequency of release (twice a year) to accurately reflect vendor capabilities and market developments.

2020’s top vendors named in new ‘50 Providers to Know’ and ‘50 Providers to Watch’ lists

The 2020 lists for Spend Matters’ “50 Providers to Know” and “50 Providers to Watch” have been published.

Each year we recognize 100 vendors in the industry as part of two lists: the best-in-class companies you need to know about and the up-and-coming, growing firms you should keep your eye on.

The 50 to Know and Watch lists are determined by the entire Spend Matters analyst team to represent the best of the commercial providers that serve enterprise-level procurement organizations. View the full 50 Providers to Know list in the Spend Matters Almanac. View the 50 Providers to Watch list here.

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.

As coronavirus outbreak forces firms to cancel events, these tips can help you negotiate with the venues

contract

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Talia Mashiach, the Founder and CEO of Eved, a spend management and payments platform built for meetings and events.

Knowledge is key to any negotiation, and this is no different in situations when you cancel or postpone a meeting or event. Cancellations are happening worldwide as a precaution against the coronavirus outbreak, but many reasons can lead to calling off or delaying an event. So understanding how to handle this situation is important.

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Want to feel more impactful at work? Give automation a try

I personally feel automation is the most important tool that will continuously improve our work lives in the next couple of years. In its simplest form, it eliminates the need to do tedious, monotonous work — while in its most elegant form, automation reduces the need for human touch points until well into a process, at a point where human interaction is a benefit, not a necessity. As people look to automation, it is important to differentiate between basic automation and automation that needs intelligence built into it for the future. So, when I say “building in intelligence,” I’m speaking to the need to transform your operations through automation and the need to introduce disciplined approaches to automation program structures in order to identify and prioritize those scenarios that can be automated.

China’s coronavirus outbreak puts global supply chains at risk

healthcare

The coronavirus has killed 1,665 people and sickened 68,500 in China, with other deaths now reported in Taiwan and France, according to Reuters on Sunday.

A special Dun & Bradstreet report, called the “Business Impact from the Coronavirus,” said the risk to companies around the world also is profound — with the outbreak hitting China’s regions that are home to “over 90% of all active businesses,” many of which are branches or subsidiaries of foreign companies. That means global supply chains will be affected.

2020 GEP Outlook report: ‘In this increasingly tumultuous world, more will be asked from procurement’

GEP, a provider of a full suite of procurement technology, released its 2020 Outlook report that itself has a suite of forecasts for the year, including economic and geopolitical developments as well as trends in technology and business that bear watching.

Since Brexit just began after years of uncertainty, we got an update on GEP’s expectations for the UK and Europe. And we’ll explore some of the report’s more interesting findings — which focused on the concept of “budget-to-pay” and the resurgence of should-cost modeling.

2020 Predicaments in Strategic Sourcing: How to Make It More Strategic

(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 strategic sourcing. And for our PRO subscribers, his other post today offers his predictions for 2020.)

Strategic sourcing as a concept was introduced in the 1980’s and heavily influenced by consulting firms such as McKinsey (which gave us the famous Kraljic matrix) and A.T. Kearney — and is a process that is designed to help procurement organizations successfully source or renegotiate products and services in a deliberate manner.

While this process can deliver billions in savings, there is a larger problem. This approach is binary — you either run a strategic sourcing project or you don’t — and it’s very episodic in that once you have implemented the strategy, you then move on to the next project. This is the proverbial “drive-by sourcing” and “three bids and a buy and a cloud of dust.” This means that the follow-up and management of the contract is ignored.

Then there's the concept called category management. It has its roots going back to the Kraljic matrix (which profiles various spend/supply categories and then tailors the resulting supplier sourcing/management strategies), but the term “category management” really originates in retail, where the idea is to treat your categories as individual business units. Applied to procurement, it becomes a process to continuously manage your category.

In 2020, how should these two concepts be addressed by procurement technology vendors?

Tradeshift has $240 million funding round, plans to restructure and focus on near-term profitability

procurement

Tradeshift, a solution provider known for its network, supply chain payment offerings and marketplaces, announced today that it has a funding round of $240 million in equity and debt that sets “the company on a direct path to profitability in the near future,” the announcement said.

CEO Christian Lanng spoke with Spend Matters and said this marks a time for refocusing on high-value efforts and restructuring the company, which was founded in 2010.

“It's been a very long journey to get critical mass. It actually doesn't feel this long today. Ten years is quick in our space,” Lanng said.

Read more about the changes at Tradeshift.

2019’s top 5 most-viewed Nexus posts: 20 Tips; Workday-Scout RFP deal insights; Icertis and the red hot CLM market

Efficio

In July, Spend Matters Founder Jason Busch launched Spend Matters Nexus — his focus on the M&A and business side of the procurement technology market. Here’s how he describes it:

“The Nexus membership program is designed for investors/acquirers (private equity, corporate development, etc.) and solution provider CEOs in the procurement and finance technology/solution ecosystem. Membership offers a new strategic lens to the solution areas covered on Spend Matters.

"Nexus was borne out of an increased demand for research subscriptions, due diligence and strategy support with our private equity clients in late 2018 (which has picked up exponentially this year). But recently, our team realized there was a flip side to working with technology acquirers — providing relevant market intelligence and fresh, data-driven analysis for solution provider CEOs, boards and leadership teams.”

And here is a countdown of the top 5 most-viewed Nexus stories of 2019:

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A Holiday Gift Your Team Will (Actually) Appreciate

This time of year, giving presents to your team members and colleagues can be awkward no matter how well you know them. Look beyond the restaurant gift cards, trending gadgets and dried-out fruitcakes to a gift that will deliver an actual return on investment — an industry-recognized certification. By coming together in a virtual classroom, you’ll avoid those awkward, gift-giving faux pas and delight your team with an investment in their professional development to sharpen their skills, boost performance and credibility with both stakeholders and management, and contribute to the overall success of the organization.

Forrester rips SAP Ariba in its latest E-Procurement Wave

The Spend Matters team has known Duncan Jones, the lead author of Forrester’s latest E-Procurement Wave, for just about as long as the average technology solution provider in this sector has been in business. Duncan is known for trading humorous barbs with Jason Busch, Spend Matters’ founder, at various industry events with his typical acerbic British wit. However, there is nothing humorous about Forrester’s latest Wave when it comes to singling out SAP Ariba for failing to live up to its past prowess, especially in the technology area. What's going on with Ariba's product performance and personnel churn?