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Realign, Reimagine, Reconnect: How COVID-19 is Making Us Re-evaluate

While our lives and the way we work have been upended in recent weeks by the COVID-19 outbreak, many of us feel like we’re finally somewhat settling into this new, uncertain normal.

There is no finish line on the horizon for when the coronavirus will be brought under control. However, it is crucial to remain focused on the future by investing in our own knowledge, industry dialogue and professional networks now.

If you’re like me, you have been disappointed to see many of your favorite spring events and conferences canceled or postponed. That’s why at a time when we need solutions and to remain connected more than ever, SIG is excited to bring you our fully online Procurement Technology Summit, from May 11 to 15.

Customer reviews for Procurence are in the new SolutionMap Customer Insights report

This week’s SolutionMap Customer Insights report focuses on customer reviews for Procurence, a provider of supplier management solutions that handle supplier quality management; supplier information, performance and risk; as well as aspects of relationship management.

The applicable SolutionMap category for this report is in our ranking of Supplier Relationship Management & Risk solutions.

SolutionMap Insider members can click here to read about Procurence in our latest report.

In each Customer Insights report, we provide a one-page summary of details from the SolutionMap peer review process. It includes ratings on how well the vendor meets its customers' expectations, three key differentiators for the vendor and a list of quotes from customers about the vendor’s greatest strengths.

The contagion effect, COVID-19 and invoice finance

Providing receivable finance as a technology company poses risk precisely because the potential outcomes are overwhelming and cannot be predicted, no matter how good the underwriting. We risk being fools of forecasts built on historical cash-flow expectations, modeling and simulations.

SolutionMap easy-lookup chart: Grid shows all 69 vendors and the procurement technology category they’re in

For the 2020 Spring/Q1 SolutionMap release, Spend Matters has charted which vendors participate in each of the 13 procurement technology categories that we evaluate and share with the public for free.

Click the headline to find all 69 vendors listed in the chart.

Segmenting the $1 trillion B2B payments market: Our graphical take (Version 1.0!)

The B2B payments market has a lot of solution providers, and it's time for Spend Matters to highlight some key players across the market landscape. But first, let's take a look back.

Let's compare Goldman Sachs' 2018 overview of the $1 trillion B2B payments market with Spend Matters' view of the landscape now. We break out more than 40 B2B solution providers by category.

Coupa CEO implores procurement pros to lead businesses through the coronavirus crisis

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Coupa CEO and Chairman Rob Bernshteyn, whose letter about procurement’s role in tackling the coronavirus crisis originally appeared on LinkedIn.

It's been a long time coming, and no one wanted it to occur under these circumstances, but procurement is now a primary focus of attention at your company. It’s time to show everyone what you can do. Your company is asking for you and your department to step up like never before, under the tremendous pressure we are all under, and lead. Specifically, you can provide leadership in at least four key areas right now.

Scanmarket CEO: Coronavirus crisis is forcing companies to identify an array of business risks

The coronavirus outbreak has made online work more vital than ever, and with all of the digital transformation and increased use of procurement technology, vendors have more visibility into what’s actually going on with businesses, which even during this crisis must remain focused on serving clients while their own personnel work from home — sometimes in cities and countries under lockdowns.

To get the pulse of what’s happening, we got in touch with e-sourcing specialists Scanmarket, a company that’s facing both of those pressures. The cloud-based provider operates globally but has its core group in Denmark, one of the first countries to institute a nationwide lockdown.

In any crisis, businesses’ timelines for answers speed up and priorities change. So we talked with Scanmarket CEO Betina Nygaard to get some insight on how the crisis is unfolding and how businesses are addressing all of the risk they’re facing.

Coronavirus-era advice: Tips on asking suppliers for payment-term extensions and other concessions

Disruption from the coronavirus outbreak is forcing some tough conversations about payments.

It’s never an easy topic, but asking suppliers for concessions on a call or video chat in an empathetic manner — or even pre-empting the discussions by socializing ideas early — is far more effective and conducive for relationship-building and joint development than sending out emails, letters or other methods.

Click on this post for a partial list of approaches you might take (and questions to pose), ideally in conversation with suppliers if you need to ask for concessions, given all of the disruption from COVID-19.

Coronavirus Response survey: Spend Matters needs YOUR insights on the crisis

In response to the current COVID-19 pandemic, Spend Matters technology analysts have developed a Coronavirus Response series to help our readers understand the array of ways that procurement practitioners are using tools and techniques to respond to the crisis in the short-to-medium term. This is a non-commercial effort to see where procurement organizations can help themselves, their supply chains and beyond.

As such, we'd love to learn from procurement pros and share what you're seeing in the trenches and how we can help. Please contact me personally at pierre@spendmatters.com, or email our team here.

For technology providers and consultants, we’d appreciate hearing back from you on a few questions we have.

You can use this Google survey form to easily answer the questions and send to us.

For coronavirus crisis, SourceDay customers share a consistent lesson: Prioritize supplier collaboration today

As manufacturers weather the uncertainty wrought by the coronavirus pandemic, they’re learning that effectively managing the information supply chain with a distributed workforce requires adjustments from the traditional approach.

Supply chain managers are now cut off from their office’s communications that they’ve grown dependent on to collaborate with suppliers — things like spreadsheets saved to desktops, office phones set up to make international calls on behalf of the company. The supply chain managers are either feeling the pain of relying on manual processes or adapting to a new world where critical supply chain information is intermediated by SaaS solutions.

The latter approach is how customers of SourceDay, a provider of supplier collaboration solutions for manufacturers, are handling the COVID-19 outbreak. In a briefing with Spend Matters on Thursday, the Austin, Texas-based provider shared data it has been tracking across its user base on how the outbreak is affecting manufacturer behavior, along with case studies of how the SourceDay users have applied the tool to combat this crisis.

The lessons from SourceDay customers outline a clear trend: Pursue mass segmentation and communication of priorities with suppliers rapidly, or risk being overwhelmed by the deluge of change orders, delays and cancellations created by the pandemic.

AP Automation vendors are highlighted in a new SolutionMap category for our Spring 2020 release

“The AP Automation market is ‘hot, hot, hot’ in which vendors compete in a market that is growing and changing by the day,” Spend Matters’ Founder Jason Busch wrote in a recent Nexus article.

That’s why Spend Matters has added AP Automation technology rankings to the Spring/Q1 2020 SolutionMap release, which came out Tuesday. Six vendors demonstrated their solutions for Spend Matters, participated in a round of analyst scoring of their offering’s capabilities and were ranked according to feedback from their customers. (See details below about Basware, Coupa, SoftCo, Tipalti, Tradeshift and Yooz.)

Those vendors represent a trend that SolutionMap needed to capture, but you might be asking why this technology is developing now.

AP automation holds a lot of promise for businesses that want to optimize cash flow, reduce manual tasks and improve insights into transactions. It is considered a great stepping stone into invoice-to-pay (I2P) process automation, which stretches from invoice creation/receipt through validations and approval, all the way to payment. AP Automation represents a subset of these steps.

“Investment in this area is critical, not just for procurement transformation but also for supporting value creation across the whole business,” says Xavier Olivera, Spend Matters’ Lead Analyst for the Procure-to-Pay category.

SAP’s Ariba Live online: ‘The Network Effect for Buyers and Suppliers’

virtual supplier room

Like my Spend Matters colleagues, I congratulate SAP Ariba on its decision to move the canceled Ariba Live event in Las Vegas to online. Its folks deserve a round of applause for their ability to pull it off in such a short time and for offering it on-demand.

The Spend Matters analyst team has given ourselves the task of commenting on the videoconferences that posted Wednesday. In my case I’ll comment on the videoconference "The Network Effect for Buyers and Suppliers" that was given by Sean Thompson, executive vice president and general manager, Network & Ecosystem, SAP Procurement Solutions.