Plus or PRO Content

The Contingent Workforce and Services (CW/S) Insider’s Hot List: March 2020 [Plus+]

Hot List turns now to February 2020, when we saw news about work/service providers’ 2019 financials, other developments in the work/platform space, one platform’s move to provide worker benefits and a freelance financial services space that’s simmering with innovation.

Veem: Vendor Snapshot (Part 3) — SWOT, Analysis of Competitors, Summary [PRO]

Global Risk Management Solutions (GRMS)

Cross-border payments represent a significant opportunity for non-bank solution providers entering the market — and for procurement and finance organizations looking for ways to lower costs, improve visibility and reduce risk.

Today when businesses transfer funds to counterparties in different jurisdictions, they usually use bank channels. To move across borders, the funds must be routed through correspondent banks, which have relationships with both the sending and receiving banks. This complex network of intermediaries carries with it transaction and foreign exchange (FX) fees that, while greatly improved by the SWIFT gbi, can add significant costs (e.g., Goldman Sachs estimates the transaction and FX fees average 4% to 4.5% of volume).

This makes a nice business for the banks, but the margin also puts them in the crosshairs of B2B payments solutions looking to disintermediate this bank product. Within this market, Veem, a B2B payments specialist, is targeting this opportunity.

This final Spend Matters PRO report provides company treasury and procurement organizations an overall assessment of Veem’s capabilities in the cross-border payment space and if their recurring and one-off cross-border payments solution could be right for them. Part 1 of our analysis provided a company background and detailed solution overview, as well as a summary recommended fit suggestion for when organizations should consider Veem for cross-border payments. Part 2 covered product strengths and weaknesses. This final installment offers a SWOT analysis and explores competitive alternatives to Veem.

Veem: Vendor Snapshot (Part 2) — Product Strengths and Weaknesses [PRO]

Supplier compliance

Payment solutions are increasingly intertwined with procurement and sales activity. Within B2B, this occurs at the enterprise level (e.g., as an extension or component of source-to-pay and order-to-cash, or O2C) as well as at the SMB and contractor levels. And it is happening on a global basis, as trade in both goods and services expands. Indeed, as cross-border trade continues to grow, specialized solutions for cross-border payments are more prevalent, reflecting similar increases in domestic payment options.

For businesses needing to send or receive payments, many options exist — like PayPal, Stripe, Hyperwallet, Amazon Payments, Transfermate, etc.

Within this market, Veem offers payors (or senders) the ability to pay companies without having to maintain vendor or contractor banking account details in their ERP. It enables payors to lock in foreign exchange rates in advance, to fund payments working with Veem’s Pay Later capability, and to move money without incurring expensive transaction fees.

This Part 2 of the series will explore those areas as well as Veem’s other strengths and weaknesses, providing facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations decide whether they should consider its analytics capabilities. Part 1 of our analysis provided a company and detailed solution overview and a recommended fit list of criteria for firms considering Veem. The third part of this series will offer a SWOT analysis, user selection guide and competitive market analysis.

With all that in mind, let’s dive into Veem’s product strengths and weaknesses.

Kodiak Rating: Vendor Introduction (Solution Overview, Strengths/Weaknesses, Company SWOT, Selection Checklist, Analysis) [PRO]

As we’ve mentioned in previous research, the market for supplier management applications is fragmented with many types of solutions and approaches. At Spend Matters, we have defined five core supplier management capabilities:

* Supplier information management (SIM)
* Supplier performance management (SPM)
* Supplier relationship management (SRM)
* Supplier risk management (Supplier Risk)
* Supplier quality management (SQM)

Most supplier management applications today have their origin in the SIM or risk areas. There are very few, if any, vendors focused on SPM, and to get that functionality, buying organizations have usually been forced to invest in broader suites, either full S2P suites or extended SIM or Supplier Risk applications. As a result, many organizations, especially (but not limited to) mid-size organizations, have resorted to using Excel as the primary tool for supplier performance management.

But, that said, SPM needs information from other applications to measure performance and has overlaps with the other SXM areas. You typically need some basic information about your suppliers (SIM) and both risk and quality data (Supplier Risk and SQM) to rate your suppliers, and in order to act upon the ratings, some SRM capabilities are needed.

Kodiak Rating’s solution stands out in the market with its primary focus on SPM (and to a lesser degree SQM) supported by basic capabilities in the other SXM areas.

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Introduction offers a candid take on Kodiak Rating and its capabilities — features that support rating, monitoring and managing your suppliers. The brief includes an overview of Kodiak Rating and its solution offerings, a summary solution evaluation, solution strengths/weaknesses, a company SWOT analysis and a selection checklist for companies that might consider the provider.

Veem: Vendor Snapshot (Part 1) — Background and Solution Overview [PRO]

FM Global Resilience Index

Cross-border payment transactions accounted for $23.7 trillion globally in 2018, with the bulk consisting of B2B payments. More and more companies must make payments not only to vendors but in support of contractors, one-off buys, landlords, etc. According to a study by the consulting firm Strategic Treasurer that surveyed corporate treasurers, 37% of corporations now operate across at least 11 countries, 34% use six or more banks, and 39% generate payments in six or more currencies.

Fintechs have been leading the way to offer more efficient methods to make recurring and one-time payments, while doing the heavy lifting of compliance, bank account management, API integration, reporting — all while providing a simple user interface. As the service-based economy continues to grow and go global, corporations will increasingly adopt modern payment solutions designed to make the cross-border experience a lot less painful than going through the correspondent bank wire system.

Veem offers that modern payment solution. The company was founded in 2014 by a team of industry veterans with over 100 years of combined experience in payments, payment processing and banking IT infrastructure management. It is headquartered in San Francisco and has offices around the world with 110 employees. Their mission is to change the legacy financial payment system through innovation and improve the costly and outdated payments industry by building a new user-focused financial ecosystem that services businesses globally.

Veem enables businesses to send and receive payments in local currency with a few simple steps using their proprietary multi-rail technology across several global networks. Its aim is to simplify domestic and international payments for small and medium-size businesses.

It facilitates recurring and one-at-a-time B2B payments between companies, particularly small business. Veem’s system allows a buyer to initiate a payment, or it allows a supplier to upload an invoice and request a payment.

The first of the three-part Spend Matters Vendor Snapshot of Veem will provide an overview of the company and its solution as well as a selection checklist. Other parts will provide strengths and weaknesses for the solution, a vendor SWOT analysis and a comparison of competitors to Veem.

Elevated Resources: Vendor Introduction (Solution Overview, SWOT, Selection Checklist, Commentary) [PRO]

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Introduction offers a candid take on Elevated Resources and its capabilities that help mid-size companies with their contingent workforce programs. The brief includes an overview of the company and its solution offerings, a solution evaluation, a SWOT analysis and, lastly, a selection checklist for companies that might consider the provider. This Vendor Introduction is mostly focused on Elevated Resources’ technology, in particular ELEVATE VMS.

Sievo: Vendor Snapshot 2020 Update — Part 3 (Comparison to Competitors and Summary Analysis) [PRO]

This final installment of our Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot 2020 Update series covering Sievo offers a provider SWOT analysis, competitive assessment and comparison with other providers in the spend analytics market, a shortlist of providers, a user requirements checklist and analysis.

Not only is the market for spend analysis solutions highly fragmented from a vendor “choice” perspective today, it is also characterized by solutions that are difficult to compare on an apples-to-apples basis between providers. Sievo, of Finland, is one such provider that makes cross-comparisons of vendors challenging because of some of the unique approaches it takes to spend classification and, more importantly, to savings reporting and tracking. In fact, this latter element makes it one of the few spend analytics solutions that is as relevant for finance (and CFOs) as it is for procurement organizations.

Part 1 and Part 2 of this PRO research series provide a company and deep dive solution overview, product strengths and weaknesses and a recommended fit analysis for what types of organizations should consider Sievo.

Sievo: Vendor Snapshot 2020 Update — Part 2 (Product Strengths & Weaknesses) [PRO]

big data

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot 2020 Update refreshes our view of Sievo’s solution since our 2017 review. Improvements include the areas of do-it-yourself reporting and benchmarking.

To get the full benefit of Sievo, a novel analytics and savings management/tracking provider that delivers value to both procurement and finance organizations, customers need to get their hands dirty in their data — which can be a good thing. In engaging Sievo, it is the involved customer that becomes intimate at a deeper level with their data to drive true spending intelligence, in contrast to working with many other spend analytics providers that take ownership, on an outsourced basis, of data stewardship to drive cleansing, enrichment and classification perspectives.

This Part 2 of the series will explore those areas as well as Sievo’s other strengths and weaknesses, providing facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations decide whether they should consider its analytics capabilities. Part 1 of our analysis provided a company and detailed solution overview and a recommended fit list of criteria for firms considering Sievo. The third part of this series will offer a SWOT analysis, user selection guide, vendor comparisons, and additional evaluation and selection considerations.

Five Scenarios for VMS 2025: Scenario 2 — Procurement Rules [PRO]

This is “Scenario 2” of the Spend Matters PRO series in which we consider five scenarios for VMS in 2025. These scenarios represent exploratory thinking (not predictions) on our part. And they are not necessarily meant to be mutually exclusive (in fact, multiple scenarios will probably co-exist in 2025). In any case, they are intended to be tools to assist planners and executives in their thinking about the future. Spend Matters' Founder Jason Busch explored the issues in an introduction to the series.

The first scenario, named “The Status Quo,” explored a world in which VMS continues to evolve and flourish (alongside other enterprise software solutions, such as HCM) as a distinct, specialized enterprise solution for sourcing of temps and, potentially, other forms of contingent workforce.

This second scenario, named “Procurement Rules,” explores a world in which procure-to-pay (P2P) — or even source-to-pay S2P — technology suites integrate or subsume the capabilities of VMS (or vice-versa?). A trendline to this scenario has already emerged. SAP Ariba and Coupa have embarked on such a path through acquisition, and other procurement solutions could follow, whether by acquisition/integration or as extensions of their own platform.

Sievo: Vendor Snapshot 2020 Update — Part 1 (Background & Solution Overview) [PRO]

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot 2020 Update offers a refresh of our 2017 review of Sievo’s solution. The three-part series provides facts and expert analysis to help buying organizations make informed decisions about whether they need a solution like Sievo to drive spend analytics programs in place of or in addition to their current efforts.

The market for spend analytics still reminds us of the continuing evolution of the coffee market. It was not so long ago that we largely had a maximum of four choices: drip, percolator and then regular or decaf (this was when no one cared about the provenance of “the beans”). Today, this choice has exploded, and coffee is, well, not just coffee anymore, and not just available from the diner or donut shop.

Spend analytics has evolved in just as many directions as a barista can provide in terms of java choice at the local specialty coffee shop. But not all approaches are created equal. In fact everything from underlying data acquisition, classification, enrichment, prescription and analytics can vary dramatically from solution to solution.

Sievo is one of the longest-running, still independent spend analytics providers in the market today. Founded in 2003, Sievo long ago moved beyond basic spend analytics and centers much of its value proposition today on driving savings program measurement and management across the full spectrum of spend. How they do this is complex, requiring all of the basics of spend classification, analytics and more. In this research series, we get into the weeds on the “what” and the “how” and even some of the “why” of Sievo. We promise that Sievo still is unlike any other provider you have seen in terms of methodology and solution.

Part 1 of our analysis provides a company background and detailed solution overview, as well as a few situations as to when organizations should consider Sievo. The rest of this multipart research brief covers product strengths and weaknesses, competitor and SWOT analysis, user selection guides, and insider evaluation and selection considerations.

Procurement Consulting Analysis: A review of The Shelby Group [PRO]

P2P implementation

The Shelby Group is a U.S.-based specialist source-to-pay solution and technology consultancy (think “spend management,” if you prefer that term) that is best known for its proven expertise in implementing and optimizing Coupa. Located primarily in the Chicago area, the firm serves clients globally, but with an emphasis in North America. Shelby also partners with Ivalua, SAP Ariba, Oracle, Sirion Labs and others.

That said, the Coupa ecosystem is clearly Shelby’s sweet spot, or perhaps “suite spot” is a better term! The firm also has developed some of its own unique digital capabilities that we’ll discuss in this analysis. Shelby has served the market for almost 20 years and has been very happy to “stay in its lane” as a specialist (and has some large well-known consultancies on its customer roster).

This Spend Matters PRO analysis provides background on The Shelby Group, including insights on its customer segments, geographies and emerging digital capabilities. But, primarily, this PRO analysis highlights the voice and experience of Shelby’s clients. We also offer data-driven recommendations and analysis for organizations considering Shelby as a systems implementation and consulting partner.

This report is based on extensive primary research by the Spend Matters team and from our SolutionMap’s customer reference process, where real-life customers share their vendor experiences and help us rank vendors. Spend Matters surveyed a range of Shelby clients in 2019, collecting qualitative and quantitative insights from organizations that had gone through implementations, change management, transformation and related initiatives as part of procurement technology deployments. The Shelby Group also provided facts and figures about its practice directly to Spend Matters, and we’ve added some “color” to the analysis, given that we’ve seen Shelby’s work in the trenches for well over a decade.

Category Analytics and Intelligence Providers: Defining and Exploring a Nascent Market for Procurement Solutions (Part 4 — IT, Marketing and Should-Cost Software) [PRO]

This final PRO installment of Spend Matters’ assessment of category analytics and category intelligence looks at providers focused on IT, marketing and should-cost modeling/analysis.

Accurate intelligence and benchmarks on goods and services are essential to effective sourcing, yet few procurement organizations have comprehensive coverage for all data sources across all categories that they manage. So to help practitioners get a better lay of the category intelligence and analytics landscape, Spend Matters has begun a market scan of technology, data/benchmarking and cost-modeling providers that deliver “category analytics and intelligence” to procurement and other functions. And while few firms in the nascent mega market are perfectly alike, our initial findings have convinced us that category analytics and intelligence could become one of the most important provider markets for procurement to deliver best-in-class performance in the 2020s.

This Spend Matters PRO brief provides an introduction to category analytics and intelligence market and an overview of select providers by category. Part 1 of this series defined what exactly the market consists of, potential ways to segment it, and a basic framework for comparing vendors within and across sectors. Part 2 provided an overview of providers in the direct materials, indirect materials and cross-category specialist (direct and indirect) sectors, and Part 3 covered labor/services and transportation. Now for Part 4, let’s examine the providers focused on IT, marketing and should-cost modeling/analysis.

Category specific providers mentioned in this brief include: aPriori, Digital Decisions, Decideware, easyKost, What’s the Price (Buynamics), NPI Financial, Sourceit, 3quotes and Zylo.