BravoAdvantage – A Closer Look Reveals Something Procurement Pros Really Want

It’s all happening in the procurement software world with acquisitions, mergers, or major investment pouring into firms. None of this in itself matters much to the firms’ customers of course. It is the products themselves, the capability offered to the procurement professional, the experience for the wider user base, and the benefits that the technology can provide, that are important.

One firm that has been beavering away over recent months to improve their product is BravoSolution.  Almost a year ago, the firm announced the acquisition of the relatively small but well regarded US firm Puridiom, whose expertise lay in the purchase-to-pay area. That complemented BravoSolution’s traditional strength in spend analytics, sourcing, contract management and related areas. Now the fruits of that move are becoming evident, as the firm rolls out its BravoAdvantage source-to-pay procurement platform to its various geographical customers.

We had a demo recently, not a full scale “under the bonnet” investigation but a pretty thorough overview, and it is an impressive offering. “Almost makes me wish I was a CPO again”, was the comment I made at the end of the session (delighting the BravoSolution marketing head of course). But I meant it. To be fair, most leading S2P platforms are pretty impressive compared to what we had in my day, but there are a number of elements here that are particularly interesting and could have really helped me when I was struggling to get to grips with NatWest’s spend!

That aspect of thinking about what the CPO and her / his staff really want and need from a platform seems to lie at the heart of the BravoSolution approach. Other competitors start perhaps with more of a focus on the finance process, or on “savings,” or aim for an elegant technology approach. Nothing wrong with any of those but one of BravoSolution’s strengths is being very “procurement professional” focused, if I can put it like that. So although they talk about a supplier-centred approach”, which is entirely appropriate, their tool really aims to help the organisation and the procurement function work well with and get most value from that supplier base.

So the Puridiom capability in purchase to pay seems to have been integrated into the new single platform to give a common and attractive look and feel to the whole platform. The different elements are shown below; let’s take a brief look at each particularly in terms of what is new in each area.

Sourcing has been a core capability for the firm for many years, but there are enhancements here, such as the ability for suppliers to bid in different currencies (that flexibility carries across into different areas such as analytics). There is more control for the administrator but combined with strong collaboration tools, and contract awards can be split across multiple suppliers, which fits with the next area …

Sourcing Plus, which is the BravoSolution offering in the optimisation / market-informed sourcing space, which addresses sourcing exercises with a high degree of complexity, and many different factors to optimise within the supplier selection. The firm has had capability here, but separate to the core sourcing product, but this now sits firmly within the core architecture of the platform. Users can build an RFX, decide to run it through the sourcing plus process, then bring the output back within the platform. We’d like to see more here, but it appears that the aim is also to be able to use some of the capability and power of optimisation technology not just for the very complex events, but bring it into more routine sourcing projects too.

Contract Lifecycle Management has long been a strength for BravoSolution and the new release now has online electronic contract signing via a partnership with industry leader DocuSign. Automated management options can reduce the time and effort needed to keep track of contracts going back and forth during negotiation, and there are new processes to manage amendments and more capability in terms of using and tracking pre-defined clauses  There are also better tools to support bulk admin of the contract “estate” such as for uploading contracts to the system.

We’ll be back in part 2 with more from our canter through the new BravoAdvantage platform.


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