Science Warehouse to power the m-hance marketplace – is this how mid-sized firms will adopt eProcurement?

Science Warehouse, the UK based  eProcurement software firm,  announced a partnership with m-hance last week that may be more interesting than it first looks...

Mid-sized firms have been fairly slow adopters of eProcurement (both P2P and eSourcing) generally. The cost of implementation plus the sheer hassle has no doubt caused this hesitation. But this link-up might show the way that these solutions will eventually get into that type of firm.

So, although I confess I hadn’t heard of them, “ m-hance is a UK-based company providing innovative and functionally rich business software solutions to 2,400 mid-market sized organisations including Innocent Drinks, RFU, Viridor, Millennium Hotels, Make-A-Wish, Hewden and Endsleigh Insurance. m-hance’s core solution offering consists of financial management, CRM, enterprise social networking, SharePoint, HR & Payroll, managed services and software development in a variety of vertical markets including distribution, manufacturing, not-for-profit, professional services and infrastructure”.

m-hance are now adding the m-hance Marketplace to their offering, which will provide their customers with access to goods and services from “an established supplier network”. Customers “ can rapidly search and compare millions of products from approved suppliers in one unified system to drive purchase price savings and reduce order processing costs”. This is integrated with the m-hance Purchase Management system so the whole process is integrated and efficient, with built-in financial controls.

Science Warehouse have been chosen by m-hance to power the Marketplace, using their catalogue and P2P software, with the Marketplace initially populated largely with firms who are already active on Science Warehouse’s supplier network, generally because they supply existing Sci-Warehouse clients. .

So perhaps this is how mid-sized firms will finally embrace eProcurement? If it is integrated with their core financial systems, and doesn’t require them to be dealing with another set of sales people and developers, the decision to use it will be much more straightforward, we suspect. However, one key factor in this initiative’s eventual success or failure will be the  choice of suppliers available through the Marketplace and how good the deals are. They don’t have to be mind-blowingly brilliant, but they will have to be good enough that the firms feel the whole package of value and convenience is attractive.

We suspect there will be further examples of partnerships and tie-ups that will drive eProcurement and what are in effect supplier networks into mid-market and even smaller organisations. An opportunity, and something to look out for...

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