Staging a Bold Retreat — A Bird’s Eye View of the Optimisation Market

A recent article by Garry Mansell, CEO Trade Extensions, of TESS™ (world-class sourcing and optimisation platform) fame, stated: "industry as a whole, and managers as a species, have been staging a series of ‘bold retreats.’ Now that peaked our interest, and we wondered what on earth he was talking about. So we had a further look, and thought you might find this interesting.

When Staging a Bold Retreat Is Good for Business

Trade Extensions, it is true, has experienced exponential growth in the past two years, so Garry must know his apples from his oranges. He explains why having a great product is not enough to ensure a company's dramatic growth. Something more fundamental must be happening in the sector.

The traditional notion of 'bold retreat' in industry he explains is:

"... a well understood alternative to either adopting or defeating a new technology or competitor. It is best described by companies that recognise they have ageing technology that is being eclipsed by game-changing new inventions, and they do something about it ... every industry at some point develops to the extent that companies within the market have to make decisions as to either get out of the market or become a niche player ... Often becoming a niche player is the smart decision and companies may change from being market leaders to profit leaders."

But in the sourcing and optimisation marketplace, the 'bold retreat' is taking on another form:

"... it is coming from users and providers of enterprise-wide solutions. In the traditional ‘bold retreat’ scenario the existing dominant technology retreats to a niche position, but what we are seeing now is less of a ‘bold retreat’ for the dominant technology and more of a ‘bold entrenchment’ in that it is a planned decision to allow niche players to complement its technology rather than compete in non-core areas."

End users are realising that the enterprise-wide software solutions aren't necessarily "the best tools for every function and, where this is the case, they want to use best-in-class niche specialists."

And how is this good for business?

End users, he explains (from a study of his own customer base wants and needs) and software providers in the sourcing, procurement and optimisation space, are looking at niche players to add to the current offerings from the giants of the industry. There is a need to fill the gaps that their large providers have "either chosen not to fill or have failed to fill."

Garry points out that the huge software providers cannot be everything to everyone, and "...being a niche player in a huge marketplace is no bad thing to be."

This article is clearly well thought-out, backed by first-hand experience of his customers and his own personal professional understanding. And we read it with interest because we actually agree with the sentiments. If you'd like to read more than just this top-level overview -- you can read it in full here. 

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