Zycus focus on suppliers – a broad solution and a growing global prescence

Zycus have been an Associate Sponsor of ours for a while, (thanks!),  but I’m ashamed to admit I only got round to looking properly at their solution, or some of it at least, quite recently.

The firm started out and built their reputation on the back of one of the strongest spend classification and analytics platforms in the market, but they have expanded with some speed over the last few years into a range of other areas. With more than 600 employees, and strength in APAC, Europe and North America, they are also one of the most genuinely international solution providers in our space. As my US colleague Jason Busch said:.

Today, the individual components of Zycus’ suite include not only e-sourcing, but also a range of other areas: basic optimization, supplier performance management, supplier management, contract management, total cost modeling and savings tracking/implementation.”

Indeed, they’ve moved recently into the P2P marketplace as well, making them one of the providers with the broadest product range  in our industry.

My demo focused however on supplier management (in a fairly broad sense) – which was in part because I’m working on a new research paper which will be published in the not too distant future and which covers that topic. And an obvious element of the Zycus approach is the holistic nature of their product design. Although many of us probably compartmentalise different elements of the procurement process, and the different software products to support that (spend analytics, supplier information management, supplier onboarding, e-sourcing, contract management, etc),  the Zycus solution links many of these together in a manner that makes a lot of sense when you see it in action.

So, for instance, the supplier portal which facilitates onboarding is user-friendly and clear. But rather than just collecting basic information, it supports collection of data that can form part of the pre-qualification process for sourcing exercises. So scoring can be linked to the answers suppliers give to questions when they onboard, and buyers can use that to determine who to include on RFX lists.

Then there’s a “supplier screening” facility, which enables search based on multiple criteria, which again supports easier sourcing processes. Once suppliers are live, information about the supplier and their performance can also be collected on the platform and linked to the original onboarding data.

So eventually, a picture of the supplier can be built up, from the information they provided originally, but then adding contract information, supplier performance data and even development plans. Spend analytics type information can also be linked, so the buyer can for instance move from the standard analytics data to making a comparison of suppliers’  relative performance ratings across a category.

 On the specific contract and supplier performance side, the platform supports creation of KPIs (by the supplier or the buyer) and the creation of scorecards, with targets, RAG status reports and so on. Elements of a development  programme can also be captured, so we move into SRM territory here with the ability to capture initiatives, milestones, and progress reporting.

 It is all put together in a user-friendly manner and supports the idea that having an all-round view of the supplier is something that can give the buyer significant benefits. We’ll come back to that thought when we publish the paper I mentioned earlier – so look out for that, and an accompanying webinar, coming soon!

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