Sourcing Innovation is pleased to welcome Trade Extensions, an innovative provider of negotiation and decision optimization platforms, as it’s newest lead sponsor. The Trade Extensions solution, which represents the next generation of on-line, real-time, sourcing and transportation decision optimization solutions, has been growing as rapidly in depth, breadth, and usability as the company itself.
Trade Extensions, which expanded into the UK with its Cambridge area office in 2007 and into the US with its Houston office in 2008, is rapidly becoming known as the leading player in the global sourcing decision optimization market, which, as we know, is quite small in both the strategic sourcing and transportation domains (with the other players essentially limited to Algorhythm, CombineNet, Emptoris, and Iasta in the former and APL Logistics, Axxom, Llamasoft, SCA Technologies, Schneider Logistics, and TC Logic and a handful of others in the latter). Despite still being relatively unknown to the North American mass market, it has already won over some very big players including AT Kearney, BP, Colgate-Palmolive, Dow, Siemens, and Schneider (who use their platform to power BidSmart) in addition to the dozens of other big name clients it has throughout Europe and, now, through the United States as well. This is probably because it is one of the few vendors with a platform that can handle extremely large events (with tens of thousands of lanes/items and hundreds of thousands of bids) and find optimal solutions in relatively short time-frames. (The recent CAPS Research Study took care to note that most of the solutions it reviewed could not handle extremely large events.)
Their solution, which I covered on The Eleventh Day of X-Mas, is a self-service SaaS platform that can be sourced on a per-event basis or on an annual basis. In addition to full-featured e-RFX, e-Auction, and project management, it’s negotiation platform just added contract management functionality and spend analysis capabilities. It’s bid forms are customizable, each item can have as many attributes and prices as it requires and prices can be in a matrix format, it can support arbitrary formulas in price calculations, and scenario rules and filters can be defined with Excel uploads.
Furthermore, it’s a true strategic sourcing decision optimization platform, meeting all of the requirements outlined in the wiki-paper. That’s one of the most impressive aspects of their offering. Many providers who have tried to integrate optimization into real-time auctions have either failed or cut corners. They did neither. Another great capability is their constraint, or rule, flexibility. Rules can be based on filters, act on any attribute, and be created as templates which can be saved and re-used across scenarios.
Trade Extensions is another innovative company that I suspect you’ll be seeing a lot of in the years ahead.
So join me in welcoming Trade Extensions as Sourcing Innovation’s newest lead sponsor.