As hinted at in Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious this summer, in this series that I will be starting next week, I will be digging into the recent report on the role of optimization in strategic sourcing from CAPS Research. This report, which is the most extensive effort I’ve seen by anyone [other than myself and my efforts here on this blog, in the wiki-paper, in the e-Sourcing Handbook, and the NLP sponsored podcast (part I, part II, and transcript)] to define the role of strategic sourcing decision optimization, provides a great introduction to someone just getting started with this very valuable, but still under-utilized, technology.
That being said, there are some statements in the report that need to be highlighted, some important points that were missing, some statements that were misleading (at least in my view), and some statements that were, frankly, just plain wrong. In this series, which will focus on some of the finer points of this report, I, as an expert in strategic sourcing decision optimization and a practitioner who has (single-handledly, in the first case) designed two of the leading systems on the market this decade, will focus primarily on those statements that need to be stressed, added, clarified, or corrected. The hope is that upon reading the report and this “editorial”, those of you who have not yet tried strategic sourcing decision optimization will understand, at least at a basic level, what decision optimization is, what it does, the value it can bring, and why you should be using it as part of your sourcing process to save an average of 12% above and beyond what you’ll save if you are still relying on e-RFX and (reverse) auctions alone.
Finally, before we begin, while the report thanked Ariba, CombineNet, Emptoris, and Iasta, you should be aware that Trade Extensions and Algorhythm are major players and that, as far as the doctor is concerned, Ariba does not have a true strategic sourcing decision optimization solution that meets the basic requirements outlined in the wiki-paper.
Next, Part I: Optimization in the Strategic Sourcing Process.