Daily Archives: November 9, 2010

Should You Be Sharing the Risk?

A recent article in the Supply Chain Management Review on procurement risk management: what it takes to be a leader, which correctly states that risk is part of business, noted that, even though procurement has become a frequent topic in the risk management conversation, few companies are translating their trepidations into formal procurement risk management capabilities. Considering that risks have grown considerably in recent years and that at least 7 in 10 companies will experience a major disruption this year, with almost 9 in 10 experiencing some form of disruption, this is not good. Risk management needs to be front and centre in supply chain planning.

But is that enough? Let’s say you put it front and centre, identify your top ten risks, and outline your risk mitigation and/or recovery plans for each risk. Classic thinking would say you’ve done a great job, but have you? If it’s a natural disaster, you’ve probably done all you can do since it’s an event that no one has any control over. But what if it’s a production line breakdown at a key plant of a sole-source supplier? Have you done everything you can? Maybe there’s nothing you could have done to prevent it, but, chances are, there was something your supplier could have done to prevent it.

And maybe they would have if they had more incentive — which leads me to believe that the leaders identified in the referenced 2009 Accenture Study who insist on risk-sharing clauses and back-to-back contracts might be on to something. If both parties agree to share risks, and the costs associated with such risks, both parties are more likely to be alert to risk signals and to take action before a minor interruption becomes a major disruption. If both parties are serious about risk, it’s the right way to go.

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For an Alternative to the Ariba Supplier Network, Don’t Overlook Ketera

Ever since Ariba decided to hike their already hefty fees, there’s been a lot of chatter about the Ariba Supplier Network on and off the blogs, including a great piece on An American Editor, reprinted here on SI, on the harbinger of getting paid.

Since that time, SpendMatters has been covering multiple Ariba Supplier Network Alternatives, including Hubwoo, Basware, and OB10, but has not made a peep about Ariba’s smaller competitor further down the valley. Now, Ketera may not be as big or loud as Basware, Hubwoo, or OB10, but they have a fairly solid offering and one advantage the other guys don’t have — a very low price point, which is critical for the SME market who can’t afford $20,000 a year just for the privilege of transacting online, which is not even close to new technology anymore.

The Ketera Network is a lot bigger than one might think. While they haven’t reached a Trillion dollars in transactions yet, 50 Billion is nothing to scoff at and with over 100,000 buyers and over 1 Million suppliers, it has reached a respectable size and is still growing.

And, most importantly, it’s very cost effective. It’s essentially free to try, as a seller can list for free using their Amazon-like model and pay 3.5% of the sale, and as soon as the seller closes in on $7,000 in sales, the seller can upgrade to the premiere membership which, at $25/month or $250/year, costs the seller less than pennies on the dollar, and quickly becomes a much more affordable alternative than the ASN at the $16,130 mark. For example, even though (to the best of my knowledge) Ariba limits the transaction fees they charge a seller to $20,000 a year, a seller has to do 1.29 Million in business before the cost drops below 15.5 basis points.

The following table should help an organization evaluating their options put the networks in perspective:

Network Ketera Network (KN) Ariba Supplier Network (ASN)
Service Level Sponsored (Private Buyer Catalogs) Public Listing (Amazon-Like Model) Premiere Membership Standard
Service Cost Free 3.5% of Sales 250/year 0.155% of Sales, up to $20,000
Good When only selling via private catalogs to KN buyers doing less than $7,143 of public sales doing more than $7,143 of public sales doing (considerably) more than 1.29M of sales per year with Ariba buyers

And the following table should help an organization understand the relative costs of the KN Premiere Membership vs. the Standard Ariba Supplier Network Membership:

  Cost Per Dollar of Sale  
Sales Volume KN ASN Winner
10,000 0.02500000 0.01550000 ASN
16,130 0.01549907 0.01550000 KN
100,000 0.00250000 0.01550000 KN
1,000,000 0.00025000 0.01550000 KN
1,300,000 0.00019231 0.01538462 KN
10,000,000 0.00002500 0.00200000 KN
100,000,000 0.00000250 0.00020000 KN
1,000,000,000 0.00000025 0.00002000 KN

The Ketera Network may not be right for everyone, but it’s something every SME should definitely investigate.

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