Daily Archives: March 28, 2013

Seeking Spherical Supply Solutions? Succeed in the EU! Part III

In our last two posts we outlined five major reasons you should be looking at European Supply Management Solution Providers if you are a global multi-national that is buying from and selling to multiple countries. Briefly, they were:

  • EU solution providers are already multi-lingual!
  • EU solution providers understand the importance of locality.
  • EU solution providers understand that customer priorities differ by locality.
  • EU solution providers realize that, one way or the other, you have to be in Asia.
  • Including EU solution providers in the mix reduces the chance that you will need two solutions.

If the EU provider, understanding the importance of locality, has opened a US office and staffed it with local staff, why shouldn’t they be in the mix. After all, if they also have:

  • the functionality to meet your requirements,
  • successful implementations (verified with references) in the countries you have targeted, and
  • a proper localization of their software for the US market

they could be perfect for you. And when you get down to it, a number of you are probably storing your data in an ERP solution that came from Germany!

It’s no longer the case that, as it was as recently as a few years ago, a multi-national has to use a US-founded solution provider in the US and a European-founded solution provider in the EU (and maybe even the rest of the world). There are now choices in both markets that serve the globe, with companies like BravoSolution, Hubwoo, and Wallmedien being examples on the European side.

SI isn’t saying that a European provider will be the right choice for you, as there are big name US providers that have successfully gone global, including recently acquired Ariba and Emptoris, and some up-and-comers like Coupa and Iasta have added multi-lingual and localization support since their early days and are exceptional solutions for the markets they are being deployed in. What SI is saying is that you cannot strike these EU providers off the list until you have seriously reviewed them. I have seen situations where no US provider has fit the bill, and expect that this reality will continue at least until a few US providers rise to the level of Ariba and Emptoris, if not for the next decade. The only way to guarantee that you are going to get the best solution for your business is if you invite all the top players to the table, regardless of where they came from.