Yesterday, in Part I, we noted that when we last covered iValua in 2010, they were one of the few providers tackling end-to-end sourcing and procurement in a single suite of integrated modules built on one common platform. We noted in Tackling End-to-End Sourcing and Procurement, Part I that this French company had capabilities that, at least to some degree, addressed each of the core phases of the basic sourcing-and-procurement cycle except decision optimization and tax reclamation. Since then, they have added advanced tax tracking capability, and a boatload of other features that include SIM/SPM, Risk Management, Project Management, Enhanced Analytics, and Extensive UI customization. Today, we will continue our coverage of the platform, which includes a module for Supplier Management, that we covered in Part I; Sourcing, Contract Management, and Catalog Management, that we’ll cover today; and Procurement, Invoice Management, Expense Management, Reporting, and Administration that will be covered in the remainder of the series.
Sourcing consists of sourcing project creation, schedule and workflow creation, RFX, and e-Auctions. As noted above, there is no decision optimization, but that is literally all that is missing in their sourcing module.
Project creation in iValua is very powerful as you can not only define the project, but set up the end-to-end workflow, define a schedule, assign team members, and track every step. A project has an identity which captures basic project information, associated documents, a sequence of tasks or actions that will fulfill the project, an assigned team, a schedule, and a forum where team members can collaborate and discuss issues. The tasks and actions supported are quite extensive – and include all of the standard source-to-settle steps such as requirements gathering, supplier selection, RFX preparation, response tracking, proposal evaluation, response analysis, award, and contract. From each task, the users can jump off to the appropriate module in the iValua suite to complete the task. The workflow engine is quite fine-grained.
Contract Management is the creation and management of contract templates, contracts, and signature transactions for e-signing. The gem here is iValua’s online drag-and-drop contract creation capability (with complete audit trail functionality) that works in the browser and fully integrates with Microsoft Word. The view, which has the section index on the left, the section texts on the right (each in their own editable box), and Word-compatible editing options on the top, makes it really easy to construct a contract. The tabs allow for quick access of the header, the team involved in the process, deadline (and auto-renewal) dates, exhibits, main clauses, items and services, negotiated terms, the associated contract scorecard, and the current status of the contract with respect to the defined lifecycle.
Catalog Management is the process of importing catalogs, creating and managing catalog items, and managing services procurement. Catalog management works as you would expect, and the hidden gem in here is the extensive services procurement management capability, including timesheet capability. The services procurement module allowed for the creation of services profiles (like templates for services requisitions), price structures, and requisitions — which could be fee-based or timesheet-based. The platform has extensive support for services requisitions, and the unique requirements for services requisitions, that require proposed delivery details, schedules, proposed team members, rates, payment schedules, and insurance requirements. It’s not quite as extensive as the capabilities in the Contingent Workforce Management platforms (like FieldGlass) or Agency Lifecycle Management platforms (like DecideWare), but is more than sufficient for the majority of services-based sourcing projects that a typical Supply Management organization will need to address. It is definitely the 80% solution.
We’ll cover the remaining parts of the platform in the remainder of this series. Come back tomorrow!