In yesterday’s post we noted that even though the Procurement profession has went from zero to hero in those leading organizations that were forward looking enough to let Purchasers gain influence in both the inbound and outbound supply chain and raise the profile of the organization in the eyes of both customers and suppliers, it is still only a select group of leaders that have truly embraced Supply Management and leaped the pond.
The remaining organizations are still in the Procurement Dark Ages, conducting procurement using the age-old three-bids-and-a-buy technique and the fax machine running over a 64 kbit digital ISDN circuit. And, especially in the lower end of the mid-market, this is the norm and not the exception.
To this end, a new company has hit the Procurement Technology marketplace focussing only on RFX. That’s right, RFX. You’d think that the market would be saturated by now, given that RFX solutions have been on the market for a decade and a half, but it isn’t. There are a number of reasons for this:
1.As described above, a lack of foresight and faith in Procurement has held Procurement, and Procurement technology, back in a number of organizations.
2. The high price tag that was associated with such technology in the past. This technology used to be six figure technology. It’s far from that today, but when many companies first investigated this technology, they got such a sticker shock that they decided it would be out of their reach for years, if not decades, as used to be the case with MRP and ERP technology.
3. The complexity of the suite of products that were often forced upon them. A number of early Sourcing and Procurement Technology providers tried to sell entire suites, insisting that individual products were not valuable on their own, and most companies, still using phone and fax, were not ready for the breadth of technology being thrust upon them and so retreated to their dungeons.
The companies at the low-end of the technology and innovation spectrum need to take things one step at a time, and get comfortable with basic technology solutions, like RFX, before moving on to auction and spend analysis and even, if we’re lucky, optimization. And they want to be able to acquire these solutions one at a time.
That’s why Scout RFP has launched a new RFX solution that attempts to provide these companies with a simple, starting, technology solution that these companies can use to dip their toe in the modern age of Procurement at a low cost with little to no risk.
Is it needed? Is it worth it? Stay Tuned for Part II.