LogicSource OneMarket, which grew out of a unique automated procure-to-play platform to enable buyers and suppliers to more effectively address the complexities of print management, is a unique platform for sourcing “projects”. Marketing and advertising projects, capital equipment and leasehold acquisition projects, temporary labour projects to meet the holiday rush, etc. The developers — having recognized how the pre-cursor complex category platform they developed to specifically handle complex categories such as direct mail promotions, marketing collateral, promotional items, and packaging was being used across a wide range of industries — also recognized that what made these categories complex was the project-based nature of the categories, and focussed on extending that.
A few years later and they have a distinct platform that, while not specific to marketing, capital acquisitions, or labour projects, is well suited for those types of one-off sourcing events. While the platform has four components — the main e-Procurement (Sourcing) Engine, the Analytics Platform (designed for Finance), Digital Asset Management (designed for Marketing), and Visual Merchandising Management (designed for Operations) — we’re only going to discuss the e-Procurement / Sourcing component in this post.
The module is built around “campaign” management, and that’s why it is effective in special projects that are essentially campaigns to get something specific, and special, accomplished like managing a print advertising campaign for a new product, acquiring a new office building that meets everyone’s needs*, or quickly hiring 100 new workers to staff the warehouse to get all the packages out on time for the holiday rush.
Campaigns are much more challenging than regular commodity/product/service sourcing projects where you can just send out a bid for a group of SKUs, ask carriers to quote on lanes, and request standard rate cards for well defined service roles, as you need to develop customize requirements and RFIs, allow for and handle highly variable RFPs depending on the solution proposed by each vendor, compare bids at different levels of granularity, support complex review and sign-off chains, and capture the data required for detailed Statement-of-Work addendums to the contracts that can be used to generate the appropriate POs for whatever billing framework and schedule is agreed to.
To support this type of special project, each campaign starts with a specification where the buyer defines what they are looking for to the best of their ability, defines the workflow, selects the initial suppliers, includes any known products they need (quoted) from the built-in catalog capability, and/or defines any services they need (quoted) and attaches the rate cards they need filled out. The buyer can also choose to automatically populate the RFPs sent to suppliers with known or historical prices for known product or service needs, which then requires the supplier to only provide updates where necessary and fill in prices for products or services not known to the buyer.
Special projects can have multiple RFX rounds and the product logs all steps and changes for historical audit purposes. When the project is complete, an award can be created and, if necessary, split across multiple suppliers at different levels of project granularity. For example, if it was an advertising campaign project, one supplier might get a region (southern), another might get a state (California), and another might simply get a city (such as New York) because of distinct consumer preferences in a large target marketplace.
Once the award is made, the tool can be used to track project progress and handle the traditional billing and payment cycles (which you would expect as it evolved from an e-Procurement platform). In addition, it can track all change orders and everything related to project management is integrated, logged, and audited. In addition, suppliers can generate invoices within the supplier portal against work orders at agreed upon payment schedules for milestone driven projects, which makes it a lot easier for payment review and approval then when a supplier sends AP an invoice for “Services Delivered Against Campaign X” and the accounts payable clerk has no clue if the milestone has been hit or not.
LogicSource OneMarket is a fairly unique solution that is worth checking out if your organization does a lot of campaign-based projects across disciplines and your standard sourcing suite doesn’t suit the purpose. Keep it in mind the next time you hit a brick wall with respect to campaign management in your previous-generation sourcing suite.
*but not everyone’s wants — because, as poor Dilbert found out in the “Tower of Babel”, Episode 7 of Season 1 of the animated TV Show, if you try to satisfy everyone, you satisfy no one.