LeanLinking: The Newest Contender in the SRM Arena

LeanLinking is a three year old Denmark company in the SRM space that you haven’t heard much about but should be aware of, especially if you are a smaller mid-market company, as this SaaS company has been rapidly developing their Best-of-Breed SRM solution since day one and it is now a very solid offering for a mid-market company desperate for supplier relationship management capability at a price-point they can afford (and this solution starts at a price point everyone can afford, but more on this later).

It’s certainly no competitor to HICX or State of Flux (both of which have been reviewed on this blog and both of which will soon see deep joint coverage by the doctor and the prophet over on Spend Matters Pro, more on this later) at this point, but when you compare it to the plethora of older-generation SIM solutions on the market, it’s the goose-that-laid-the-golden-egg for many smaller mid-market organizations that need something but have no real budget.

While the LeanLinking tool is essentially designed to help buyers build supplier report cards in preparation for supplier performance review, corrective action, and development meetings, monitor these scorecards over time, and track relevant aspects of supplier interaction, it’s built in such a way that encourages social interaction (which Generation Y likes and which the millennials like even more, which means it is something that is likely to get adopted). It also supports easy file-based data import (and can create complete data format descriptions for IT), which is very helpful to the mid-market, which keeps most of its data in Excel anyway (even though Excel is a damnation that should have already been exercised from the organization long ago). It also has a number of other basic capabilities you’d expect in a SRM system, including compliance tracking, contact management, and so on, but this is not the reason to take note of it.

The reason to take note of LeanLinking is that they realize that it’s hard for Procurement in most mid-size organizations to get any software budget (without a proven ROI, which, of course, can’t be proved until Procurement has the software — the never-ending catch-22) and have decided to bypass Finance (and IT) entirely by offering a consumer (buyer) subscription option starting at just £19 a month for a single buyer. This allows a buyer to expense the platform on his monthly expense report and bury the license cost until he has shown ROI (and then use that as an argument to get a department license, which will be a lot more valuable as the entire team will be able to share data, reduce duplication of effort, get funding to link in feeds from the ERP through the API, etc.).

It’s a novel concept and a novel platform. For more information, see the SM post by the doctor and the prophet as well as our in-depth Pro Analysis (membership required).