Cap Gemini is a one of the world’s largest multi-national consulting companies headquartered in Paris, France that focusses on management, outsourcing, and technology-based consulting and specializes in strategy, digital transformation, finance, marketing, IT strategy, solutions design, big data / analytics, and supply chain management consulting. Of course, we are primarily interested in the latter and, in particular, any technology underpinnings.
As part of their technology underpinnings, Cap Gemini has three primary offerings. Spend Analysis, powered by Spend Radar; Procurement Intelligence, powered by Microsoft’s Strategy Companion; and the IBX Business Network that implements their Source-to-Pay platform with e-Sourcing, e-Procurement, and supplier (portal) support. This is what we’re going to cover briefly in this post.
The solution is a seamlessly integrated Source to Pay Solution with a global supplier network, where suppliers can self-register, manage their customer interactions through a portal with a single integrated view, and even manage their invoices that originate outside of the IBX platform (which is a unique capability that will be discussed later on). If you consider the classic Sourcing and Procurement lifecycle, first diagramed by the doctor on SI back in the doctor wants to remind you it’s Sourcing and Procurement, a good S2P solution needs a lot of capability, especially if you want to capture low-volume purchases and spot-buys (and, in particular, catalog management needs to underlie the requisition through the approval process). The IBX platform contains, to some degree, almost everything indicated in this diagram (with the exception of true strategic sourcing decision optimization, which we know is currently limited to the six samurai) plus a lot of cool supplier network, catalog management, and spot-buy features, including a few that you will not find in any other (best-of-breed) platform on the planet.
In this post, we’re going to focus on spot-buy and the invoice management dashboard, as they are the most unique offerings in the platform. The new spot-buy functionality allows a requisitioner to create a requisition for anything they need, fill out as much information as possible (including expected pricing), suggest one or more suppliers on the network, and route it to Sourcing for identification of the proper products and/or services. A (senior) buyer in Sourcing will validate the request, choose the appropriate sourcing process (RFX, auction, third-party catalog offering), make a selection, and return it to the buyer for final acceptance and submission, at which time it will be routed to the appropriate approvers. Note that we say Sourcing, not a buyer, as it contains rule-based workflow management that allow it to be routed to the buyer with the proper authority with the smallest workload to minimize processing time.
The new invoice management dashboard, designed for the supplier, allows a supplier to sign in and see on one screen the status of every invoice sent to every customer on, and off, of the IBX network as well as drill in and get as much related information as there is for IBX platform invoices (including, but not limited to, conversations, buyer requested corrections, goods receipts, purchase orders, etc.). The system supports uploads from standard AP and ERP systems for suppliers to get this information in the system. Being able to log into one portal and service all their IBX customers through one login and one interface is great, but being able to manage all of their invoices, which is something that is always top of mind for a supplier, is even better still.
There’s a lot of other cool and powerful features in the IBX system, and they are covered in detail in the recent piece by the doctor and the prophet over on Spend Matters Pro (Part 1 of 2, membership required) which gives one of the most in-depth and balanced reviews of the system that you are going to find anywhere.