iValua: Brewing the Kettle for the Vertical Petals

When SI last did a deep dive on Ivalua back in late 2013, they were proving their mettle with source-to-settle (Part I, Part II, Part III, and Part IV) because an integrated Source-to-Settle (S2S) platform brings unparalleled benefits to Supply Management. Since then, they’ve been extending the platform, but instead of broadening it (as they already had just about everything covered except decision optimization and cashflow optimization), they’ve been deepening it with industry specific functionality for a plethora of verticals, namely, the manufacturing and automotive industry; the banking and services industry; the retail and distribution industry; the construction, oil, and gas industry; the health care industry; the telecom industry; GPOs (Group Purchasing Organizations), and the public sector.

For the machining and automotive industry, in addition to their powerful RFX capability which allows buyers to create detailed cost models for components and products being sourced, they also have integrated sourcing project management (as a Bill of Materials might require multiple sourcing projects, capabilities for New Product Introduction (NPI) management, asset and tooling management and tracking, and the ability to identify raw material / component price data variance across plant locations. This is in addition to the detailed supplier master data management (that can support the definition of approved suppliers by category, buyer, and location), quality tracking and management (through scorecards), and productive action plans (that build on the corrective action plan capability).

For the banking and services industry, in addition to vendor managed catalogs, contract compliance management, invoice data capture, and dynamic discounting, unlike some of their peers that grew up in the indirect (commodity) sourcing world, they support detailed rate cards and services profiles, e-Signature integration, and multi-envelope bidding.

For the construction, oil, and gas industry, in addition to support for spot-sourcing and spot-awards to on-contract suppliers, detailed service personnel data collection, and supplier data access to available assets (and tools), the platform also supports the creation of field service request estimates based on PR and PO process initiation, asset and tooling management, automatic monitoring of supplier credentials and certificates, data collection for supplier personnel performance management, and the collection of documents and specifications on all relevant supplier safety practices.

They’ve also fleshed out their analytics and out-of-the-box reports to cover spend data and metrics from all aspects of the source-to-settle lifecycle (which is easy to do when all of the data is in one store maintained by one platform, and not 3, 4, or 5 — which is common with some of their competitors that created their suites from multiple acquisitions), increased the configurabilty of their solution (where the buying organization not only has control over modules and workflow, but even what is displayed, or not, on individual screens), exposed the full extent of their integration capability within the platform (where lead buyers can configure the APIs through a simple form-based interface and XML), and created an add-on store where clients can share and download additional reports and components and integrations created by their peers or third parties.

Ivalua is still coding strong, and extending their platform year after year. It’s hard to say what will come next, as two-thirds of their road-map is always client-driven, but if you’re looking for a true, native, end-to-end source-to-pay platform from a responsive organization, the Ivalua platform is one that should be on your short-list.

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