Over the last couple of weeks we’ve been laying the foundations for the significant changes coming in the upcoming Q2 release of Spend Matters Solution Map, with the new common-foundations and the Sourcing, Supplier Management, and Analytics Maps designed by yours truly, the doctor of Sourcing Innovation.
While the biggest change was the introduction of a new common platform section, which evaluates solutions based on the underlying platform (which is becoming more and more important now that more players are offering “suites” and the longevity of a platform without a good platform is limited), the next biggest change is the introduction of a new common section that overlaps sourcing and supplier management because you can’t do sourcing without suppliers and you don’t manage suppliers without the ultimate goal of doing business with them. (And while this is not yet common to e-Procurement, it may soon be a common requirement for any catalog providers as more and more such providers offer enhanced supplier management and interaction.)
So what are the common elements that one needs to consider?
- Enhanced Information Management for discovery and onboarding
- Performance Management for tracking performance
- Relationship Management for managing the relationship
- Risk Management for keeping tabs on, and managing, the risk
- Enhanced Portal for information management and collaboration
And why are these important cross application elements?
- Suppliers are the life-blood of your organization, but they don’t consistently perform over time and new suppliers are sometimes vital. That’s why discovery and on-boarding are so vital.
- The key to good performance from your suppliers is monitoring and managing that performance.
- The key to correcting performance and preventing problems in the first place is often the result of good relationship management.
- The key to preventing unexpected supplier-based disruptions (which affect a significant number of supplier chains every year) is to keep a tab on risks and prepare for the significant ones with mitigation plans ready to go.
- They key to keeping information up to date is to let the supplier help you with a portal that is built to do so (and that they want to use).
So what should you look for? While we won’t dive into every detail (but you will be able to with a custom Solution Map if you want to (just contact Spend Matters to find out more), we will highlight some of the more important details ( so you can know that when we evaluate a vendor’s technology, we truly evaluate the technology from the point of view of a technology analyst, not an industry analyst (see our recent post on Industry Analysts vs Technology Analysts) and this is absolutely critical if you want to select the right technology.