SIM? Is It Old News or a Shiny New Pair of Shoes? Part III

As per our last two posts, SIM (Supplier Information Management) is a very mature and stable technology with a large number of software vendors not only providing the tools and best practices to manage supplier life-cycles, but to manage risk, compliance, receivables, and even spend repositories for spend management. And now that every suite vendor has built, or acquired it, the technology is a commodity in the Supply Management Space, and an acquisition of the typical implementation is not likely to get baby that new pair of shoes anytime soon. Especially since most of these platforms use static data models, fixed workflows, and have little support for supply chain visibility beyond tier 1.

More specifically, as per our last post, what is needed is a SIM tool that allows for a truly dynamic data model, adaptable workflow, and a supply chain organization map that could truly bring a new wave of value to a modern Supply Management organization.

And while many of the classic platforms do not have this capability, as well as many of the best-of-breed platforms, some of the newer, and more innovative, platforms are going down this path.

For example, Ivalua, one of the few suite providers built from the ground up on a single code-base, has spent years building a powerful workflow engine that underlies their entire platform and that can be configured to support just about any supplier on-boarding process you can imagine — as well as integrate just about any data source you want to augment the profiles through its end-user data source integration capability.

Then we have SourceMap, which allows you to map your supply chain down to the source raw material, collect data up and down the chain, and dynamically alter it as raw material providers entered the chain or dropped off. And you can visualize it, create risk models that work on propagated data up and down the chain, and even estimate the impact of a delay or disruption.

And, more importantly, we have HICX, the little vendor that could, did, and keeps on trucking. Fully dynamic, adaptable data model that can even be configured into your own workflows and allow you to hang sub-tier supplier information off of supplier nodes. A powerful UI which can be heavily customized, and more innovations coming soon.

In other words, while classic SIM is old-tech and indistinguishable between about two dozen providers, modern SIM is beginning to undergo a resurgence, and when we finally get open networks, centralized, validated data, and community intelligence, we’ll see a new level of value ooze from these solutions.

So choose wisely, and your solution may just grow with you (instead of taking you back to 2009 when we had a feeling things would get better, but didn’t).