Daily Archives: January 17, 2024

Mercanis: Men with a Mission to bring Modern Volkswagen Efficiency with BMW Style to Source-to-Contract! Part 1

Mercanis a new Source-to-Contract mini-suite provider based in Berlin, Germany that is bringing a powerful, affordable, and easy to use solution to the mid-market that not only has core capabilities in sourcing, supplier management, analytics, and contract management, but also has core capabilities around risk assessment AND intake, which is not something we have traditionally seen in mid-market Source-to-Contract, and even enterprise Source-to-Contract and Source-to-Pay suites.

Logging into Mercanis takes the end user, who could be a buyer, an AP clerk, or an average employee who needs to go out to market for a product or service to do their job, to their customized dashboard (according to their role) where they can see an overview of their events/requests, contracts, suppliers (including individual supplier overviews) they manage or have access to, organizational spend they oversee, and other relevant information depending on the selected widgets.

Today we’re going to discuss Sourcing, Supplier Management, and Risk.


Creating a sourcing event in Mercanis for new or previously sourced articles can be accomplished in just a few minutes as the platform was designed for high efficiency. With integrated intake, the system will either guide an organizational user to a self-serve sourcing event for articles (products/components/fixed services) in acceptable categories under a certain amount or funnel to the appropriate sourcing team, as appropriate.

When an organizational user wants something, they define their event name, a unique departmental project reference, category, budget, RFX due date, relevant organizational tags, affected business unit[s], preferred NDA (from those associated with the category), and then the system will either notify the requester that this needs to be a (strategic) sourcing event and direct it to the sourcing team or take the buyer to their (selected) workspace where they can set it up on their own.

In either situation, the next step is to select suppliers. Suppliers are auto-suggested by the system and it’s one click to select them (and the user can search for other known suppliers or even invite a new supplier for onboarding if they want to). After that, they select an appropriate pricing sheet (from those associated) which is automatically pulled in, and then they select appropriate RFP surveys that they want filled out (which are also auto-suggested based on the article). They can then launch the event immediately, or specify a later date, and at any time they can (come back and) add stakeholders.

For a single article, since everything is auto-suggested, they can literally select the core suppliers, price sheet, and surveys with a few clicks and launch a small event in a minute. Most events on an article or category can be reasonably defined in five to fifteen minutes (vs. the 15 hours for some first, and even second, generation suites).

In the Sourcing projects can be multi-round if necessary. Once the results come back, the buyer can kick off another event based off of that project and link it to the existing one to create a multi-round event.

Also, once response come in, as many stakeholders as desired can score it, the scores can be weighted, and once an award is decided upon, it can be sent to the contract module. Survey responses for each survey can be compared side-by-side for easy comparison against peers. And when the individual responses are scored, the buyer can see the assessment criteria scores graphically in spider graphs, including a calculated score based on total relative pricing. When it comes to price sheets, which can include embedded formulas, the buyer can select the prices of interest for side-by-side comparison as well. And to make the comparisons pop, the buyer can even shift to dark mode. While not always the best for data entry, it does make certain visual comparisons pop.

The entry point to sourcing is the dashboard which will summarize the requests, events by category, upcoming, and current sourcing events that need to be reviewed, managed, or awarded.

An organizational buyer can also two-click a new sourcing event by going to the article summary screen, locating the article of interest, clicking on it, defining an event name, selecting one of the associated sourcing workflows (defaulted if just one), selecting one of the associated pricing sheets (defaulted if just one), and confirming the event creation.


The Supplier Management module revolves around the Supplier Repository which organizes all supplier related information in the system with each supplier maintained by the system. It’s easy to search suppliers by name, category, location, associated transaction cost centers, and other information. Upon implementation, Mercanis can import all of your suppliers from your ERP, just a subset you mark as active, or only those suppliers used in the past x years.

On implementation, they will pull in as much information as they have, fill in gaps with any information they have in their system, and augment with a 360-degree profile they auto-generate using their AI tools that scrapes supplier websites and pulls in data from third party sites, Compliance Catalyst, Dun & Bradstreet and/or other third party supplier data providers you have a subscription to. This profile will include a short description, any known (reference) customers, categories the supplier (can) supply in your taxonomy, any known contacts, owners, known business units, primary / head office location, website and Linkedin URLs, and even known similar suppliers in your database. It will also contain direct links to any third party profiles you have access to, and can even pull all of that information into the platform for you.

This is in addition to the basic corporate information (and contacts) maintained by the system (which includes legal identifiers, basic accounting information, and location data), supplier states (which can be buyer organization defined), tiers (as the organization can track tier 2 suppliers or suppliers typically used by your suppliers, third party ratings (from the ERP or a data partner) and data that can be pulled in (which can be visually displayed in spider graphs), specific information collected during onboarding, and appropriate risk data (including cached data from any third party data feeds you have a license too). Note that suppliers can also be evaluated using organizational surveys that can be associated with them, and multiple evaluators can be associated with these surveys.

The SRM system also centralizes and maintains a record of all system activity, including sourcing events, contracts, risk profiles, and associated supplier analytics. It also tracks all associated tasks from across the system in one location, all associated (onboarding/sourcing/contract) requests, and any notes the buying organization wants to add.

New supplier creation is easy. It can be as easy as defining a name and email to kick-off the onboarding process, which will send a request to the buyer to provide the requested information. (Note that if you provide an appropriate legal identifier or URL and the supplier is in the Mercanis database, base information will automatically be populated to simplify the onboarding process for the supplier.)

Search can be customized to work on any given supplier identifier.


The risk module, primarily used in supplier pre-qualification, tracks country and industry risk across the globe and can instantly associate the relevant country and industry risks with an existing, or new, supplier based on its address and NAICS code. The platform uses over 40 different data sources to analyze country and industry risk in accordance with the German Supply Chain Act and computes a score for every country-industry risk correlation.

In addition, it can integrate with third party data from providers like IntegrityNext and Ecovadis and, for any supplier, pull in all the relevant data if the customer has the data feed licenses and automatically compute advanced risk measures using their data (from public sources) and third party data.

Come back tomorrow for Contracts, Spend Analysis, and Administration.