Daily Archives: July 8, 2024

Demystifying the Marketing Madness for you!

The marketing madness is returning, the incomprehensibility is increasing, and the terminology almost terrifying, so here’s the simplest easy-peasy guide the doctor can make to interpreting what the messaging is actually saying, if it’s saying anything at all!

AI-enabled/AI-backed/AI-enhanced/AI-driven: We don’t actually have any capabilities that you won’t find in one to three dozen of our peers, but since they’ve all jumped on the “AI” bandwagon, we will too and use the exact same meaningless messaging. (Remember, there are NO valid uses for Gen-AI in Procurement and most valid uses for “AI” are constrained to specific use cases, the rest of the time it’s just rules-based RPA/Automation.)

Autonomous Sourcing: If you configure enough rules, or, even worse, turn on our Gen-AI auto-negotiator, the platform, given a demand, will auto configure and run a sourcing event to the point it selects a supplier and sends out an award notification, with little to no guarantee it’s what you wanted (if you turned on Gen-AI).

Delightful Procurement: terribly sorry, but even the doctor can’t translate this one!

Intake-to-Procure: Takes a request in, but doesn’t do anything with it … unless you have a Procurement system it can automate or punch into. (As the doctor has said, intake on its own is Pay-Per-View on your data, and something that SHOULD be included in every proper Procurement solution because you should not have to pay another third party to see YOUR data!)

Margin Multiplier: Our ROI isn’t much better than other best-in-class solutions appropriately applied (the difference between the savings achievable from an average Strategic Procurement/Source-to-Pay and a Best-in-Class Strategic Procurement/Source-to-Pay platform appropriately applied is typically less than 2% [unless one platform includes appropriate SSDO and the other doesn’t] … i.e. you might get 12% savings instead of 10%), but since it’s best in class, you might be able to multiply your margin if all the math works out (3% to 6% instead of 3% to 5.8%), and Margin Multiplier just sounds so much cooler!

Orchestration: Cloud-based middleware that allows you to connect platforms using their APIs through a UX and build data-based workflows that pulls data from one platform and pushes it to another while controlling a multi-application process. Unless it supports integration beyond source-to-pay applications, likely not that useful as it just ADDS to solution sprawl when you can just direct connect the S2P applications yourself using the APIs and rules-based automation to push and pull data (as they all work on essentially the same data).

Smart Procurement: Procurement powered by rules-based workflows, but smart just sounds cool, eh?

Spend Orchestration: We don’t do anything different than all the other orchestration providers, but it sure sounds cool!

Sustainable Procurement: Generally speaking, this simply means you can see supplier / product sustainability (carbon, etc.) data when sourcing, but we don’t actually help you identify more sustainable suppliers or, more importantly, how to work with your supplier to decrease the carbon footprint, raw material utilization, fresh water footprint, etc.

Supplier Insights: An extensible, centralized supplier information/relationship management platform that can be augmented with ALL related supplier finance, product, location, compliance, risk, ESG, and other relevant data. A capability offered by a few dozen platforms, which means this platform isn’t that special.

In short, all of this new marketing gibberish is essentially complete bullcr@p and I have to echo the desire of Sarah Scudder and Dr. Elouise Epstein for Procurement solution providers to tell us what your solution actually does and, in the doctor‘s words, CUT THE CR@P!