Category Archives: RFX

OneMarket Sources Your Contracts with Insights in its new Integrated Source-to-Contract Portfolio

LogicSource was founded in 2009 by experienced professionals who wanted to improve sourcing and procurement in organizations that didn’t have the knowledge, experience, and infrastructure to execute in an efficient, effective, and transparent manner. Their view was that every consultancy can offer advice, but not every consultancy can help the customer implement that advice and get results.

In order to do this, they built an in-house product which they released to the market as OneMarket three years later, and which we covered here on Sourcing Innovation back in 2014 when we discussed their Interesting Solution for Sourcing Projects. In 2018, they released OneMarket Insights which was followed by OneMarket Portfolio, Sourcing, and Contracts in 2020. Then, a year and a half ago (in 2022 Q4) they released a new version with a new UX which tightly integrated their Insights, Portfolio, Contracts, Sourcing, and Supplier Management (and P2P, which will be covered in a separate update) modules.

The new UX and design, which was built with intake and visibility in mind, and their new Portfolio Management capability, was built with one goal: to be the for the indirect Sourcing Professional who needed a platform, and a third party, to help with Sourcing and Procurement, and, more specifically, an easy way to follow along, provide input where needed, and learn to take over sourcing programs, projects, and processes when they are ready.


Sourcing in OneMarket is organized into Programs, which are broken down into Sourcing Projects that are managed within the OneMarket Portfolio product. The meaning of each Program is organization dependent, and allows organizations to structure their sourcing efforts by category, department, budget authority, etc. depending on what makes the most sense for the organization. For example, a Retailer may want a Program by geographic region or organizational category (Internal, Services, Resale, etc.), and projects by individual goods and services being sourced (IT, Office Suppliers, and MRO for internal; Legal, Janitorial, and Marketing for services; individual goods categories for resale).

Programs will require very little definition to define — as little as a name and an ID can set the Program up (if the organizational users understand their individual portfolios) as most of the detail is in the associated projects. When it comes to projects, it just needs a corresponding program, a category, an owner and a leader, an expense type, a starting date, an expected cutover date, an expected savings (effective) date, a priority, and an estimate of the value and effort (as a few indicators help with the future analysis and system level statistics).

Projects in OneMarket go beyond just the initial sourcing event and live from the time they are created until the last unit of the good or service is delivered as the OneMarket platform was built to track projects from start to finish, as well as savings and process (time) statistics. Projects also support detailed project plans with as many milestones as desired, each with their own start and end dates. The system will also track the actual end dates, the estimated versus actual duration, and allow the buyer to do analytics across projects.

Furthermore, projects can be templated for quick launch and LogicSource can provide the customer organization with a set of project plans that cover the breadth of their sourcing categories for a quick start upon LogicSource engagement and OneMarket go live. In addition, the Sourcing platform contains an attachment library that can be used to store all standard eligibility documents, contracts, product specifications, and other documents that need to be regularly used in projects. LogicSource can help the client organization load this on implementation to further simplify quick and easy project creation.

After every milestone is complete, the buyer can record key developments, (remaining) issues, next steps, and update the current project status. In this way, a complete project record is maintained in the application. This not only serves as an audit trail but allows the client to have a record of what happened they can refer back to in the future. This way, when the client is ready to take over more activity on their own, they have a guide for future instantiations of the project.

Projects can also be associated with strategies, (project) types, and event types. For example, it can be a cost avoidance event centered around an RFP, a cost savings event centered around an auction, or a supply assurance event centered around a contract renewal. Once the sourcing event project is created, the buyer defines the prerequisites for supplier participation (must agree to the payment terms and delivery timeframes, must complete the environmental assessment, must complete the security assessment, etc.), selects the suppliers, defines the schedules, attaches any necessary documents that must be agreed to and completed, and when the buyer is ready, it goes out to the supplier.

Projects in OneMarket Sourcing are completely document centric, including bidding, which centers around bid sheets compatible with every Procurement Professional and Sales Professional’s favourite tool — Microsoft Excel. When we say centers around bid sheets, we actually mean it is entirely based on the bid-sheets as there is no in-tool bidding (or even bid-comparison, you need to use an analytics solution for that). This is contrary to most sourcing platforms which have in-tool bidding and bid-sheet export and import (usually in a rigid format), but this is because they primarily support organizations that want Sourcing-as-a-Service/Procurement-as-a-Service (from LogicSource), are used to working in documents and sheets, and want to stay with what they are comfortable with.

Unlike big self-serve suite platforms that try to be everything to everyone, LogicSource has found that the companies bringing them in for help are overworked, understaffed, need to get more spend under control, and just need to run more sourcing events — and do so without having to adapt to a new tool or drown in the details for low-cost, low-volume, tactical, or tail spend. For them, this means the ability to quickly instantiate a project, send out the documents, get the results, select a winner, cut a contract or append to a master contract, and keep going — and do so with the tools they already use every day — email, Word/Adobe and Excel. Their redesign went document-centric because this is what the subset of the market they serve go after. Some of their customers in retail and food and beverage have teams of less than ten (10), and sometimes five (5), responsible for eight (8), nine (9) and even ten (10) figure events and their ability to focus on just what they need to is paramount — this is especially common in their market suite spot of 500M to 5B companies that have smaller Procurement departments.

Similarly, their platform was re-built from the ground up to support third party organization observation and management, allowing them to run higher-volume, higher cost, and/or strategic events for their customers and let them observe or serve as the project owner for the events they don’t want to manage themselves, which they run while the customers observe.

Once a bid sheet is accepted, the key commercial terms can be captured in the project as well as the total addressable spend and target savings, and all of the commercial terms can be pushed into the contract module that captures everything Legal needs to craft the contract. Once the post-sourcing procurement process starts, after each invoice is paid, the buyer can track the approved savings (as well as the date the savings were approved).

Supplier Management

The Supplier Management module, which tightly integrates with the Sourcing and P2P modules, maintains supplier information. In addition to the standard supplier information, it also stores the categories that the supplier provides products and services in, with the ability to associate the supplier all the way down to Level 3.

Core information associated with a supplier are its NAICS, DUNS, and EIN number, diversity status, and location. It also stores contact information, associated documents, eligibility status (for inclusion in sourcing events), and associates the supplier with all sourcing events it is part of.

As with Sourcing, Supplier Management is document based, including eligibility. For each prerequisite, the supplier uploads a document, possibly a revised (executed) version, and then it is a buyer’s decision as to whether the (executed) document meets the eligibility requirement or not.

Note that the standard information fields are not yet extensible (but this capability is planned for a future release), but you can add and associate as many forms as you like to keep track of relevant supplier information. The Supplier Management module was not designed to be a supplier master, as most companies have ERPs/MRPs that house the master data, but to house all of the relevant data for Sourcing and Procurement and help the organization keep the master data up to date, as they can push updates to the ERP (as well as pull suppliers in for onboarding during system implementation).

When it comes to onboarding, LogicSource manages the onboarding and helps the suppliers with any questions or issues they have or training they need, making it as easy as possible for the client to determine supplier eligibility, conduct sourcing events, or just follow along with what a LogicSource sourcing professional is doing on their behalf.

Contract Management

The contract management system is primarily a governance system that revolves around a contract repository of all contracts which are indexed by appropriate contract detail metadata. The system captures all of the commercial terms that come out of the sourcing event for the Legal team to cut and negotiate the contract, and once the contract is signed and executed, it captures all of the relevant metadata (through AI extraction that can be corrected and augmented by the user) and allows for contract management from that point on.

Key information includes company, supplier, parent contract (if it’s a subcontract to a master), category, owners, effective and expiry dates, and associated sourcing event. Currently, it can also store up to 84 fields per contract, including related party information, renewal and termination details (and associated alerts), pricing & payment details, key terms, associated attachments, etc.

Search is quite advanced and can be on any collection of meta data fields.

Analytics / Insights

OneMarket Insights is a service-driven solution designed first and foremost to provide the client with insights, and not necessarily deep analytics — although that is there if you have the right depth of data and are willing to learn how to use the Do-It-Yourself Cube Explorer.

Integral to the analytics process is the preparation of a normalized, categorized and enriched spend dataset where various sources of spend data, including P2P, ERP, Expenses and Card data files are consolidated by LogicSource into a single spend dataset, which is then enriched to extend the number of data fields available for the analysis experience. Each month the most recent spend data is ingested into this tool so customers always have the last month’s spend data on hand.

The solution revolves around a set of custom developed and delivered dashboards that are relevant to your organization and your efforts, as determined during the initial needs assessment and the results of the initial spend assessment exercise that looks at 16 different standard spend views across spend, compliance, and traditional opportunities. The standard areas that LogicSource will look at, once they get all of the relevant data integrated and loaded, are:


  • By Company / Division – how is the spend breaking down across companies or divisions
  • L1 Category – what are the top categories of spend
  • L2 Category – what are the top subcategories
  • Suppliers – what are the top suppliers
  • Sourcing Segment & Tier – how does the spend breakdown under an ABC analysis
  • Buying Channel – how does the spend breakdown by buying channel


  • Purchase Order – how much is on PO
  • After-the-Fact Purchase Order – how much is on after-the-fact PO
  • Payment – how many payments are compliant with terms
  • Spend Under Contract (by Category) – how much category spend is contracted
  • Spend Under Contract (by Supplier) – how much supplier spend is contracted
  • IT Spend on Expenses/Cards – a policy view of what IT spend should be on PO/Invoice


  • Unmanaged Spend – usually one of the largest opportunities
  • Top Suppliers by L2 – large opportunity if NOT under contract
  • Monopolies – single sources can be uncompetitive
  • Fragments – overly fragment spend presents opportunities as well

Once LogicSource gets an understanding of the organization’s spend, they work with the organization to customize dashboards that will provide the management, sourcing professionals, and analysts with the insight they need to track spend, do fact-based negotiations, and identify potential opportunities for future sourcing, supply base consolidation, payment term standardization, and other initiatives.

They will start with their standard dashboards for Spend, Compliance, Opportunity, Variance, Supplier Analysis, Category Manager, and Diversity, customize them to the most relevant metrics and insight, and promote the most insightful metrics to the CPO and/or CFO Dashboards.

Dashboards have the standard, expected, interlinked views that can be filtered on any and all data dimensions. For example, the Category Manager dashboard overviews spend by category, top 10 suppliers for the categories in view (all, some or just one), invoice supplier count by category, spend trend by quarter and volume, graphical views by country and state for key countries, PO compliance, Payment Performance, and Spend Metrics, etc. The Diversity dashboard summarizes key metrics, suppliers by diversity type, diverse spend trends, and other information of interest to the company and can be broken down by category if the organization has the raw data.

It’s not just limited to spend data, should the organization have the appropriate metadata, they also have a contract clause summary dashboard that allows the organization to query contract statistics by expiration, summary, status, type, category, payment terms, renewal terms, termination type/terms, privacy clause presence, FCPA clause presence, PII clause presence, etc.

The heart of the insights application is the cube explorer that allows the user to select any dimension as a row, any dimension as a column, and any of these as aggregates for pivot-table based exploration of the spend. With the cube explorer it is possible for the analyst to drill in and see any cross section of the data they deem appropriate, and, of course, when they get down to the L3 Category by Supplier by Quarter by Division, for example, they can drill down to the source transactions.

The cube explorer can work on any cube supported by the application, and the application can support as many cubes as you like. Whereas some spend analytics applications try to build one master cube that will support all of the analytics that a user is expected to perform, LogicSource realized that one cube is not always enough. First of all, if you try to augment a record with every piece of data possible, the cube will become bloated to the point of uselessness when the cube gets so large that you can’t do real time drill downs. Secondly, if there are hundreds of fields in a record, the record becomes incomprehensible. Thirdly, it doesn’t make sense to mix spend data with detailed contract data with detailed product data etc. Moreover, sometimes you just want to look at a subset of data, or federate only some of the data across systems.

In addition to the cube explorer, there is also the cube manager that allows the user to select the cube of interest and the cube viewer, which allows the user to easily manipulate any bookmarked cube view that was custom tailored for a specific purpose through easy on-off filters on each dimension and easy drill downs. This is especially useful when the data has been segmented into tiers (strategic, tactical, tail; ABC, etc.) through aggregation and you want to get to the largest tier 2 / 3 unmanaged categories or the categories with the largest variance (if the organization has detailed line item data available). (Any customized view in the view explorer can be bookmarked by a user.)

In other words, it’s a considerably more powerful spend analysis solution than one might expect from a services-based firm (since the user can define aggregates and derived dimensions and measures using complex formulas in the cube explorer), but it does depend on the right cubes being defined, the data being appropriately categorized, and the data being refreshed regularly. This work is all done by LogicSource, as they do not support self-serve categorization, updates, or enrichment. They can also enrich and standardize your supplier data during the process, as well as create a supplier ownership cube that tracks parent-child relationships. And, of course, if you want your data enriched from third party diversity, risk, or compliance sources, they can do that as well.

The LogicSource process is to work with the organization to help them define the right taxonomy, and the majority of clients use a subset of the LogicSource 3-Level indirect taxonomy with over 500 Level 3 sub-sub-categories (that LogicSource has refined based on over a dozen years of sourcing projects), while the minority use a customized version that starts with the LogicSource taxonomy as a base and customizes it to specific needs. Once the taxonomy is defined, LogicSource works with the client to identify the appropriate data sources; extract the data, do the mappings, cleansing, and cross-system enrichment; and build the initial cubes for data review and verification. Then they replicate and customize their standard dashboards to support each user (type) that will be using the application, and, finally, they define a refresh interval where they will handle all the updates and verifications of the data. All data is tagged by source, so that the user always knows the source of the data, and can even compare data (and totals) across systems, which is useful to identify any potential process and data gaps and leakage, which could signify process abuse, waste, or even fraud within the organization that needs to be stopped immediately. Note that while they automate the categorization and updates, there is a “human in the loop” for all initial classification, so no matter what technique they use, the data is always verified.

Finally, in addition to cubes and dashboards, they can also automatically generate reports of interest on a schedule and share/send those to affected and interested parties. As they can be output to Excel with all the underlying data, this also enables offline data exploration as well.

Furthermore, since they realize that most clients who haven’t had a proper analytics solution before or done analytics don’t always know where to start, their offering includes training on what to look for and how to use the tool to get the client going as well as a number of work-alongside projects and monthly review sessions to keep their clients on track.


LogicSource OneMarket platform is an indirect sourcing suite that was custom designed for companies that wanted a services-led solution where the provider either handled key sourcing events for them, where they followed along and provided input on the goal and the bids, or where they handled tactical or lower cost categories, but could tag in the services firm for guidance or help as-needed as their sourcing/account manager always had visibility and could tag in help when he needed it.

As such it has more functionality than one might initially expect (as classical S2C offerings from services-centric firms didn’t always compete well with best-in-class pure SaaS providers), and offers a solid solution for mid-market and larger firms that have a lot of indirect spend and need assistance getting it under control. And while some features may not be best in class or on par with standard expectations (e.g. no in line bid comparison in RFX), they were developed to support the processes typically used by over worked, under resourced, and tech inexperienced Procurement shops that wanted to be able to use their tools of comfort (documents, spreadsheets, traditional data repositories) but still have a best-in-class Sourcing Process. So if you’re looking for services-led or services-supported integrated Source-to-Contract solution for indirect spend, the new iteration of LogicSource‘s OneMarket is one you should definitely check out.

Vroozi: Address the Bluesy of your Procurement Problems With a Solution That’s Doozy and Approved by the Choosy! Part 2

Our last post began our discussion of Vroozi, a modern P2P solution that is usable by all organizations of al sizes regardless of where they are, what devices their people use, and where they are in the Procurement journey. Vroozi offers an extensive P2P++ solution that is enterprise grade (and used by some of the largest companies in the world) but that is also priced for the mid-market (that they started out to serve). Yesterday we covered the core e-Procurement and Invoice Management capabilities. Today we’ll cover Payments, the Supplier Directory, Analytics, Platform Administration, and the Supplier Portal.


Unlike many P2P vendors who stop at okay to pay, Vroozi integrates with NvoicePay and CorePay, can push payments into those platforms, actively monitor status, and then pull out changes to payment status as they occur so a buyer, and supplier, can always see the status of any payment.

Cheques, ACH, Wires, and/or V-Cards

Depending on your payment system, Vroozi gives you multiple options for payments and allows you to specify which payment method is to be used by the payment system.


The platform is capable of verifying taxes, as it integrates with Avalara and Vertex out of the box. Thus, if the customer buys a subscription to one of these platforms, Vroozi will use them to automatically maintain up-to-date global tax rates, as well as track any tax exceptions and waivers (as overrides) that you have based upon your global status. It can also track all of the taxes that you owe and simplify your tax management. Alternatively, if you don’t have these subscriptions, you can set up your standard rates in the Taxes area under Master Data Management. but if you do a lot of global business at a lot of different locations, this is not recommended. (Also, if you purchase a subscription to Avalara or Vertex after Vroozi installation, you just need to provide your access details in the Vroozi Connectors Manager.)

Supplier Directory

Supplier Management maintains a copy of all suppliers being transacted with by the organization and the records contain basic company info (name, address, primary contact channels), business information (business and tax ids, company attributes [for catalog/search enhancement], categories, payment terms, geographic service area, sustainability notes, description), insurance info (by insurance type with policy numbers and expiry dates), supplier contacts, PO submission method (platform, email, etc.), and related contracts.

Vroozi is not designed to be a supplier master — as most organizations use their ERP or a specialist SXM platform with deep supplier relationship, performance, compliance, or risk — functionality, but is designed to maintain all of the relevant information on active suppliers for purchasing in the P2P tool, and can push updates back to the source system, as most updates will come in during Procurement efforts.

One of the unique capabilities of the platform is the ability to configure all of the electronic supplier interactions through the supplier management screen — where the buyer can define how to send POs, confirmations, and RFQs to the supplier; (whether or not and how it will) receive PO acknowledgements, change requests, (advance) shipping notices, invoices, etc. from the suppliers; how m-way matches will be made; how payments will be made, etc. The electronic interaction with every supplier can be configured to a very fine-grained level, as well as the control a supplier has in their portal.

Contract (Meta) Data Management

Contract (Meta) Data Management in Vroozi is on a category and item basis, as each catalog, or item, can have an associated contract. Vroozi is not a CLM system and makes no claim to be such, but understands the importance of tracking relevant contract terms in the P2P system, as well as the source documents in case the need arises.


Analytics in Vroozi is powered by Looker that provides out-of-the-box reporting dashboards on spend, suppliers, documents, catalogs, user, and master data as well as a dashboard custom designed for AP Managers that provides easy access to invoice, memo, and PO data. Vroozi is not a full spend analysis platform, nor is it claiming to be one. If you need help with historical spend classification and categorization, or a standalone spend analytics platform, they work with Spendata, which we have covered here on Sourcing Innovation in 2018 (Don’t Throw Away That Old Spend Cube! Spendata Will Recover It For You) and this year (The Power Tool for The Power Spend Analyst, Now Usable By Apprentices As Well!).

Vroozi also supports report subscriptions and most users choose to get their pre-configured reports through email on a regular basis. The platform comes with a large number of basic reports where the user can define the data subset and fields they want to see and the report will be generated and sent to them.


The self-service administration capability in the platform is quite extensive.

Catalog Management

The company can define as many catalogs as it wishes, including multiple catalogs for the same supplier if they want to customize catalogs for sub-companies, departments, regions, or some combination thereof. Catalogs can be created and updated from CSV files or manual on-screen definition (on a product by product, or service by service, basis). When a new catalog (update) is being worked on, it is in a working state. Once the updates are completed, if the user has catalog manager authority, it can go into an approved state, and, if not, it goes into an approval queue. (Suppliers can be given permission to manage their catalogs, but all of their updates automatically go into an approval queue.) Once approved, the catalog can be pushed to live, scheduled to go live at a certain date and time, or held until the organization is ready to publish. All data and meta data regarding catalogs and items can be accessed and maintained in the Vroozi Content Manager.

Workflow & Rules

The rules for email submission, document submission, and approval can be organization defined and maintained quite easily. It’s very easy to define email aliases and user group targets for communication and refined rules for structured document submission (invoice, shipping notice, etc.) which can be routed based on company codes, plant codes, cost centers, and other organizational details enabled in the Accounting section. Similarly, purchasing requests can be routed to the right approver group based on company codes, plant codes, cost centers, etc.

When it comes to purchase requests, the rules support the financial approval workflow or the sourcing approval workflow. Unlike many last-generation tactical e-Procurement / tail-spend platforms, Vroozi understands that even tactical and tail-spend purchases will require organizational approvals beyond Finance / Budget Owners. IT will have to approve software and hardware purchases. MRO will have to approve replacement components (as being sufficiently compatible with existing systems and products). Risk and Compliance will have to approve services. And so on. For Finance, workflows can be spend limit or staircase based, auto-forward to the next group or approver if the first group or approver is not available or does not respond within a time period, and define a global fallback approver (who can have single-approver override status). Sourcing approvals can be defined by request type, supplier, category, or product type.

ERP & Connection Management

As noted above, Vroozi integrates with a number of applications for Tax, ERP, AP and other Master Data Management solutions out of the box. Connecting to these is simply a matter of providing id and connection keys. For example, there are out of the box connectors for Quickbooks, NetSuite, and Xero.

Vroozi also supports an extensive API which can be used to configure connections to (custom) ERP instances and other master data systems for suppliers and products. The API calls and keys can be updated through the connector manager.


Vroozi can maintain budgets natively in the platform or pull them in from the system you use for Budgeting. This allows every request to automatically be checked against available budget.


The Vroozi platform can support multiple purchasing units, plants, approval groups, and projects as well as supporting full definition of the chart of accounts, company codes, cost centers etc. Each purchasing organization and plant can have its own code that can be used in budgets and routing rules. Approval Groups group approvers into a group with a similar function that can be used for routing inquiries and documents for approval (versus routing to individuals, allowing for faster processing and workload distribution). Projects are associated with a company, a unique code, a time period, possibly a parent project, and, in addition to this information, only needs a name. Quick to setup and easy to track spending against a project. The chart of accounts captures the companies GL codes and related information and the cost centers captures the cost center hierarchy of the organization.


From a Finance/Accounting perspective, the Vroozi platform is very configurable. The organization can decide whether or not they want to support multiple purchasing units or plants, profit centers, cost centers, classes, locations, location types, projects, customers, WBS elements, and even GL accounts within the platform.

Company Profile, Locations, Users, Currencies, UoMs, Categories, and other Standard P2P Data

All of the master data can be maintained by the customer organization administrators through the Master Data Module of the Vroozi platform.

Help Portal

Vroozi ships with an extensive help portal that covers the entire system functionality. In addition, for every customer, they can insert custom documents, videos, application links (to appropriate screens), and even searches as desired by the customer to help their users.

Supplier Portal

The Vroozi Supplier Portal is where suppliers access their orders, notify the buyer of shipments, flip POs to invoices, and check their invoice (and payment) status.

On the home screen, the supplier sees a summary of their orders, ASNs, pending invoices, and payments and can quick click into their profile (for maintenance), users (for maintenance), purchase orders (to see historical, with new at the top), shipping notices, invoices (to see historical, new at the top), and their payment status.

With respect to invoice submission in the Vroozi platform, a vendor can:

  1. flip a purchase order (PO) to an invoice, simply by selecting the PO, verifying the quantity shipped, and submitting the invoice (and they can override the price or tax fields, but that will result in a failed match and there will be no straight through processing)
  2. submit an invoice in a standard encoding, including CXML or EDI, through an API
  3. submit a PDF invoice through the platform or a well-defined e-mail address

In these scenarios:

  1. the invoice goes into the queue for processing
  2. the invoice goes into the queue for processing
  3. the invoice gets sent to the the AI invoice processor that auto-extracts the information for the buying organization (and then, when the buyer AP manager logs in, presents the PDF invoice side-by-side with the processed invoice for verification for easy confirmation and correction, and then the invoice goes into the queue for processing)

Once the invoice is in the queue for processing, the matches are applied, and if they succeed, it goes straight for approvals, and if the invoice is against a blanket PO or contract and in budget, it can be auto-approved and go straight to posting, which can get the Vendor paid fast (and gives the Vendor a reason to use the system).

Note that we did not mention RFQs because Vroozi has streamlined the RFQ process for Vendors and when a vendor gets an email invite, it takes them right to the RFQ response page where it’s usually just a matter of providing their price per unit and submitting the bid. They can change the due date, quantity (if they can’t provide the total requested), or even the part number (if they believe they have a viable substitute) if they want to, knowing that it may decrease their odds of winning the bid. This makes sure they don’t lose it in a list of events in the portal or have to go through unnecessary steps just to submit a quick bid to an RFQ.

All in all, Vroozi is a very extensive, and complete, P2P solution that is perfect for Mid-Market and larger enterprises who need an easy to use system that can be customized with multiple views for multiple sub-units, whatever those may be.

Vroozi: Address the Bluesy of your Procurement Problems With a Solution That’s Doozy and Approved by the Choosy! Part 1

Vroozi was founded in 2012 with a vision of building a modern P2P solution that could be used by all organizations and Procurement professionals regardless of where they were and what device they were using — as they were the first P2P platform with a mobile-first philosophy. The goal was to build a solution that was easy to use, automated to the extent possible, collaborative, and easy to adopt by all individuals in the organization that needed to make purchasing requests, do Procurement, give approvals, and make payments. The opposite of the highly manual, closed, and cumbersome first-generation systems that gave their users the City Boy Blues.

They’ve achieved their goal, and then some, with a solution that is enterprise grade but yet priced for the mid-market. Whereas most P2P solutions fall short of payments, they can do payments (with their direct integration into two leading payment platforms) — and they can do invoicing compliant with both post-audit and clearance countries. Whereas most Procurement solutions require you to switch to a sourcing suite for a simple RFQ, they can do RFQs too. Whereas most focus on either internal/hosted or punch-out catalogs, they do both, as well as mixed and templated service offerings — all through a single integrated search that can also take into account enhanced company and product attributes on hosted and mixed catalogs. Whereas most P2P solutions don’t tie to contracts, the Vroozi platform can maintain all appropriate contract metadata to track spending against contracts and budgets. Whereas most have only the minimal supplier details to send the PO and Payment, the Vroozi platform allows for extended data to be maintained to allow for in-depth recommendations during search, straight-through processing rules for invoices when there are minor exceptions, and meaningful reports and analytics. Speaking of analytics, whereas most P2P platforms have limited to non-existent reporting solutions, Vroozi has integrated a reporting package that’s on par with most mid-market Source-to-Contract and P2P suites which provides a decent starting point for many organizations to get a handle on their spending.

Going back to supplier data, Vroozi can integrate with your ERP/MRP/Supplier Master and keep the relevant supplier data current for you — enhancing what you already have. It’s an extensive P2P++ solution that can even negate the need for a sourcing platform in an organization where the majority of purchasing is tactical or of moderate value or less. (If an organization doesn’t have a lot of high spend or strategic categories that need sophisticated sourcing technology with auctions or optimization capability, they can usually do without a dedicated platform and use pay per event solutions like MarketDojo or consultancies with licences. In other words, the only other solution the organization may need is a CLM solution — which only enhances the value of the Vroozi solution.) Also, because it can be opened up to the entire organization, who can have view access into the status of their request and all associated documents at all times, it has intake out of the box. (And because it can connect with relevant enterprise ERP, Finance, and S2C systems, it can serve as the Procurement orchestration platform as well.)


In the Vroozi platform, e-Procurement revolves around purchase requests that come from:

  • catalog search
  • non-catalog requests
  • RFQs

which may or may not be accessed through their SmartChat NLP (Natural Language Processing) tool.

Integrated and Intelligent Catalog Search

In the Vroozi system, a user can do a search across all of their catalogs, whether they are hosted, punch-out, or mixed (as the user can replicate part of a punch-out catalog in the hosted environment to augment and enrich the data with relevant company and product attributes that can aid in not only the search but the ranking and recommendation). The system can support ordered recommendations based on (lowest) cost, contract/preferred status, diversity supplier, or a weighted combination of those and/or other factors.

Search brings up results in a consumer like (Amazon) interface where it’s one click to add to a cart, and one click in the cart to initiate a purchase request. If a user can’t find what they want internally, or prefers a third-party site, one click takes them to the punchout site, and one click in the punchout site (including Amazon [Business]) takes them back to the Vroozi portal to submit the purchase request.

Search can be filtered on all relevant dimensions (supplier, brand, product [sub] category, etc.), which, if the content is hosted, can also include a slew of company attributes and product attributes. Company attributes could include diversity, green certified, preferred contract, premier (off-contract) supplier, IT, MRO, Office Suppliers, and other relevant categories. Product dimensions can include preferred product (off-contract), free shipping, refurbished, warranty, etc.

Non-Catalog Requests

Not all requests are for products found in a catalog. Some are for custom configurations of products where standard configurations are catalog, and some are for relatively standard service offerings that have contract pricing based on easily defined variables or configurations. The Vroozi application can support both of these through extended-catalog and non-catalog requests. If a buyer needs a new laptop with a custom configuration, the system will bring up an item with drop downs and/or special request fields where the user can select the precise configuration she needs. If a buyer needs to request janitorial services for the new, temporary office location, she can bring up the request, specify the required parameters that define the service level (square footage, type of cleaning [one-time or daily/weekly maintenance for a period of time, deep cleaning, etc.], hours it needs to be completed in), and the system will compute the number of people needed and the contract rate. Even complex requests can be completed and submitted quickly and with ease.

Bulk Upload Requests

Vroozi supports the creation of requisitions via extremely simple bulk upload. It can be as simple as a 2-column .CSV file containing Item Id, Quantity rows for basic products in the catalog. In addition, a full SOW (Statement of Work) requisition can also be created simply by specifying the core fields of: Supplier ID, Category ID, GL Account, Item Description, UOM (Unit of Measure), Price, Tax Code, Currency, Start Date, and End Date for each line on the SOW (Statement of Work). All of the appropriate information is automatically pulled in to create a complete requisition, which can be instantly used to generate a PO if the purchaser is buying from approved suppliers/blanket POs within their budget and auto-approval rules.

Next-Gen AI Powered Smart Chat

One of the main selling points of the intake and orchestration platforms getting all the buzz (and all the funding, some to the point where they are going to have to sell the solutions at ridiculous prices to reclaim the investor’s money) is their ability to not only make it super easy for organizational users to make Procurement requests in natural language through an AI chatbot, but an AI chatbot that will ask the right questions to get them to the exact product or service they need and let them put a request in with a single statement or confirmation (“create purchase request” or “yes”), and, in particular, text-based smart chat bots that can be served through an API to another enterprise platform the employees use daily.

Well, guess what? Vroozi has this too! No need for an overpriced “intake” or “orchestration” platform.

The Vroozi Smart Chat Bot is very well designed, and will ask as many questions as needed to get the user to the exact product or service they need. In the laptop scenario, the system will ask for the primary use (business, development, etc.), memory requirement, storage requirement, etc. In the services scenario, it will confirm the user wants janitorial services, confirm the vendor and contract, take the user through the questions, propose the requisition, and automatically create it with a confirmation.


RFQ Functionality in Vroozi is very straight forward. The user simply has to give the request a name and due by date; define the products or services they want by description, part/service number, category, quantity, unit of measure, and delivery date; and select the suppliers from the directory (or create a new ad-hoc supplier; however, no PR or PO can be created without approvals and master data setup if awarded to an ad-hoc supplier). That’s it. Then it’s wait for either all the suppliers to respond or the due date to hit, evaluate, make an award, and (if no ad-hoc suppliers were selected that require approval), create the requisition. (Once the RFQ is created, the suppliers are notified by email, and it’s one-click from the e-mail to go to the bid screen, where they will be required to enter their one-time bid passcode to prevent compromised logins.) Awarding is just a matter of selecting the bid and clicking the award button.

Easy One Click Approvals

Once a purchase request has been created, it goes to the first approver for approval. It gets entered to their queue in the Vroozi application, where they can approve it instantly, and through e-mail, where they can one-click approve or reject it. The click takes them to either a screen that acknowledges their approval, or a screen that acknowledges their rejection where they can input a reason and whether or not the requester can resubmit with a modification. To make the rejection process super easy, the user can select a standard reason for dispute from a drop down and only needs to free-form enter a reason or further explanation in special situations that should not be the norm.

Invoice Management

Vroozi is not just an e-Procurement platform, it’s also an Invoice-to-Pay / Accounts Payable platform with full invoice management capability. The great thing about the Vroozi platform is that it supports super easy PO flip in the portal (as well as allowing vendors to submit invoices in multiple standard encodings), meaning all the data can come in complete, correct, and already matching. They also support PDF (by email) submission, and have the capability to process (relatively) “standard” PDF invoices and auto-extract all the key fields.

Once the invoice is in the queue for processing, the matches are applied, and if they succeed, it goes straight for approvals, and if the invoice is against a blanket PO or contract and in budget, it can be auto-approved and go straight to posting, which can get the Vendor paid fast (and gives the Vendor a reason to use the system). If they fail, then the invoice is stopped for processing. If everything matches and there are blanket POs or contracts and budgets are met, it can be auto-processed and goes straight to the posting queue. If not, it goes out for approval. Once the invoices is stopped for match failures or is deemed to need manual approvals, it stays in the processing queue until it has received any necessary non-AP approvals (which might be required if all invoices above a threshold value or for certain categories must get sign-off even if there is an approved PO) and there is a goods receipt to match against the invoice with the PO for a 3-way match or an AP manager completes exception processing and pushes it to to the processing queue. Once corrected and/or approved, the invoice goes straight to posting. And, of course, the supplier, if they use the portal, sees the current invoice state at all times.

The great thing about the platform is the power that is contained in approval chain creation and management, which can be setup in the same manner as purchase order approval chains if desired. Once an invoice is in the processing queue, if there is a 3-way match, it is automatically processed, and if it matches exactly or within tolerances, it goes straight to posting without any touch. If there is only a 2-way match, and if there are exception rules (for example, services, recurring charges, etc.) that allow 2-way processing, then if there is an exact match or a match within tolerances, it will also go to straight to posting without any human touch.

In other words, in Vroozi, only exception invoices need to be processed, and a single click can reject and flip them back to the supplier (preferably with a reason) or accept them when the variation is acceptable, agreed to, or approved by the buyer (such as a higher price for substitute items when an order was made without the necessary notice). Furthermore, to ensure that exception processing is efficient, the end user organization can define multiple types of exception handlers to ensure that the invoice is routed to the right group when there is an exception. For example, if it’s just a tax issue or an unexpected shipping and/or handling charge, then it can likely be resolved by AP and should go to an AP clerk. But if it’s a unit price issue that doesn’t match the contract, which the supplier is refusing to back down on, it might need to go to Procurement for an exception approval or to Legal who may need to call the supplier and explain what will happen next if the unit price isn’t fixed.

In addition, there are built-in options for auto-processing / auto-return for overcharges. The system can automatically reject the invoice, automatically modify the invoice based on agreed to amounts and then notify the supplier of the changes upon approval, or leave the invoice as is and automatically create a credit memo (and notify the supplier on approval that the credit was applied against this invoice or will be applied against a future invoice at payment time).

Shipping Notices & Good Receipts

The Vroozi platform is capable of accepting and processing shipping notices in the same manner that it receives invoices, and these can even be used in a 4-way match if desired by the system. Shipping Notices and Goods receipts are incredibly easy to create in the Vroozi system. Just like a user can one-click flip a PO to invoice, they can one-click flip a PO to a shipping invoice where all they have to do is verify the line-item quantities. Similarly, a user can one-click “flip” a goods receipt from a PO, shipping notice, or invoice as easy as a supplier can flip a PO into an invoice. All the user has to do is enter the quantity received for each line item and the goods receipt is complete and can be used in the 3-way match for straight through processing. Note that if the organization has turned on the appropriate matching, the users will have to receive goods before the associated invoices can be processed.

3-Way Match and Straight Through Processing

The power of an I2P solution is one that can automate invoice processing touch free and free up valuable Procurement and Accounts Payable time to focus on the exceptions and the issues, and not tactical processing which prevents issues from being resolved, and sometimes even from being detected when an invoice has too many line items for detailed processing and all the AP clerk can do is a rough check on the total amount versus the total expected amount. Also, as it is capable of automatically processing every invoice that comes in, it can identify obvious and potential duplicates, invoices that don’t match a PO, and invoices that are potentially fraudulent and reject them or “quarantine” them for manual review.

Credit Memos

Credit Memos are automatically created during invoice exception handling when the buyer decides that the organization is going to pay the PO price (which usually happens when the organization has a contract or valid commitment that has not yet expired from a previous quote), overrides the invoice price to the PO price, and then approves the invoice, which is queued for payment at the adjusted amount captured in the (automatically generated) credit memo that is sent to the supplier. The supplier gets the credit memo in their portal, as well as a status change that informs them that the buyer adjusted invoice has been approved for payment.

Come back tomorrow where we will continue our discussion of the Vroozi P2P++ offering, including Payments, the Supplier Directory, Analytics, Platform Administration, and the Supplier Portal.

Is Your Strategic Operational Sourcing Not Succinct Enough? Maybe You Need A DeepStream To Tackle That SOS Problem.

DeepStream is a Source-to-Contract (S2C) platform that was founded in 2016 in London, England to empower midsized organizations with affordable, modern, streamlined, but still sufficiently deep source-to-contract capability that would empower their customers to be more efficient, get more spend under management (and savings, or at least cost avoidance in today’s inflationary economy), and award with confidence.

DeepStream was founded by practitioners with experience, built with the guidance of expert consultants and industry leaders and beta customers, and overseen by former implementation consultants with a lot of experience implementing the S2C Mega-Suites (and who know all the issues customers have in implementing, integrating, and maintaining those systems as well as all the reasons they aren’t always the best solution for the mid-market) who are continually developing and improving the system over time.

While DeepStream is designed to very customizeable and very general purpose (and works great for indirect/finished goods and services in general), because it is impossible to be everything to everyone (even though the Big Suites will claim they are), especially from a consulting/guidance perspective, they are highly focussed on the industries their founders are experts in and related industries. Specifically, they are focussed heavily on Energy & Renewable Energy (and O&G), Utilities, MRO, Site/Port Operations, and Consultancies that support these sectors (be they public, private, or quasi — such as public funded, privately managed). (These are the sectors in which they have the process expertise to help you set up your category templates to streamline your sourcing efforts … more on this later.)

The platform started as a core sourcing platform (RFX and Auction), and evolved to support Supplier Information Management, Contract Management (primarily Governance in Sourcing Innovation Terminology), and now offers a public Supplier Network of almost 10,000 suppliers that grows daily (and significantly with every new client. This may sound small compared to the suite supplier networks that claim millions of suppliers, but you need to remember three things: 1] many of these mega-suite networks reach their number by simply importing every government business registry globally, and nowhere near that many suppliers are active in their customer base; 2] DeepStream are focussed on a particular set of sectors which don’t have a super large supply base, and all of their suppliers have been verified as active and being interacted with; and 3] DeepStream expects your ERP/MRP/P2P/AP to be the supplier master and advocates customers only import active suppliers).


Sourcing revolves around a templated event structure, which can be setup by a Full User, the DeepStream services team, or both. (On implementation they will work with you to setup one template per category, as that is their recommended best practice. They have found that trying to cover multiple categories with one template misses the nuances of the individual categories and requires too much customization for every event, and having multiple per category with only slight differences by product/service makes management and upkeep too much work.) These event templates don’t just capture the RFI/P/Q requests, but all stages, including, but not limited to NDA, Onboarding, Prequalification (which can be separate from the RFI to avoid repeated RFIs), RFI, Initial Bid Collection, e-Auction, etc. etc. etc.

When an event is instantiated from a template, which requires only some basic information (name and dates), it will have a pre-populated summary, stages, details, a default evaluation matrix, a team, a starting set of suppliers, and possibly an e-Auction. The buyer can quickly access each event section of each stage and customize as needed. The application supports all standard HTML form functionality for data collection, makes it super easy to build sections, subsections, and questions for data collection, just as easy to build grids for bidding (that can collect all cost elements associated with a product or service, including complex rate cards), even easier to upload bids from a spreadsheet and, if desired, even cut-and-paste spreadsheet/Excel based bids (because it’s not just the favourite tool of a Procurement organization that doesn’t have modern tech, but the favourite tool of Supplier Reps as well). In addition, once instantiated, the event structure is not locked, the request owner or super user can modify it as needed (if more time needs to be added to a stage due to technical or communication issue, if another stage needs to be added because the responses are not differentiated or competitive enough or more requirements are added, and so forth).

Reverse Auctions have a very simple and clean UX and were designed to be easy to grasp, and use, by both buyers and supplier bidders. There is also integrated chat for real-time communication if needed. Buyers see the current total lot cost and suppliers see the current lowest bids, or their rank, in a public or blind manner, and can keep bidding until the time is up or they’ve given their best and final bid.

Evaluation is done using a grid structure on each relevant event section, where sections can be added or removed, by one or more evaluators, who can see all of the bids and responses side by side, including either full details or just summary, filtering down to just what they need to make an evaluation (and eventual award if the event is completely price-based). In a summary evaluation, they can click into the full response history or bid details (especially if the product was broken down into multiple cost components) and if it’s a multi-evaluator event, drill in to see the individual evaluator scores. There’s no graphical representation for bids just yet, but they have added BAFO (Best And Final Offer) capability to clearly designate final bids as well as automatically computing the deltas in bid responses in both percentage (%) and dollar ($) value, which are highlighted in the comparison view. Additional enhanced valuation functionality is planned for future releases.

One very unique feature of the platform is built-in support for collaborators. Most platforms make it easy to add other organizational users, but not so easy to add consultants who are helping on specific categories or projects. In the DeepStream platform, you can define collaborator organizations and users within these organizations and then, on an event, or stage [“page”], basis grant collaborators access at whatever level of access they need (read, comment, evaluate, write, etc.). This means that the platform is also great for niche consultancies as they can add their client as a collaborator and give key stakeholders visibility while managing everything on the customer’s behalf. (And, of course, it’s super easy to add organizational users to each page and grant them the precise level of access they need.)

A second very unique feature is their document management capability. Most RFX platforms just allow upload, with simple version tracking, and that’s it. The DeepStream platform understands there is a workflow around document management, especially where contracts and detailed specifications must be agreed to, and has a detailed set of process-centric statuses that can be associated with each document uploaded (for information only, upload requested, upload deviation, accept, etc. — modifiable by the client if desired) so both sides clearly understand where the document is in a request or negotiation cycle, as well as the ability to tag in-platform messaging to a document, which not only allows for audit trails to be queried at the document level but allows for in-platform discussions around documents to be captured and not only centralizes document communications (which get lost in email) but simplifies acceptance and approvals (of contract-related documents).

Contract Governance

The system allows the storage and management of contracts — which are currently defined as a collection of documents and bids accepted by both sides that are included in an award. The user can define the start and end dates, milestones, review periods and notifications and the platform will notify the appropriate parties when a milestone is do (so the appropriate individual can login and execute that milestone when it is completed, which may include notes or documentation), when a mandatory review has been completed (along with appropriate documentation and possibly future milestone steps if a corrective action is needed), or when a renewal/termination date is coming up on a contract. They don’t have integrated e-signature yet, but it is coming. Nor can they output everything to one single amalgamated PDF, but they haven’t found that to be necessary when most of the documents in the system are stored as DOCX or PDF, and it’s much easier for a user to find and extract just the information they need (original contract, delivery schedule, pricing, spec sheet, etc.) when a contract is stored as a “package” of documents and related system artifacts.

Supplier Management

The foundation of Supplier Management in the platform is the Network where all uploaded suppliers have a common, basic profile, that consists of basic organizational identifies (name, business ids, primary location[s], primary contact[s], etc.), the UNSPSC codes that the organization provides, and the locations they can provide those goods and services to. This makes supplier discovery within their primary industries practical for their rapidly growing customer base.

On top of this, a user can add their own qualification profiles to collect, and maintain, the information they need on the supplier, and these are kept private. When they do this, or when they select network suppliers as their suppliers, they show up in their “My Supplier” view where they can be selected for starting (pre-approved) supplier lists for every sourcing event template that the organization believes they are suitable for.

Finally, each organization has their own “Activity” tab in the supplier view that shows all associated Pre-Qualification questionnaires, Sourcing/RFX events and Contracts with their related status. One click will take the user into the associated document or event.

Dashboard and Reporting

When a user logs in, they see their activity dashboard that summarizes their requests, contracts, notifications, pre-qualification/onboardings, and a few report highlights (mainly negotiated savings and request completion status). It’s kept simple and streamlined so a user can get right to what they need to do when they log in, especially since they are integrating other communication channels besides email for notifications so users only have to log in to do something, not to get a status update.

Reporting right now is very basic, and very process/cycle time centric (which should not be surprising as they do not do spend analysis, preferring to instead integrate with the organization’s current platform, and if the organization does not have one, help the customer find and integrate with an appropriate partner organization for spend analysis). The reporting is really focussed around:

  • Team Productivity: how many requests made, completed, etc., by category, and average cycle time(s)
  • Supplier Engagement: requests received, responded to, awarded, etc. and associated rates and durations

With regards to saving, it’s focussed around:

  • Total Negotiated Savings: that summarizes the total negotiated savings based on the current PPU/RPH, the award rates, and the total number of units/hours requested
  • Total Negotiated Savings from Auction: that summarizes the savings from auctions, as well as savings statistics on an auction basis

Other Features

Standard Drive functionality where the organization can store all of the document templates it needs for its various supplier (pre)qualification and sourcing events.

Easy Query Audit Trails: When you bring up an Event in DeepStream, you can see a history of every action that was taken at every step by every participant (buyer, collaborator, supplier rep, etc.), filter, and export at any time.

Great Help Library:
DeepStream has a very extensive help library that is organized by role and process, to help an average user find the help they are looking for based on where they are in their sourcing process. It also has a built in advanced search function (powered by a custom in-house AI-backed search algorithm trained ONLY on all of the help documentation they have available) that can quickly find the right section of the right document with a reasonably detailed search request. This AI also powers their integrated chat/online help function that can handle full natural language questions and guides the user to right help quickly and easily (if the help exists). Since their help library covers every function on their platform, as well as best practice sourcing processes, the help bot is able to direct a user to the guidance they need and complete a help request roughly 80% of the time.

The DeepStream platform, including all help documentation, is fully translated into English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese.

Easy Integrations:
Out of the box ERPs include IFS and Dynamics, which are the two most common in the mid-market in their target industries, but they can (and have) integrated with other ERPs and P2P/AP systems. They’ve also integrated with supplier qualification and certification systems (like Avetta) and you can expect more integrations as time goes on. They built on to allow them to integrate with any platform they need to quickly, easily, and in a standard fashion.

Easy Account Management:
In the DeepStream system, it’s really easy to define collaborator organizations, user accounts, notifications, and system preferences (around currency, notification, etc.). Remember, one of the main goals was efficiency, so the idea is that organizations and users can configure event templates precisely to their needs so it’s super easy for buyers to kick off and complete sourcing events.

Terminology Customization:
DeepStream understands that one of the biggest hurdle to adoption is trying to force an organization to switch to terminology they are not used to. Thus, in their system, the super use can define the language used in all system elements at each step of the event template. For example, some jurisdictions in the world might use bid envelope terminology, others might use bid package, the private sector just wants RFP, and so on. All of this terminology is customizable as needed.

Coming Soon!

As per our intro, they are constantly developing and a few features coming soon include:

  • Enhanced evaluation functionality with more auto-computed differentials/savings potentials and advanced ranking/weighting capability based on calculations;
  • Integrated e-Signature powered by Verify — which will be available at all stages of supplier interaction, as you may require an NDA to be signed before you can even invite a supplier for a bid
  • Microsoft teams and Slack for communications and reminders (which is in beta now)
  • More Language Support: the entire platform, including the entire help library, can be internationalized to a new language within three weeks; languages are being added based on customer prioritization

Coming Later

  • More Out-of-the-Box Supplier Certification/Qualification/Risk Integrations: to help buyers certify and qualify new suppliers for their operations without leaving the DeepStream platform
  • Category Template Library: they have a number they can set you up with if you don’t have any; right now they help you get your current (Excel) templates and processes templated
  • Supplier [onboarding] Questionnaires: there are best practice templates out there for IT/Cyber Security, Personal Data Protection, Health & Safety, regulations like the GSCA, etc. and no need for each organization to create their own from scratch; right now they will share what they have on request [enhanced onboarding is one of their newest capabilities and, as such, is still under active development]

In conclusion, DeepStream is a great sourcing platform for mid-markets who need to modernize and get efficient fast, especially in the Energy & Renewable Energy (and O&G), Utilities, MRO, and Site/Port Operation sectors (be they public, private, or quasi — such as public funded, privately managed). As the platform is true multi-tenant SaaS, it’s more or less a flick-of-the-software switch to instantiate a new instance, typically only a day or two to configure an out-of-the-box implementation, only a few days to a week for a non-out-of-the-box integration, only a few hours to pull in the active suppliers once the ERP/P2P/AP is integrated, and only a few weeks to get an organization’s category processes templated. Most customers are fully up and running within a few weeks (and a month at most), and some customers have even kicked off initial events (on a small set of suppliers pulled in through one of the out-of-the-box ERP integrations) within 24 hours (while the while the remainder of the active suppliers for near-term events were being onboarded and the remainder of the category templates built out for future events). If you’re a mid-market looking for modern sourcing tech, and especially if you are a mid-market in one of the target sectors, you should definitely consider putting DeepStream on your shortlist and checking them out.

Mercanis: Men with a Mission to bring Modern Volkswagen Efficiency with BMW Style to Source-to-Contract! Part 2

As discussed in Part I, Mercanis is 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.

Yesterday we overviewed Sourcing, Supplier Management, and Risk. Today we are going to overview Contracts, Spend Analysis, and Platform Administration.


Contract Management in Mercanis is straightforward contract document management with a sprinkle of contract creation capability. It stores all of the contracts and associated metadata, including the supplier, active term, value, type, and status (which is draft, pending, active, inactive, and archived by default). It’s easy to search, filter, retrieve, and view a contract at any time. Viewing takes the buyer to the summary screen, from which the user can drill into more detailed screens on payment, linked documents and contracts, stakeholders, relevant clauses, and other (custom) information screens as appropriate to the contract type. The system also supports the definition of tags and contracts can be tagged to categories or conditions of interest, such as sensitive of personal data, auto-renewing, special initiatives, and so on.

Uploading a contract in the Mercanis platform is easy. You drag and drop the document and it auto-extracts most of the key meta data elements that are described in the platform using OCR and advanced NLP. It’s not perfect (no system is, no matter how much fancy AI the systems claim), but it’s easy for the user to override any extract data that is not quite what they want, or not found, and index into the relevant part of the contract.

Finally, contract queries can be search and filter on metadata or Natural Language chat, which will learn from repeated use and adapt to the user’s natural language queries over time.


Basic Spend Analysis is integrated into the core and allows the user to select filterable widgets and dashboards that show spend by category, cost center, supplier, and other major identifier in the system (contract, sourcing event, etc.). It is instantiated with AP data on system implementation, which the system auto-maps to your pre-defined category taxonomy using (auto-generated) mapping rules consisting of suppliers and keywords/phrases/abbreviations/tags in the line item descriptions (identified by AI and curated by humans) and provides sourcing professionals insights from the date of go-live.

As with every other modern platform, it’s easy to drill into the categories (and sub-categories), suppliers, cost centers/business units, and contracts and see the associated transactions. Filters will also allow limiting to date ranges or other record values of interest. And it’s very easy to pop-up a supplier profile from a spend analytics widget or screen or a contract as the analytics, while basic compared to best-of-breed spend analysis tools, are fully integrated.


When it comes to platform administration, it is highly configurable by the organizational administrators. This administration includes the ability to configure approval paths, role groups, individual users, and workspaces (which roles can be limited to) as well as the company information your suppliers see about you. (It’s such a simple concept, but even many SRM platforms don’t make it easy for a supplier to access the customer information about you that they need as a supplier.) There can be different approval paths for every workflow including, but not limited to, supplier onboarding, sourcing (intake) request approval, sourcing awards, and contract approvals, including conditional/branching approvals based on arbitrary fields (such as amounts over or under 50K, product/service category, etc.). These flows can be built using a visual approval workflow builder that can support all standard Boolean logic and if/then/case conditionals.

Let’s dive into workspace configuration, as this is one of the most unique capabilities. The platform supports the definition of as many workspaces as you want, where each workspace can have its own dashboard, its own subset of modules, restricted/no admin access, approval workflows, and templates. Most importantly, a role can be associated with a workspace and when a user is associated with role, that is the workspace, and the only workspace, they will see when they log in. If necessary, the platform can support hyper-personalization natively.

In addition to the platform administration capabilities outlined above, the organization can define business units, manage its category tree (for sourcing and the built in spend analysis), define it’s default meta data requirements by contract type, visually manage all platform workflows (across all modules), manage its currency exchange rates, define its (supplier/RFQ) ratings, and define and manage the data collection templates for every module in the system including supplier data collection forms, pricing sheets, RFP questionnaires, and contract/document templates.

When it comes to workflows, just like the platform can support as many workspaces as you like, it can support as many workflows as you like for each process supported by the module. For example, you can not only have a different sourcing workflow for each category, but you can have multiple workflows based on expected spend. You can have different supplier onboarding workflows depending on category, geography, or a combination thereof (for example), different contract / document creation and management workflows (in addition to approval), and so on. And each can be linked to the associated module in the associated workspace. Highly configurable.

Workflow definition is enabled by the rule builder which is very flexible, and just like approval workflows, is completely visual, supports all Boolean logic, and allows rules to be easily defined in a rule chain that defines the category/ies, role group(s), workspace(s), discriminator (such as budget amount), and action (which can itself kick off another workflow).

The pricing sheets are very flexible and essentially act as mini-spreadsheets embedded in the sourcing tool. Allows for detailed cost break downs and calculations in both sourcing events, and analytic comparisons. The templates can have any number of elements and support all standard HTML components.


The system can be implemented and configured for go-live in as little as two weeks, as long as the relevant supplier dataset and spend history can be provided day one and is complete enough that their processes can sufficiently classify the AP data on the first pass to the point that they can complete the processing with manual intervention within the timeframe. Note that the buying organization can choose to load all suppliers, all suppliers used within the last x months or years, or just currently active suppliers that will be used in sourcing events.

Mercanis is a great new entry to the mid-market Source-to-Contract space, especially considering all of the acquisitions and roll-ups of the last 5 years or so that took a lot of companies out of the mid-market and into the enterprise suite game. If you’re looking for a new S2C solution, and especially if you are based in Europe, Mercanis will make a great addition to your shortlist. It’s come a long way in a short time and the doctor has no reason to believe that they won’t continue to make significant progress, and add significant value, over the next few years while maintaining a price-point the mid-market can afford.