Another new whitepaper came across my desk recently, written by Michael Lamoureux, Ph.D. (or as many know him, the doctor). After being pleasantly surprised by the content of the last whitepaper, I wanted to dig in a little quicker on this one. This paper, “Top 10 Technologies for Supply Management Savings Today” was sponsored by BravoSolution. A quick glance at the layout of this research paper will have you thinking that it is just a pure marketing brochure, but there really is some good content in there, and it was an easy read.

Aside from the random photos of models pretending to be excessively happy business people, the paper does a great job of jumping right into the topic at hand.

“With the right systems in place, the average company can tap cost reduction and savings opportunities that could collectively add up to 30%, or more, of spend across major direct and indirect categories”.

So what are those systems? I’m glad you asked…

The paper lists the top ten technologies for supply management savings as:

10.) Electronic RFX
9.) Electronic (Reverse) Auctions
8.) Procure-to-Pay (P2P)
7.) Contract Management
6.) Global Trade Management (GTM)
5.) Supplier Information Management (SIM)
4.) Supplier Performance Management (SPM)
3.) Spend Analysis
2.) Decision Optimization
1.) Integrated, Collaborative, Sourcing

In my view, if you want to nitpick, there really are only 9 items on this list, because the number one item on this list is in fact a proper combination of all of the technologies and tools listed above it (hopefully in a singular solution). Truth be told, the #1 item is segue to mention the paper sponsor, BravoSolution, which offers an impressive full-suite of integrated sourcing and procurement tools and services.

In reality, as a spend management consultant, I would say that utilizing every single one of the 9 tools listed (or a master tool that does them all) is not feasible or recommended for many businesses, particularly smaller companies. Reaching item #1 on the list (an integrated & collaborative sourcing solution) is about finding the right combination of the highlighted tools to fit your business. So, GTM may not be important to your small domestic services shop, but contract management may be critically important to you. Similarly, reverse auctions may not ever be right for your business, but standard eRFX tools might need to be implemented in every sourcing event. And even though this was not specifically discussed in the document, I would imagine most readers know that no solution is really one-size-fits-all. Of course a proper provider will help you decide which tools are right for your strategy.

This report is a quick reference tool to understand what a fully optimized supply chain sourcing solution would look like for your business, even if you don’t need every tool that was outlined.  Each item in the list is detailed in easy to read language and even discusses where it belongs (at what stage) of implementing a best-in-class-solution.  If nothing else, it acts as an excellent quick reference glossary for procurement and finance professionals when some of the relatively new abbreviations and buzzwords start getting tossed around the conference room table.

The concluding statements of this paper do a wonderful job of providing concise examples of many things we talked about in the market intelligence and supplier collaboration chapters of our book. The summary highlights the importance of building a collaborative supply chain with your suppliers, rather than simply asking them to place bids, and stresses the importance of market intelligence, and how that intelligence will help achieve the best results.

The entire document weighs in at a brief 14 pages, and after removing title/index/marketing, it is about half that, which makes for a very quick read. It is definitely worth your time. This report does require registration to download, which I am not a huge fan of, but it is not an excessive registration form, so you can get through it fast.  Get the report directly from BravoSolution: here
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William Dorn

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