Buyers Meeting Point procurement by Kelly Barner

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Jaggaer and Pool4Tool: A Merger that Highlights the Fracturing of Procurement

Jaggaer and Pool4Tool: A Merger that Highlights the Fracturing of Procurement

I had the opportunity to speak with representatives from both Jaggaer and Pool4Tool last week in anticipation of this week’s ‘official’ merger announcement. We talked about geography, market share, and functionality and customer overlap.

By far, the most interesting part of our conversation was about the plans for their new combined go-to-market strategy. And while it demonstrates how thoughtfully this new entity is approaching the market as a whole, it also provides an excellent opportunity for procurement to reflect upon the increasing granularity of spend management.

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Strategic Sourcing in Higher Education

Strategic Sourcing in Higher Education

Everyone knows that cost of college education is escalating and becoming quite a burden for families and students. Determining how to get that piece of parchment can be an economic challenge that many are finding it difficult to achieve.

Several years ago I had the opportunity to speak with someone in the procurement area at a large university. They were putting a strategic sourcing team together and implementing the supporting technology. It was refreshing to hear that the goal was to reduce overall costs and try to mitigate some of the tuition increases for students.

When I did a search on “strategic sourcing in universities “, it was encouraging to see how many had teams and processes in place. For example, Boston University has posted almost $6M in savings since 2012. They have information publicly available on who are the current suppliers, what are the procedures used in procurement and who to contact on their procurement team.

The blog this week is from Strategic Sourceror, “How are Universities using Spend Management Assets”. It begins by acknowledging the challenges faced by the colleges and universities and then reviews some of the areas benefiting them and the students through spend management.

The article highlights the importance of putting a process in place that can be used across the disciplines and departments whether it is for meal planning, housing, or the research labs. There is also the use of technology to support the process. Many of the universities have SciQuest to fill that requirement.

Do you have any exposure to procurement in the educational field, either as a student, employee or suppler? What have you found for trends in this area? How does it apply to other businesses you are involved with?

Share your thoughts by commenting below or tweeting us @BuyersMeetPoint.

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Implementation of new suppliers

Implementation of new suppliers

As a child at the dinner table, we were expected to try at least a bite of something. Like anyone, we often did not want to try something new. It was not comfortable and it was easier to skip it or default to what we knew we liked. There is an old commercial for Life cereal where Mikey tries it and the famous tag line – Try it, You'll Like It.

 

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SciQuest comes full circle with CombineNet acquisition (Part 2 of 2)

SciQuest comes full circle with CombineNet acquisition (Part 2 of 2)

Click here for part one of this series.

“SciQuest, originally an e-market exchange, went public in 1999 with a $2 billion market cap. Two years later, SciQuest was on the verge of shutting its doors: the gross profit margin was running at 2% and the company was burning $25 million a quarter. With only $50 million in its coffers, this prototype for the dot.com era was on track to run out of cash by year’s end.”

The above excerpt from The American Business Awards 2008 Winners website made considerable references to the areas upon which I touched in my 2005 white paper on SciQuest. Specifically, was the SciQuest value proposition scalable beyond the cottage industry success that enabled it to grow to the point of going public with a $2 billion market cap in the first place?

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SciQuest’s acquisition of CombineNet and The Big Bang Theory (Part 1 of 2)

SciQuest’s acquisition of CombineNet and The Big Bang Theory (Part 1 of 2)

In my July 10th, 2013 post “Forrester’s Duncan Jones and His Big Bang Theory Relating to Market Evolution” I had made reference to Jones’ comment regarding the IBM acquisition of Emptoris.

Specifically his remark that it was “too early to expect IBM to have coherent plans for what to do with its (re Emptoris’) services procurement product.”

I of course did not agree with the totality of Jones’ position as it appeared he was suggesting that “acquisitions such as the one made by IBM when they acquired Emptoris are largely intuitive and representative of a nebulous fear of falling behind as opposed to being a reflection of a deliberate, forward thinking strategy.”

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Webinar Notes: Good Data: Spend Analysis Tactics to Attack Supplier Performance Management

Webinar Notes: Good Data: Spend Analysis Tactics to Attack Supplier Performance Management

This week’s featured event was hosted by SciQuest and featured Spend Matters Lead Analyst Thomas Kase and a case study by German Torres of FMC Technologies, a $6B oil and gas company. You can view the event on demand here or register to download the accompanying white paper.

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SciQuest Acquires Spend Radar: Investing in Excellence Through Acquisition

SciQuest Acquires Spend Radar: Investing in Excellence Through Acquisition

The procurement function is going through a time of expanding expectations and responsibilities in most organizations. Depending on the structure of each company and industry, the move may be into supply chain, inventory management, finance, or raw materials management. In order to meet the challenges this presents, we need solutions that offer expanded capabilities.

Over the last twelve months, there have been several high profile acquisitions in the supply management space. These acquisitions were aimed at integrating the source-to-settle process into other corporate systems and processes. As these large players became subsets of less specialized solution providers, the opportunity was created for new solution providers to fill the need for dedicated solutions offering the right combination of breadth and depth.

One company seizing the opportunity to increase their solution footprint and fill the void is SciQuest (NASDAQ: SCI), a provider of on-demand strategic procurement and supplier management solutions. For several years they have been adding to their portfolio through the acquisition of specialized players within spend management. In December 2010 they acquired AECsoft USA, a provider of provider of Supplier Information Management (SIM), supplier diversity and sourcing solutions. Then in July of 2012 they acquired Upside Software, a Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) solution.

 

SpendRadarTheir latest acquisition is Spend Radar, a spend analysis solution provider. Although this brings them closer to having a complete end-to-end solution, the key to their success will be in their ability to integrate their acquisitions without sacrificing the flexibility or performance of any one solution. When asked about this part of their strategic plan, Eric Zoetmulder, SciQuest’s Director of Product Marketing, told Buyers Meeting Point, "It is true that we have grown our offering through acquisitions; we have been very selective, believing that any large or mid-size commercial business should now consider SciQuest as a prospective solution partner, whether they are looking for a point solution or one that spans the entire source-to-settle process."

SciQuest’s ability to harness the forward-looking creativity of the Spend Radar team will determine their ability to maintain the reputation Spend Radar has worked to build when compared with other spend analysis solutions. In July of 2011 Buyers Meeting Point interviewed Brian Daniels, former CEO of Spend Radar, now VP of Spend Analytics at SciQuest, and we were struck by his desire to expand the capabilities of spend analysis beyond reporting and analytics to performance management – providing visibility into savings realization. "We recognize that savings realization and compliance are key to the value proposition of a spend analysis solution,” said Daniels. “It is impossible to provide spend teams with actionable data on suppliers and pricing if you can't also provide them with fast, frequent, automated, and high-quality refreshes."

There is no indication that plans to enhance this part of their solution roadmap have been altered by the acquisition. If anything, SciQuest recognizes the competitive advantage this will represent once available, and wants to be sure the new relationship between the two organizations does not jeopardize it. To this end, the leadership team at Spend Radar has been left in place, and the brand will not be altered.

 

We look forward to seeing the future potential of this collaboration come to fruition, and how yet another provider consolidation impacts the other solution providers in this space.

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