If you, like us, like to know what’s going on in the world of procurement, finance and supply chain technology then you’ll enjoy this quick summary of recent developments, not all of which are general knowledge!
So, in our day to day networking across the sector we are hearing some really interesting information. In summary, what I am seeing and hearing across the procurement, supply chain and data technology space in that the companies that are doing particularly well this year are offering greater insights, visibility and scrutiny across the supply chain, often using spend data and analytics which clearly ties in with the impact of Covid as supply chain planning and swift, often drastic, cost cutting measures become top of many agendas.
Conversely, the picture for those companies whose solutions typically require major procurement/finance transformations is mixed as several have seen their growth plans hit by Covid.
Both Tradeshift and Tungsten have recently restructured operations resulting in redundancies, whereas Coupa continues to hire and of course make significant acquisitions.
On that subject, the big, recent news in the market of course is that Coupa have bought Llamasoft for around $1.5 billion in a deal that brings supply chain planning into the portfolio of Coupa solutions, something that could be a real game changer for them. Spend Matters is the place to read more about that deal if you are interested.
One high profile move worth noting is the return of Henrik Smedberg to UK in his role as Head of Intelligent Spend Management UKI (i.e. SAP Ariba & SAP Fieldglass). This role was previously held by Stephan Beeusaert (now Smartsheet) and before that Justin Sadler Smith (now Basware). Henrik is well respected with the business having previously work in the Nordics (2011-2013) and more recently leading sales for ANZ out of Sydney before moving to the UK.
The mixed picture in the vendors is reflected to a degree in the consultancies that inhabit the partner ecosystems of the likes of Coupa, Ariba and Ivalua. For example there is news from Accenture that their UK practice leads for both Coupa and Ariba have recently left the business in moves that appear to weaken their offering in that space. However KPMG, seen by many as the lead partner for Coupa, go from strength to strength with some excellent recent project wins (Astra Zeneca and Nationwide to name two) and impressive hires strengthening their capability.
As we head towards the end of the calendar year, there is hope that some technology vendors can finish the final quarter (traditionally the best quarter of the year for sales at the big players) on a high. The reason being that with so many potential projects/sales placed on hold in the Spring as Covid first took hold in Europe, the message from the sales people in our network is that clients now want to get things moving again. So we can expect a strong performance towards the end of year and maybe some deals dragging into early next year given the general pace of progress in the market.
Of course the procurement events calendar is still severely affected by Covid unfortunately and the companies that focus on this sector are having to work hard to reinvent themselves to a degree.
One interesting development that caught our eye came from the innovative Matthias Gutzman, founder of Digital Procurement World. Besides his online awards that effectively replaced this years event (they featured pitches from several start up vendors competing in various categories) he appears to be reinventing DPW or certainly adding to their service offering by using the likes of LinkedIn to post about major corporates looking to source vendors in areas like e-invoicing, spend analytics etc. So far there have been opportunities with the likes of Shell and Roche so this is definitely something that sales people from vendors should be keeping a close eye on.
Procurement Leaders held their virtual World Procurement Congress last week. Normally one of the highlights of the procurement events calendar, the three day conference usually ends with the black tie dinner and awards. This year CEO Nandini Basuthakur and guest host, comedian Sindhu Vee, did their best to celebrate some great achievements from the profession this year with another virtual event.
In terms of the categories involving procurement technology, the prize for the best P2P Specialist went to Ivalua for the second year in a row whilst the Ecovadis CSR award went to Mondelez. The Procurement Technology award went to the regular sponsor of the World Procurement Congress GEP. Whilst anecdotally we are hearing that GEP have had a productive year in Europe winning several new clients, I wonder if there are people working for other vendors that would suggest a degree of favouritism!
We hope you’ve found this news summary interesting. If you want any more information or would like to discuss any aspect of the market, whether you are thinking about hiring or your own career, please do get in touch with me via firstname.lastname@example.org
Director – Procurement & Spend Management
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