Analyst Reports on "e-Sourcing"
There are many reports on e-sourcing technology available from analyst firms today. Since we are unable at this point to provide an up-to-date assessment, we urge you to look at them.
But beware of the following things:
- Many reports are focused entirely on e-sourcing technology. But
because technological support for sourcing activities is so new, most
organizations are unable to take advantage of all the functional capabilities
that some vendors tout. Most companies should therefore ignore rating
systems based on how functionally rich the technology offerings are. They
are usually not practically meaningful.
- The two biggest problems that most sourcing organizations face are
1) they need to buy smarter and 2) they can't cover the categories
that they are supposed to manage. The reports that we have seen
have not evaluated the technology's ability to help people buy smarter
or manage more, even though these are the two most important things
that the technologies should do.
- Most analyst firms take a substantial amount of money from the
vendors that they cover, and this indirectly skews both the assessment
and the choice of vendors to cover. Yes, the analyst will try to do
an honest job. But you still need to take what they say with,
as Mike Hogan says, a truckload of salt.
- Software that is developed for a new market is typically
not terribly scalable and maintainable. They can create a good
auction, for instance, but can they really manage auction templates,
allowing you to modify them easily, record what worked and didn't work, etc.
Analyst reports typically do not take these things into account.
In any case, if you're looking for technologies that can help
you, good luck. And do let us know how it turned out.