What’s Trending in Procurement and Supply Market Information and Research Offerings

Photo by Elena Taranenko on Unsplash

By Jeanette Jones and Kelly Barner

The advancement of technology is pushing us forward and allowing for more laser-focused insights, obtained more quickly and efficiently while utilizing greater volumes of data brought in from varying sources.

The notable growth in the upgrades and offerings covering contract management and negative company event detection remind us, even in this age of digital transformation, that traditional areas of concern for procurement, such as risk management, contract adherence, and supplier diligence continue to be highly critical.

What’s especially interesting is to follow the various strategic directions taken by information vendors as they update their offerings. Regardless of how the data is used it all comes back to the unforgiving importance of utilizing quality data. Quality data quickly turns into poor data if it is not either purged or updated continually.

With that understanding, the supply market intelligence information and research resources listings in ProcureSearch have just been updated. Our review process revealed a few trends we feel are worth additional consideration. ProcureSearch’s coverage focuses on third party content providers and excludes offerings from broader supplier and procurement management providers.

Trend #1 – Negative News Upgrades and Offerings

Risk and compliance awareness continues to be a major critical area of concern and vendors and organizations continue to enhance their offerings accordingly. Examples:

  • LexisNexis Legal & Professional have collaborated with OpenCorporates to add legal entity data to the Nexis Data as a Service portfolio. Legal identity is critical in anti-money laundering and anti-bribery and corruption programs.
  • Dow Jones Risk & Compliance launched an AI-enabled real-time solution for adverse media screening, powered by technology from Ripjar.
  • BvD’s Catalyst 2 offers a new machine learning powered adverse media filter (see below).
  • Americas Society/Council of the Americas and Control Risks launched the Capacity to Combat Corruption Index, a new tool assessing Latin American countries’ capacity to uncover, punish and deter corruption.

Trend #2 – Self-Service

By allowing companies and researchers to serve themselves, vendors are providing users with the ultimate form of customization. Examples:

  • Bureau van Dijk’s (BvD) new Compliance Catalyst 2 provides a self-serve feature for users where they can batch upload large numbers of companies, and work either with out-of-the box models or build their own solutions. Compliance Catalyst 2 is a complete rebuild of BvD’s risk management platform, which is powered by their Orbis database.
  • The Smart Cube now offers Amplifi PRO – its client-facing digital platform that provides self-serve access to procurement intelligence for category managers. Amplifi is their internal organizational intelligence platform.

Trend #3 – Power Platforms Rule

Market intelligence providers continue to upgrade their existing platforms by incorporating greater amounts of data combined with analytics, AI, and machine learning capabilities. Examples:

  • Stratfor launched Stratfor Worldview Enterprise, which provides greater customization and analytics to existing offerings to help users anticipate global areas where their operations are at greatest risk.
  • MetalMiner released its new MetalMiner Insights Platform, which enhances MetalMiner’s data and combines metals pricing, forecasting and buying recommendations all on one platform.
  • Sedex Analytics is a new supply chain reporting tool that provides the core functionality of Sedex’s Data Monitor with a faster, interactive tool that provides buyers a quick, visual representation of suppliers around the world.
  • Dun & Bradstreet’s D&B Compass is D&B’s new AI-powered third-party risk management solution that allows for comprehensive due diligence and monitoring of all third-party relationships.
  • BitSight’s Enterprise Analytics offers an organizational group level view – from subsidiaries to business units and departments – into the impact of security risk.

Trend #4 – Contract Management Offerings Utilizing AI

According to an Ari Kaplan Advisors study, more than one-third of surveyed participants are currently using AI for analysis of contracts, half expect their spending on contract AI to increase,  and 47 percent of non-users indicate it is likely or highly likely they will implement it in the coming year. Examples:

  • Icertis is a cloud-based contract lifecycle management platform used by large organizations to manage and get the most value from their contracts. Icertis has won vast recognition as a leader in the contract management landscape.
  • Evisort originated out of the Harvard Innovation Labs by Harvard Law and MIT students. Evisort’s contract management system uses artificial intelligence to extract legal terms and relevant data.

The trends and examples described above indicate that market intelligence data and platform providers are watching user preferences closely, and pushing the envelope to ensure that their platform is the best positioned to deliver actionable insights.

Unless procurement leverages these tools, however, we will continue to make decisions and recommendations in a vacuum – a dangerous strategy in today’s fast-paced and highly interconnected supply chains. Whether it is paid resources or free information sources, all procurement professionals should invest in their product/category knowledge and market research skills.

For more information on research resources, processes and quality control best practices, visit ProcureSearch.

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