A Foundational Look at the Evolution of Sourcing Technology & Platforms

As practitioners and analysts in the procurement market, it's amazing to think about how much tools and platforms within the sector have evolved in little over a decade. Speaking in historical evolutionary tools terms, it's as if we combined the Stone, Bronze, and Iron Ages into a single human lifespan. Consider that in less than six years from the advent of online reverse auctions conducted via private connectivity networks that self-service e-sourcing tools incorporating negotiation tools and market feedback mechanisms plus broader RFI, RFX and award-analysis capabilities entered the market in the same period of time. This paper explores the evolution of sourcing platforms from the basic reverse auction/RFX/e-sourcing capabilities of yesteryear to the more advanced sourcing and commodity management platforms available today. In the analysis, we recommend different solution types and packages based on overall company sophistication, maturity, and spend portfolio mix (e.g., complex vs. raw material, direct, indirect, services, etc.). It also provides shortlists of vendors that offer different types of solutions.

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