Top Evaluation Criteria for Sourcing Optimization Solutions (Part 2 of 2)

Kerrie Kennedy

April 6, 2022

Note: This is the second part of a two-part blog series focused on the fundamental sourcing questions to ask every Sourcing Optimization solution provider. Read Part 1 here

In the first part of this blog series, we discussed how now – more than ever – priority must be placed on making sure sourcing teams are appropriately equipped with the right technology to meet supply chain challenges. This is best achieved with the implementation of a powerful sourcing optimization tool that delivers savings not possible with Excel spreadsheets, and one that is also easy enough to deploy broadly throughout the entire organization.

Inevitably, Usability and Flexibility are two key Sourcing Optimization tool criteria for any solution up for consideration, and our previous blog provides some questions any vendor should be able to confidently answer for your regarding their solution’s ability to meet your business’s requirements for each.

In the second part of this two-part blog, we will discuss two additional ‘must-haves’ – Innovation and Customer Commitment – and share some questions to put to your current or prospective sourcing tool vendor:

3. Innovation

Innovation is vital for fueling business success. But sourcing teams under pressure to fire-fight relentless supply chain disruptions may find they have too much on their plate to devote time and attention to strategic tasks such as innovation management. This is where innovation on the part of the vendor has a key role to play, as modern innovative optimization tech solutions enhanced with AI-powered automation can relieve that burden on buying personnel enormously.

Innovation can also mean having a solution that makes it easier for you to enable transformation to ensure greater agility, digitization, and scale. You’ll want to select a solution that is designed for faster time-to-value and makes it easy to capture innovation on the supply side, too. 

Questions to ask the solutions provider:

What is the pace of product enhancements?

What automation capabilities are offered?

What is the provider’s longer-term vision for the product plan?

How well does it support digitization and transformation goals? 

4. Customer Commitment

Switching up your e-sourcing toolkit is never going to be a decision that’s taken lightly, which is why a vendor’s responsiveness, attention, and commitment to customers is vital to ensuring a successful transition to, widespread adoption and continued use of a new sourcing technology solution. 

For example, you can hear from Keelvar customer Samsung how we helped them launch their largest-ever eRFP in less than two weeks, and how food and beverage manufacturer Grupo Nutresa enacted a center-led strategy that expanded the scope of sourcing events that use optimization in a relatively short time.

Questions to ask the solutions provider:

What is the training and onboarding approach?

What is the customer success methodology?

What expert services are available to help us?

How accessible are their key people when needed?

The Keelvar Difference

At Keelvar, how we define success is simple: if our customers are successful, we are successful, and that is why we introduced a new Keelvar Customer Success team at the start of 2021. While our products are designed for ease of use and adoption, we recognize that many customers benefit greatly from onboarding help and ongoing support throughout their sourcing optimization journey.

In addition to a dedicated Customer Success team, Keelvar is made up of a balanced mix of experienced engineers, professional services team members and UX/UI experts that strive to make innovation central to our optimization and automation solutions.

For example, with sustainability now a key stakeholder priority, our Sourcing Optimizer can help buyers capture supplier innovation around recycled materials or sustainable products in an RFI or even within the bid that might have otherwise gone unnoticed.  

Along with 100% ROI regularly seen by our customers after the first sourcing event, that’s definitely a box on your list worthy of a heavy checkmark.

Ready to learn more about how optimization technology can fit the bill for your sourcing function? We're happy to answer any questions you may have about our products. Get in touch today.

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