With purchasing managers facing the prospect of tighter corporate budgets, developers Verticalnet Inc., PeopleSoft Inc., and Ariba Inc. are each readying software that they indicate will enable their customers to better manage spending. The goal is to enable companies to more closely tie the process of finding sources of raw goods, negotiating the price for those products, and closing the loop with electronic settlement.
Verticalnet has recently released an enhanced Spend Management module as well as the next version of its Metaprise collaborative planning and order management suite. Spend Management introduces a supplier score card and enhanced reporting and analytics, which will let suppliers see through a Web browser how they are serving buyer and performance metrics, such as actual costs versus standard spending. New functionality in Metaprise, which comes from the company’s acquisition of Atlas Commerce Inc., facilitates the process of improving requisitions and managing purchase orders. Enhanced logistics functionality integrates shipping updates with third-party logistics providers.
Meanwhile, PeopleSoft, of Pleasanton, California, recently announced the general availability of its strategic sourcing suite. The company unveiled PeopleSoft Strategic Sourcing as a collaborative solution that helps companies manage the complex bidding and negotiation process in the procurement of direct goods, services, and large capital expenditures, according to officials.
Separately, Ariba, of Sunnyvale, California, recently unveiled its Spend Management Suite, which has been in beta testing. The suite consists of new and enhanced software modules for analysis, sourcing, and procurement to help companies manage their spending before, during, and after the procurement process-stages that Ariba refers to as “find it,” “get it,” and “keep it.”
In the find-it category, the new Ariba Analysis module gathers procurement information, which typically resides in the Ariba Buyer platform, accounts payable, and ERP planning systems. It then generates reports to help companies find potential savings.
The second new module, called Ariba Contracts, falls into the get-it and keep-it categories, by focusing on the administration of contracts—those being used successfully and those requiring renegotiation. Integrated with Ariba Buyer and Enterprise Sourcing, the module helps companies track and manage contract life cycles. Ariba Invoice, the third new module, automates every stage in the invoicing process to help companies reduce reconciliation cycle times and lets suppliers upload invoices into Ariba Supplier Network and transmit them back to buyers.
As for enhancements, Ariba Buyer has new integration with the Contracts module. Ariba Workforce features an expanded capability to capture and manage a broader spectrum of workforce procurement, indicate officials