Spend Management Comes to the Fore

Ariba, PeopleSoft and Ketera deliver software to manage purchasing.

Ariba Inc., PeopleSoft Inc. and Ketera Technologies Inc. are rolling out spend management software that promises to help companies make better-informed purchasing decisions (see "Spotlight on Spending").

Ariba next quarter will release software, code-named Project Colorado, that brings together team members who have a stake in sourcing events—including engineers, buyers and suppliers—in a Web-based environment.

The software will enable users to manage spending through the entire manufacturing process, from product conception to sales settlement, said Ariba officials in Sunnyvale, Calif.

Project Colorado includes a dashboard that shows who is spending what and when, a workflow engine, alerts, and a document vault for knowledge management.

Separately, PeopleSoft, of Pleasanton, Calif., is boosting the spend management capabilities in its SRM (Supplier Relationship Management) software suite. This week, it will release its Supplier Rating System, an engine that enables enterprises to rate suppliers on financial and nonfinancial factors. Using the tool, a sourcing manager can score suppliers in 80 performance areas, such as product quality and on-time delivery.

PeopleSoft also will introduce versions of its SRM software for six vertical industries: high-tech, consumer products, health care, government, financial services and utilities.

Ketera, which is backed by American Express Co., last week changed its name from MarketMile LLC. Started as an e-marketplace, Ketera now is rolling out hosted spend management and supplier enablement software.

The Mountain View, Calif., company also announced three modules for its Spend Management platform. Spend Analysis cleanses and categorizes data, breaks down spending by supplier and category, analyzes spending behavior, and identifies savings opportunities.

Sourcing enables companies to negotiate pricing and contract terms with a hosted tool set for reverse-auction and request-for-quote processes. Network Connect is a suite of services to help users connect suppliers by linking existing e-procurement systems to a hosted catalog of those suppliers.

These modules will be added to Keteras existing Procurement, Payment & Reconciliation and Supplier Enablement modules.

Midwestern utility Aquila Inc. is trying to reduce maverick spending. To do that, Vice President of e-Business and e-Procurement Brett Carter is implementing PeopleSofts spend management software to get a view into where money is being spent.

"A lot of people believe the dollars are in the [e-procurement] system; the dollars are in the processes," said Carter, in Kansas City, Mo. "To correct the system, you need to know where the dollars are."

Related stories:

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  • MarketMile Buys Spend Management Co.
  • IBM, MarketMile Team Up, Extend LPS
  • Software Aids In Spend Control