The Capgemini Consulting SRM Survey is conducted every two years and is widely consulted and valued by procurement professionals who seek to evolve their digital infrastructure. It provides insight in the functionality of SRM applications with a comprehensive overview of their features, ranging from Procurement Intelligence and Performance Management to Sourcing and Contract Management.

Since the last edition of the SRM survey (2013-2014), we have seen a strong shift towards cloud based solutions, with higher levels of data security and less downtime. We have also have witnessed a greater adoption of mobile applications, improving the general user experience and accelerating the source to contract process. Additionally, supplier portals and collaborative buying platforms have become more sophisticated, and the integration between SRM modules has been enhanced. The survey also looks ahead towards new functionalities that are expected to emerge within the next two years. These include, among others, stronger integration with ERP’s and supplier networks, country- and market-specific solutions, and an improved user experience through mobile enablement and user interface optimization.  

In many markets we have witnessed a shift away from pure sourcing activities to more collaborative relationships, where new products are developed together with suppliers. This is reflected by the increased integration of Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) functionality in SRM solutions. PLM involves the joint development of product specifications, taking into consideration the entire lifecycle of the product, from idea generation to end-of-life. By reducing costs and improving product characteristics jointly with suppliers, additional value at both the top and bottom-line can be captured. This approach, however, requires integration with the firm’s own product development units, and thus extends the scope beyond the procurement function.

To map these PLM functionalities, we collaborated with Arjan de Kok, co-author of two books on the functionality and selection of Product Data Management solutions. Looking at how these solutions have emerged, we found that some PLM applications have extended their functionality range to also include SRM features, and vice versa (i.e. PLM suites providing SRM capabilities). Most SRM vendors that support PLM offer functionalities for supporting a joint product development strategy, and for managing the product lifecycle and managing product requirements. Collaborative product design and product cost modelling are less often supported. We expect that these functionalities will be further expanded in the near future.

To conclude, we have recently seen significant change in the market for digital SRM solutions that use  big data and analytics technology and social media for supplier relationship management.  We expect more developments in the coming years.

We hope that this year’s survey will again be of value in finding the way through the rapidly evolving SRM technology landscape. The full survey can be accessed through the following link.