Bringing Spend Analysis Tools to the Mid-market

Ketera, Aptium Global Partner to offer "on-demand" spend management solutions to midsize manufacturers

Ketera, Aptium Global Partner to offer "on-demand" spend management solutions to midsize manufacturers

Santa Clara, CA  April 1, 2005  Ketera Technologies, a provider of "on-demand" spend management solutions, has signed up Aptium Global for its Sourcing Partner Program in a deal that Ketera says will offer manufacturing companies in the mid-market more visibility and control of their corporate spend.

Through the partnership, Aptium Global, a direct material sourcing and global logistics provider targeting small and midsize manufacturers, will deploy Ketera's Spend Analysis solution as part of its assessment of customer procurement processes and supplier contracts to identify opportunities for cost savings.

Using the intelligence gained from the Spend Analysis solution, Aptium Global will work with customers to help them leverage added buying power and obtain more competitive contract prices and terms with their suppliers. In addition, Aptium Global customers will have the option to utilize additional Ketera Spend Management offerings, including Contract Management to further streamline processes and sustain savings.

Aptium targets manufacturing and services companies between about $150 million and $750 million in revenue, primarily in the Midwest United States, although the company is global in its reach.

"Our customers look to us as trusted advisors who can reduce their direct materials expenditures by tackling complex sourcing and supply chain issues. They don't want the headache of tracking this information themselves and maintaining a related technology solution," said Lisa Reisman, managing director for Aptium Global. "By integrating Ketera's Spend Analysis offering with our own capabilities, we can deliver on our customers' expectations of rapidly identifying savings opportunities."

Targeting the Mid-market

"We developed the partner program to target the mid-market with on-demand spend management services," said Steve Savignano, CEO of Ketera. "Our partnership with Aptium Global offers small and medium-sized businesses tools that were previously unavailable to them, such as spend analysis, reverse auctioning and contract management." Savignano added that Ketera expects to see continued growth in this market as the solution provider pursues further alliances with additional partners like Aptium Global.

In an interview, Savignano explained that at the beginning of the year, Ketera began to look at how it could take a broader-based approach to reaching potential customers, with an eye toward taking its offering for large-market companies and, leveraging the solution's availability as an "on demand" solution that can be accessed via the Web, bringing those solutions to small and midsize firms.

Ketera's Sourcing Partner Program is part of the company's strategy to target the mid-market, following the launch of its Express line of procurement services specifically for small and midsize businesses. The company has already announced two similar partnerships with resellers to hit this market, and it anticipates having 20 U.S.-based resellers in its program by year end.

Benefits Scale Down

Pravin Kumar, Ketera's new director of product marketing, said in an interview that the return on investment on the provider's solutions scales downward well and should produce good returns for companies down to about $100 million in revenues. However, the challenge for solution providers targeting the mid-market is to make use of an efficient marketing strategy that allows for broader reach at lower cost per potential customer.

"One thing that we have learned is that mid-market companies make decisions just as carefully as large-market customers, so being able to explain how these solutions will lead to bottom-line savings and minimize risks of implementation are just as much a concern for the mid-market as they are for the mid-market," Kumar said.

Ketera says that the implementation time for its Web-based solution is shorter compared to many license software packages, allowing its partners to focus on offering customers a range of services and the added benefit of working with one partner for all of their non-core process needs.

Savignano said that Ketera views the Spend Analysis component of its offering as a first step for companies that want to implement spend management, opening the door for Ketera and its partners to sell additional components of the provider's offering into its newly acquired customers. "We're starting off with Spend Analysis," he said, "but we do believe that it will go into the full suite of applications."

In addition to new Ketera Sourcing Partners, the company has had long-standing, strategic partnerships with IBM and American Express.

Additional Articles of Interest

For more information on best practices for spend analysis, see the following articles:

For more information regarding "on demand" computing models, see the article "Cutting Through the 'On Demand' Hype," the Net Best Thing column in the December/January 2004 issue of Supply & Demand Chain Executive.

For more information on solutions for mid-market enterprises, see "Stuck in the Middle" in the April/May 2004 issue of Supply & Demand Chain Executive.