Synertrade procurement marketplace shows modest progress

Synertrade describes itself as a leading global provider of e-procurement software solutions to optimise purchasing and finance processes. In other words, its platform supports digital procurement and supplier relationship management, placing it firmly in the Supplier Risk and Performance Management category. It was founded in 1999 and headquartered in New York, where it maintains a base. However, it was acquired by Dimension Digital in 2015, and is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Econocom Group, operating mainly in Europe.  Here’s our ‘starter for 10’ on the company and its procurement platform.

Synertrade offers software as a service supporting digital transformation of procurement

The company’s platform, Synertrade ACCELERATE, covers the whole supply chain through a set of applications that are designed to be flexible, scalable and usable. The company divides these apps into source to contract, procure to pay, and supplier relationship management solutions. The company states that its solutions facilitate hundreds of billions of euros in spend each year, and that its aim is to empower the digital transformation of procurement. 

Synertrade provides a core platform with services on top

The core platform provides access to the master data, configuration and settings, Synerconnect Intelligent Integration, and an intelligent assistant. On top of that platform, customers can layer services and apps in the three areas. For example, in the source to contract space, there are apps for spend analytics, product management, e-sourcing and contract lifecycle management. In the supplier relationship management area, there are apps to support on-boarding, risk and performance, supplier enrichment and continuous improvement. The procurement area provides support for areas such as purchase orders and e-invoicing. 

Synertrade operates internationally and across a wide range of clients and customers

Synertrade now has more than 20 offices around the world, including in Madrid, New York, and Munich. It provides customer support in ten languages, available 24 hours per day. It therefore operates both globally and locally to support its customers, who include household names like Google, Schneider, Lufthansa, Smith and Wesson, eon, Bosch and Metro.  

In June 2020, Synertrade was one of Forrester’s top picks in its marketplace

In June 2020, Forrester researchers identified Synertrade as one of the ten most significant companies offering platforms for Supplier Risk and Performance Management. The company was considered a ‘strong performer’ within the category, although not one of the top three in the space. The report highlighted the Synertrade platform’s usability and flexibility. The researchers noted a particular strength in supplier registration and assessment, including the ability to prepopulate supplier data from external sources.

Synertrade is one of the early movers into the ‘auction-as-a-service’ market

Auction-as-a-service is a relatively new offering in the procurement market. Purchasing auctions have become a popular option for tendering, because they often reduce the cost of services through open competition. Auction-as-a-service is the provision of digital or online auction services via a platform that brings together buyers and suppliers. Synertrade provides auction design consulting, auction software, training of suppliers, and auction monitoring as part of its source to contract offering. Synertrade’s offering meets compliance and security requirements, and is upgraded on an ongoing basis.

Synertrade has recently had some big changes at the top, and the effects are unclear

According to LinkedIn, Synertrade’s co-founder and long-term CEO, Eberhard Aust, left the company in December last year, after 15 years there. The new president, Olivier Berrouiguet, only joined the company in August this year from parent group Econocom, where he was previously the Director of Strategic Affairs. Only time will tell what effects this will have on the company’s operations and long-term viability. However, it makes Synertrade an interesting one to watch, as this handover of power could be key to the company’s future.

Figures from LinkedIn suggest that Synertrade is shrinking rather than growing

It is hard to get a handle on the precise size of relatively small companies and subsidiaries. However, data from LinkedIn suggest that the number of employees at Synertrade has decreased significantly over the last two years, down around a fifth from September 2019. This could simply be an administrative issue, perhaps as staff move in and out of the parent group, or services are centralised, or even simply a function of which employees are active on LinkedIn. However, it could also signal a bigger issue. It is certainly an interesting trend when so many companies enabling digitalisation have grown during the pandemic.

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