Industry Trends

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Industry Trends

Evaluating R&D Procurement Technology Platforms: a Cheat Sheet for Innovative CPOs

According to the global management consulting firm McKinsey & Company, procurement leaders are realizing that, to remain competitive, they must adopt B2B online marketplaces to manage indirect procurement — a spend category that includes services and utilities vital for business operations.

To quote the recent McKinsey article on the topic, 

“Industry analysts project that by 2021, indirect spending will be led and directed by tech-procurement people at up to 60 percent of large enterprises.”

“Indirect procurement will increasingly become platform management — a shift that will require teams to tailor their indirect procurement strategies more carefully."

Changes that are driving the transition of indirect procurement spend to online platforms include: 
  • Newly minted CPOs have increasing dependence on online shopping for all personal spend categories, including services
  • B2B marketplaces deliver many benefits (see box)
  • CPOs can perform against goals that are broader, more strategic than transaction management; can eliminate the tedious work of indirect procurement
  • Companies rely more on 3rd party providers
  • Increased scrutiny on compliance and risk mitigation
  • Broader corporate emphasis on digital transformation
Evaluating B2B marketplaces for R&D services?

Start with this list of must-have features:

  • Large selection of pre-contracted and pre-qualified global vendors

  • Complete automation of the source-to-pay process, without the need for manual handling of RFQs, work orders, invoices and payments

  • Advanced business intelligence reporting that helps research and procurement leadership teams achieve and track business goals

  • Automation of collaboration, approval and compliance workflows

  • Smooth integrations with buyer’s file management, procurement and financial applications

  • Built-in guided buying configurations for driving purchasing adherence to preferred vendors

  • Clear accountability (single-vendor model) and system in place for refunds if necessary

  • A user experience that surpasses traditional procurement process–enjoyable, efficient, time-saving–so that users will WANT to use it

  • Payment options with currency choice


Benefits of B2B marketplaces for R&D services procurement

  • Select from thousands of pre-contracted providers 
  • Price transparency—including dynamic pricing
  • Initiate projects rapidly through automation of manual tasks
  • Improve compliance and spend governance
  • Reduce costs through competitive sourcing 
  • Configure custom internal marketplaces 
  • Track spend and budget performance in real time
  • Gain visibility into provider performance


Want to see the Science Exchange marketplace in action?  

Contact us and we’ll show you.


Shaun O'Connor

VP, Corporate Development

Shaun leads Science Exchange’s Corporate Development and Partnership initiatives. In his role, he works closely with the C-Suite to identify, assess and execute on various value creation opportunities such as commercial partnerships, joint ventures, financing and strategic transactions. Prior to Science Exchange, Shaun worked at both large cap and boutique advisory firms, serving customers on M&A, Corporate Strategy, and Restructuring initiatives for 8+ years. Shaun is an External Advisor at prestigious consulting firm Bain & Company, former Mensa Member, Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, and holds degrees in Industrial and Management Systems Engineering from The West Virginia University where he graduated Magna Cum Laude.

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