Many procurement organizations are undertaking projects to modernize their operations. That’s understandable. Several things have proven to be a potent combination:
- The never-ending mandate to cut costs with a fast time-to-value
- A pandemic that saw procurement thrust into the spotlight as global supply chains were fractured
- The move by sourcing professionals to embrace a more strategic role
- Advances in technology, including cloud-based AI
Procurement is moving forward and transitioning to advanced software that can support these requirements.
Two names that are often part of the discussion on advanced procurement software solutions are Arkestro and Scout RFP. At a high level, it might sound as though these are similar systems. Both offer capabilities like support for strategically sourcing suppliers, automation of labor-intensive tasks, and advanced analytics.
Which of the two is the better choice? Let’s have a closer look at the details for Scout RFP to see how it compares to Arkestro.
Scout RFP vs Arkestro – Scout RFP’s Strengths
According to the Scout RFP website, these are the capabilities that set this procurement software apart from competing solutions.
- Tools for sourcing and supplier engagement support the ability to collaboratively run sourcing events, streamline supplier selection and contracts, and analyze performance to drive better outcomes
- Automation frees up time, with labor-intensive tasks including expenses and supplier invoices automated so procurement staff can focus on more meaningful work
- Insights to better manage spend, with real-time contextual insight of spend analysis
- Flexibility to purchase how you like because Scout RFP offers a flexible business process framework
- Strategically source suppliers by identifying those who provide the best product and service at the best value
- Intuitively manage spend by automating the procure-to-pay process and controlling indirect spend
- Optimize internal supply chain, allowing teams to stock, track, and replenish internal goods and supplies
- Make expense reporting easy through expense submission, approval, and analysis
In addition, Scout RFP owner Workday points out that it offers a “complete set of cloud spend management solutions” for streaming operations and controlling indirect spend.
How Does That Compare to Arkestro?
Rather than getting into a feature-by-feature comparison with Arkestro, it’s probably more useful to instead look at overall themes. When you review Scout RFP’s key selling points, there is a definite theme. And when you look at Arkestro design and features, there’s a very different theme. The difference between the two shows that these solutions are not really direct competitors, and each has situations where they would be the clear best choice.
Let’s start with Scout RFP. This is a system that is focused on the indirect use case and the core function is supplier selection, scorecarding, and contract repository. Scout RFP is also more applicable to large companies awarding large sourcing projects that are awarded to a single supplier with complex, text-based supplier questions —think tens or even hundreds of form fields. As well, Scout RFP is designed to integrate with contracting and legal aspects of procurement.
Arkestro takes a very different approach. Rather than focusing primarily on indirect transactions, Arkestro is designed to unify all different transaction types (including indirect) on a single procurement platform that is built to align everyday purchasing activities with sourcing and contracted price agreements, as well as simulations of optimal pricing from preferred suppliers.
Arkestro is a predictive procurement platform that supports a broad spectrum of transaction values wherever they live: in a Procure-to-Pay system, in a sourcing system, or in a purchasing or catalogue system. Arkestro also can handle a complex transaction involving hundreds of millions of line items in different currencies with suppliers spread across multiple countries just as easily as a simple purchase request for a single item from a single supplier. It brings finance and operations together, enabling collaboration and alignment on key numbers.
Arkestro leverages a unique simulation-driven process to unify predictive sourcing and procurement. This includes strong forecasting capabilities, rapid negotiations based on predictive pricing, plus proactive alerting for exceptions.
Arkestro vs Scout RFP – The Bottom Line
Scout RFP was one of the first user-centric platforms to focus on indirect sourcing. It’s since branched out with modules covering supplier management and contract management. In 2019, it was bought by Workday, a large HRIS ERP company.
Arkestro’ product came out later but was designed from the ground up to take full advantage of cloud-based predictive models, giving Arkestro advanced capabilities like predictive sourcing, predictive purchasing, and predictive KPIs and KPI reports. In addition, because Arkestro is focused purely on procurement — and not part of a larger ecosystem in which procurement is just one element of its business — features are more carefully honed to meet the broad needs of sourcing, procurement, and purchasing professionals.
To be clear, Scout RFP has its strengths, especially for organizations that emphasize the role of contracting within the supplier lifecycle. In particular, organizations dealing with suppliers who are primarily IT service providers or software companies may find Scout RFP is their preferred choice.
For many scenarios, procurement organizations that have a diverse or complex category portfolio that includes both direct and indirect will discover efficiencies by adopting Arkestro. This is especially true for organizations that experience chronic data quality issues that require data cleansing, data validation and forward-looking models to accurately forecast quarterly spend, savings and variance.
Experience the Arkestro Advantage With a Demo
After this overview of the similarities and differences between Arkestro and Scout RFP, you should have a pretty good idea of which procurement software is the better choice for your organization. We like to think that for most companies, Arkestro would be the preferred pick. That’s especially true if your organization values advanced features like predictive sourcing, the ability to unify indirect and direct categories, bringing finance and operations together, and being applicable for any size of transaction.
However, we encourage you to take the next step and try out Arkestro yourself. Book a free demo where you will have the opportunity to see first-hand how Arkestro and its AI-powered predictive procurement will modernize your organization and drive faster savings.