Deem announces their new “Business Shopping” application – I wish they wouldn’t call it that

Posted by Pete Loughlin in e-Procurement 05 May 2015

It’s being announced at ISM 2015 in Phoenix, Arizona as I write. Deem are unveiling their new “Business Shopping” application.

In my view, an enterprise procurement application shouldn’t be referred to as a “Shopping” application. We source and procure. We don’t “Shop”. Or am I just being picky? And another thing – Deem claim, in their words to be “the first company to unify budgetary management, project management and requisition in a single procurement solution”. That’s a big claim and not entirely justified. Even clunky MRP solutions in the 1990s were doing that.

But that’s where my criticism end because I’ve seen this new application and I like it. I’ve seen the future of e-procurement and it begins with a capital D.

Site LogoThe problem with P2P solutions is that the people we need to use them don’t care. I’m a P2P specialist. I live and breath it but the users of the systems we implement have a job to do. They just want stuff, the right stuff and without hassle. If there is an easier way to get the stuff they need they’ll choose it over the correct process. The proper process needs to be the easiest process.

For years I’ve heard people ask “Why can’t it be as simple as Amazon?” My standard reply has been some cobbled together excuse about the B2C world being simplistic compared to the tightly regulated B2B world. And that has always been partly OK. But it has also been partly nonsense. It was an excuse for the shortcomings of the enterprise applications that we have been using. I never thought it was possible to mirror the ease of use of home shopping in the B2B world – at least not sufficiently to address the objections of users. But Deem has proved me wrong.

The look and feel of Deem’s new product is impeccable. I could be picky again and point out some of the features that are more at home in the B2C world than B2B but that would pointlessly distract from the more important positive features. The solution features what Deem describe as “parallel, multi-level work flows that allow purchasing through purchase order and for purchasing to be managed in a project management style”

This, they claim will enable project managers to “easily keep track of spend, manage budget, take appropriate action and avoid overspending. In addition, a chief financial officer will benefit by maintaining visibility and control of the total budget from both corporate and project levels, while a chief procurement officer will be able to provide guidance to project owners on current and planned spending.”

Patrick Grady is quoted in Deem’s press release: “A big part of being the most trusted and valuable commerce partner for businesses is listening to what your customers and their industries are asking for when developing your roadmap. By enabling budget, project and requisition management in a single, easy-to-use application, Deem Shopping will help Deem customers to reduce overhead, streamline the approvals process and save money faster.”

Deem claim that “Deem Shopping” is a complete, end-to-end business shopping solution that is part of Deem’s integrated suite of indirect spend solutions. It can also be implemented as a front end purchasing solution on top of a company’s existing ERP or a back end solution for an existing buyer or supplier-facing procurement application. The new Deem Shopping application has been built from the ground up in-house at Deem and will replace Deem’s existing shopping application by the end of 2015.

I’ve said many times that the e-procurement promise was never delivered. The aspirations of 20 years ago were just too ambitious. Deem are delivering the promise.

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