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Why B2B marketplaces will replace your services procurement solutions

31 January 2020

In the future, you are likely to replace your Services Procurement Solutions (SPS) by a specialized B2B service marketplace. Here’s why: SPS have been treating services as if they were products.

In this article, we’re going to look more closely at how B2B service marketplaces compare to Services Procurement Solutions (SPS). Are B2B service marketplaces a leaner option for services e-procurement? We believe so. Here’s why.

Twenty years ago or so, Services Procurement Solutions were something entirely new. They were essentially developed to:

  • Reduce service-related costs.
  • Increase efficiency and output.
  • Improve external workflow visibility.

Nevertheless, the viability of SPS rapidly became an issue. Even with service procurement accounting for up to 70% of corporate spending, Procurement Solutions were less popular for services than for physical goods. Why?

First and foremost, because the three objectives mentioned above are all easier to achieve for products than services. Secondly, because SPS seemed inappropriate. Services are intangible and heterogeneous. SPS were often perceived as being too rigid to adapt to such variety. Finally, because of their costs, as SPS represent heavy investments.

A more recent phenomenon is rapidly emerging. B2B service marketplaces actually do what SPS were meant to do.


  • Accelerate the entire transaction process.
  • Facilitate the management of outsourced workforce.
  • Reduce administrative costs.

B2B service marketplaces allow for companies to outsource their workforce and manage their external human resources. Less expensive, more flexible and effective, they are most likely to replace SPS, especially when coupled to a product e-procurement solution.



Azadegan, A. and B. Ashenbaum. “E-procurement in services: the lagging application of innovation.” International Journal of Procurement Management (2009). 8 November 2018.

Laurent, Xavier. Global insight into B2B marketplaces. 5 September 2017. 8 November 2018.




At Cocolabs we’re working on the standardization of services. We build custom service marketplaces. Each new project is an opportunity to further our reflection and refine our understanding of what is at stake: human interactions, set in a given time and space dimension.Las Vegas, USA: December 25, 2011- A man impersonating Rich Uncle Pennybags, aka as Whiff or more recently as Mr. Monopoly, performs on the Strip (Las Vegas Boulevard). If people give him money, they can be photographed with him.





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