It's good to see aPrioriand Akoya talking more about the relationship between product costing, PLM, and Spend Management. In a recent press release, aPriori described the need to develop a "common language" between design engineering and procurement. According to aPriori, "The 'lingua franca' that translates the language of engineering into the language of business is 'cost', specifically, product cost." Akoya, a vendor in a similar space, albeit with a slightly different take on product and should costing, recently published a whitepaper that digs into feature-based analysis in more detail. You can read the whitepaper here (no registration required). While a bit technical, the paper clearly explains the process of should cost analysis and its potential benefits to direct material procurement leaders as well as design engineers. When I look at Akoya and aPriori it gives me hope that an entirely new generation of direct material Spend Management solutions are just starting to come to market.