Ariba: Taking Spend Visibility in a New Direction (Part 2)

I'm a bit behind in publishing the follow-up to my initial post on Ariba's Spend Visibility Direction, but better late than never (it's been a busy couple of weeks on the blogging front). In this post, I'll show a few screen shots that highlight how Ariba is leveraging both internal and third-party data within the context of the spend analysis application itself. And in a final post, later this week or early next, I'll put a wrapper on this mini-series and provide some additional thoughts on what the direction means for the future of the spend analysis and supplier information management market (two areas that I believe will increasingly converge at some point in the future). All in all, as I said in my initial post two weeks back, I believe that the standard inclusion of this type of information -- and the ability to track market indices specifically -- will become standard fare for spend analysis applications in the coming years.

In the first screen shot, below, you see a dashboard screen that shows high level index information that shows opportunities and changes based on monthly pricing information. As you look at it, let me call your attention to the area on the right hand side "Price movements relative to commodity price index". This is perhaps one of the more useful pieces of information companies can use this application for to track sourcing opportunities based on their own spend profile relative to changes in the broader market. Granted, this example is indirect spend, but the same concept would hold for breakdowns for direct spend categories as well (if you uploaded index information for commodities or raw material pricing elements).

The next screen shot, below, provides additional information on price movements relative to commodity price indices. Again, this information is based on a user's own spending data, showing theoretical opportunities and deltas based on integrating third-party supply markets index information into the core of the application.

The final screen shot, below, shows savings opportunities that a company might have (both high and low ranges) based on their own spend profile mapped to Ariba's own proprietary supply market information based on their own recent category experiences and research.

Check back for the final post in this series when I tie together what these capabilities could mean for the future of spends analysis, sourcing, contract authoring and management and supplier information and relationship management.

Jason Busch

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