The Spend Analysis Category

Simfoni: Vendor Snapshot (Part 3) — Competitive & Summary Analysis [PRO]


A great “mash-up” is happening within the procurement solution provider market. SaaS companies are increasingly delivering content such as benchmarks, KPIs, templates and more within their applications. Consulting firms are developing their own technologies and pre-configured instances of third-party solutions, such as vertically configured systems, in addition to deploying and implementing standard products and tools. And managed services providers and business process outsourcing (BPO) firms are increasingly blurring the line with their own proprietary solutions that extend beyond just the billable hour and “outcomes as a service.”

Simfoni, an upstart global solutions provider with both technology and services offerings primarily targeting the analytics and tail spend areas today, fits perfectly into this converging world. This final installment of our multipart Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot series covering Simfoni offers a competitive analysis and comparison with other vendors in the spend analytics and tail spend market that companies may wish to shortlist. It also includes a user selection guide and summary evaluation and selection considerations. Part 1 and Part 2 of this PRO research series provide a company and deep dive solution overview, a SWOT analysis, product strengths and weaknesses and a recommended fit analysis for what types of organizations should consider Simfoni.

Simfoni: Vendor Snapshot (Part 2) — Product Strengths & Weaknesses [PRO]

spend analytics

Simfoni represents a new type of solution provider in the procurement technology and services market. While it brings significant out-of-the-box capability in analytics and tail spend management, it is also a solutions integrator, of sorts. In deploying solutions to customers, Simfoni leverages both its own organically developed capabilities and third-party technology to deliver customized solutions to each customer.

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot explores Simfoni’s strengths and weaknesses, providing facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations and other customers decide whether Simfoni is the right fit for their need. The first instalment of our analysis provided a company and solution overview and a recommended fit list of criteria for firms considering Simfoni. Part 3 will offer a SWOT analysis, user selection guide, competitive alternatives and additional evaluation and selection considerations.

Simfoni: Vendor Snapshot (Part 1) — Background & Solution Overview [PRO]

If experienced procurement consultants and product developers had a third chance to create a firm, what would they decide to emphasize, especially when taking a global perspective to creating solutions that are appropriate for customers at different levels of maturity in both established and developing markets? The answer to this question is enlightening, because Simfoni, a London-based provider of procurement solutions, represents a unique melding of experienced perspectives based on needs that, in many cases, are not being directly met today in the area of procurement, sourcing strategy and tail spend management.

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot provides facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations make informed decisions about Simfoni and whether its capabilities are a fit for their needs. Part 1 of our analysis provides a company background and detailed solution overview, as well as a summary recommended fit suggestion for when organizations should consider Simfoni in the procurement technology and solutions area. The remaining parts of this research brief will cover product strengths and weaknesses, competitor and SWOT analyses, and insider evaluation and selection considerations.

Rethinking and Reclaiming “Tail Spend”: 6 Key Variables to Consider [Plus+]

AnyData Solutions

The idea of “tail spend” doesn’t seem very complicated at first.

Run a Pareto analysis on your spend categories and suppliers to make a cutoff at, say, the 80% that represent only 20% of your spend. Your numbers will, of course, vary, but the idea is to find a way to better manage such “nuisance” low-dollar spend that doesn’t detract from your efficiency, or worse yet, from spending time managing the truly strategic spend categories more deeply.

You might think of this as the spend in the lower-left quadrant of the famous Kraljic 2x2 matrix, which describes a strategy of “purchasing management” to manage non-critical, abundant supply that can be sourced locally in a de-centralized manner for maximum efficiency. And, maybe, if you manage this nuisance spend properly, you can even extract some value from it (e.g., a “quick source” process to gain some speedy spend savings).

Sounds straightforward, right?

Well, it’s not, and I have purposefully led you astray to prove a point.

The problem is that I never really defined tail spend in the first place – and if you can’t define it or see/measure it, you can’t manage it. And herein lies the rub (and the opportunity):

Tail spend could better be described as “nuisance spend” or “tactical spend,” and is comprised of many sub-segments — not just one or two.

Let’s return to our examples above. Segmenting on a spend-per-supplier basis, like in our Pareto diagram, is by no means perfect. What about low-spend, sole-source suppliers tied to large revenue or profit? OK, well, you might then refer to the Krajlic matrix as the solution. It’s better, because it helps profile the categories into complexity vs. impact (or risk vs. reward if you view it as such), but again, these are only two variables, and do not factor in any others.

Which ones? Let’s list six of them and ask whether you’d consider the resulting spend segments as ‘tail spend,’ or at least ‘nuisance spend.'

Coupa and Spend360: Spend Analysis Background and Product Analysis [PRO]

Tradeshift Baiwang

Coupa’s acquisition of Spend360 brings an immediate set of capabilities to Coupa customers — and the basis of a broader, disruptive and embedded offering integrally linked to Coupa’s cloud solution. But what is spend analytics (and spend classification, specifically) and why should customers care? What types of reports should you be able to run? And more narrowly, what specific capabilities does Spend360 bring and how are these different than alternative approaches (e.g., AI/machine learning vs. rules-based classification).

There’s also the question of what Spend360 will ultimately enable Coupa to achieve by applying an AI-driven approach to the firm’s broader source-to-pay platform, including guiding users to better decisions based on insights their own data can provide, a broader topic Coupa’s CEO, Rob Bernshteyn, hinted at during a talk earlier this year. But we’ll leave this specific topic to a longer exploration after we’ve had the chance to delve into the “so what” for customers from the acquisition.

This Spend Matters PRO research brief provides a product-centric analysis that will help Coupa customers and prospects get beyond the headlines of the announcement and understand, on a comparative basis, what spend analytics really is, how spend classification works and how Spend360 stacks up to others.

Coupa Acquires Spend360, Adds Best-in-Class Spend Classification Capability to its Suite

Coupa announced early Tuesday it had acquired Spend360 International Ltd., a best-in-class spend classification vendor. Coupa “has acquired substantially all of the assets of Spend360 International Ltd. to help companies digitize antiquated processes for data classification,” the company said in the acquisition announcement. Coupa noted the acquisition closed in December 2016 and that financial terms were not disclosed. Further, “Coupa expects the capabilities from Spend360 to be made available to select Coupa customers later this year. As part of the acquisition, the Spend360 team has joined Coupa to continue developing forward-thinking approaches for data classification and predictive insights.”

Opportunities for Organized Procurement in Bollywood

An average Bollywood movie has a crew of 200 to 250 people working on it at any given time. Some of them will be involved on the creative side and others on the non-creative side. The creative costs (approximately 40%, and also known as the above-the-line costs) will be the potential non-addressable spend, which includes the script and salaries for the cast, director and technicians. Organized procurement can help bring down the non-creative spend (roughly 60%, or below-the-line costs). In this guest post, GEP's Nitin Khandelwal aims to identify the reasons for high “below-the-line” costs and propose some recommendations for bringing them down.

Ivalua: Vendor Snapshot (Part 3) –– Commentary and Summary Analysis [PRO]

With apologies to the late comic, Ivalua is the Rodney Dangerfield of procurement suites (that is, if Rodney Dangerfield had an IQ of 160 and was a software engineer). If we add up the differentiated combination of its architecture/platform, industry enablement, functional/modular capability (across the source-to-pay continuum), analytics and “overlay” process support capabilities, the sum of the Ivalua package stands out from all others in a true “deadpan” way – albeit with no laughing involved. In short: Ivalua deserves much more respect than it gets from a market that is typically less familiar with it compared to larger peers such as Ariba, Coupa, GEP and BravoSolution.

Not that the parts are bad! There are even surprises. For example, there is unexpected capability, including bill of material management, asset and tooling management, accruals, and procurement project management. The cost breakdown analytics, new product introduction (NPI) management and the ability to get data in and out of the platform on a daily basis is deeper than one might expect. Granted, Ivalua is not perfect: the user interface and experience may leave the business (or the average procurement user) wanting. But anyone who invests the time to get to know the solution on a product level will come away very impressed if they have the same technology-centric proclivities as the Spend Matters team (even if it’s not the right “fit” for some, as we explore in this series).

This third and final installment of the Spend Matters Vendor Snapshot on Ivalua provides an objective SWOT analysis of the company and offers a competitive segmentation analysis and comparison. It also includes recommended shortlist candidates as alternative vendors to Ivalua and offers provider selection guidance. Finally, it provides summary analysis and recommendations for companies that may consider Ivalua’s suite or individual modules. Part 1 provided an in-depth look at Ivalua as a firm and its specific solutions, and Part 2 gave a detailed analysis of solution strengths and weaknesses and a review of the product’s user experience.

Ivalua: Vendor Snapshot (Part 1) — Background & Solution Overview [PRO]


Ivalua is one in a very small group of providers that has built an end-to-end solution on a single technology stack (from the ground up) with sufficient breadth and depth across all key functional areas to enable it to serve as a single technology suite for procurement organizations. Its entire suite was built in-house on a single platform over the last 16 years. For organizations looking to improve overall procurement performance beyond sourcing-led savings and P2P-led compliance, a single platform approach, which goes beyond just functional enablement, can be a major advantage.

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot provides facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations make informed decisions about Ivalua's source-to-pay capability, its suitability for specific industry segments, and other offerings that an organization may want to consider as an alternative (or alongside). Part 1 of our analysis provides a company background and detailed solution overview, as well as a summary recommended fit suggestion for when organizations should consider Ivalua in the procurement technology area. The rest of this Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot research brief covers product strengths and weaknesses, competitor and SWOT analysis, user selection guides, and insider evaluation and selection considerations.

ISG SpendHQ: A Spend Analysis Tool Built by Sourcing Professionals for Sourcing Professionals — Year-End Tech Review


This post is part of our 2016 Year-End Procurement Tech Review series, in which we offer procurement practitioners a bird’s-eye view of some key vendors and their solutions in select categories. For the rest of this week, we’re highlighting companies in the risk management and spend analytics spaces.

SpendHQ, a spend analytics product born out of its parent company, Insight Sourcing Group (ISG), originated as an answer to many of the challenges its consultants faced in the field. Today, SpendHQ has evolved into a full-featured analytics platform that has the distinction of being one of the few spend analysis tools that was built by sourcing professionals for sourcing professionals, and it looks at procurement data the way these professionals want to see it. SpendHQ was built by people who knew exactly what kind of analytics they needed to identify everything from surface-level to buried savings opportunities.

Spend360: Solution Review & Analysis [Plus+]

data analytics

Although Spend360 is a relatively new entrant to the spend analytics solution space in North America, the company is well established in Europe. It commenced operations in 2011, and its founding team has been through previous startups in the sector. The firm’s experience is not only apparent in Spend360’s spend analytics technology but also in its ability to commercialize its capabilities. Since its North American launch in 2014, it has added 100 new clients in the region and now counts 400+ global customers. Spend360 has processed more than $1 trillion in spend, empowering it with a global category-level benchmarking and analytic capability that is competitively distinguished.

Analytics8 SpendView: A New, Affordable Spend Analysis Solution — Year-End Tech Review


This post is part of our 2016 Year-End Procurement Tech Review series, in which we offer procurement practitioners a bird’s-eye view of some key vendors and their solutions in select categories. This week, we’re highlighting companies in the risk management and spend analytics spaces.

There’s a new spend analytics vendor in town: Analytics8. This company recently introduced its SpendView product, an offering designed to bring modern, easy-to-use spend analysis capability to any organization with more than $10 million in annual spend at a reasonable price tag, but with functionality that is sufficiently deep to satisfy many of the needs of larger procurement organizations with unique requirements.