The Spend Analysis Category

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5 Tips and Considerations for Your Next Spend Analysis RFP

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In a rapidly changing market of technology and service delivery providers, it has become increasingly challenging for many of today’s procurement leaders to both keep up with the pace of change to find true differentiation across the evolving vendor community. Most of the leading procurement organizations we have worked with in the past 12 months are focused on the following strategies: fold more spend under management, more quickly identify and tackle savings opportunities, and drive more value to internal stakeholders. Spend analysis is core to meeting these strategic goals. 

Spendata: Vendor Snapshot (Part 2) — Product Strengths and Weaknesses [PRO]

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Spendata is one of the first third-generation spend analytics platforms that takes analytics out of the fixed data warehouse world and into the modern big data era, where you can do the analysis you want, when you want, where you want and how you want. As it runs in the browser, your only restriction is an OS that runs Chrome (which are 99% of the OS deployments). And you don't have to worry about whether or not the vendor is GDPR compliant, because the data stays on your machine.

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot explores Spendata’s product strengths and weaknesses, providing facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations decide whether they should shortlist the vendor. It also offers a critique of the user interface. Part 1 of our analysis provided a company background and detailed solution overview, as well as a summary recommended fit suggestion for when organizations should consider Bonfire in the sourcing technology area. The final installment in this series will offer a SWOT analysis, user selection guide, competitive alternatives, and additional evaluation and selection considerations.

Spendata: Vendor Snapshot (Part 1) — Background and Solution Overview [PRO]

There are two views one can take of spend analysis. The modern view envisions that all of the data needs to be centralized in a data warehouse, business intelligence (BI) or spend analysis tool in a single standardized hierarchy agreed upon by the entire organization. The belief is that there needs to be only one view into a single version of the truth before any (spend-related) progress can be made. This desire to find the be-all single spend taxonomy structure bolted onto a corporate data warehouse is a fool’s errand because there is no single hierarchical structure that represents the multi-variate richness of spend/supply data that category managers need to extract value. For more on this topic, see here.

Then there is the postmodern view, where success depends upon taking appropriate action on whatever data you can get, whenever you can get it, in whatever form it's in. Any intelligence is better than no intelligence, and any savings or value you can identify today is worth more than the hypothetically better savings that you might identify next week, next month, or, more likely next quarter or year (which is likely how long it will take to agree on a common schema, collect all of the data across the organization, categorize it, cleanse it and enrich it). And while more data can allow for the identification of bigger opportunities, it's often not worth waiting until you have it all to start the analysis and start pursuing those opportunities that are available today.

In this series we are going to talk about a new and disruptive spend analysis solution that adopts the postmodern view of spend analysis, where a practitioner should be able to take action on any data she can get her hands on whenever she can get her hands on it and take immediate action wherever and whatever. This includes the situation where the practitioner already has access to an enterprise data warehouse or business intelligence solution, because the data doesn't always get into that solution right away — and even if it does, it's not always the case that the schema of the data warehouse or business intelligence solution will support the type of analysis that the practitioner needs to do.

Oh, and it’s only $699.

The Age of Analytics: Mainstream Adoption by Procurement Expected to Triple by 2021

Procurement has likely entered the beginning of a massive swell in the adoption of advanced analytics tools. Researchers from The Hackett Group have found that mainstream adoption of advanced analytics in procurement functions is expected to more than triple in the next two to three years, increasing from the current 20% to 63%. Given the benefits associated with the effective use of analytics, the increased adoption makes sense. Earlier research has found that analytics-driven organizations are twice as likely to be top financial performers and five times as likely to make faster and better decisions.

SolutionMap Subscriptions and Practitioner Selection Programs: A Primer and Sneak Peek at Q1 2018 SolutionMap [PRO]

Earlier today Spend Matters released its Q1 2018 SolutionMap. The release now comprises six technology areas with individual vendor rankings (spend and procurement analytics, sourcing, supplier management, contract lifecycle management, e-procurement and invoice-to-pay) and three composite suite views (strategic procurement technologies, procure-to-pay and source-to-pay).

Our goal with SolutionMap is very different from what other analyst firms seek to achieve with their ranking systems. This is apparent even at our “free” level. The SolutionMap approach starts by releasing the ranking charts in the public domain, providing multiple persona-based views of vendor capability (45 comparative 2/2 matrices in total for the Q1 2018 release). We take a truly data-driven approach to plotting vendors, where an “average” score positions a provider in the dead center of a chart. SolutionMap ranking charts also make it easy to distinguish analyst scoring from customer scoring, plotting the data on separate analyst and customer axes. Finally, the Q1 2018 release actually reflects the time frame of its publication: We update the underlying data set and charts for SolutionMap on a quarterly basis.

Admittedly, the “free” stuff is designed to pique your interest. Unlike some of our peers in the analyst world, we have not made SolutionMap “reprint friendly” for the maximum number of vendors through grade inflation. Why? Because in the world of procurement technology, not everyone is “above average” like the children of Lake Wobegon. There’s an average, and there’s a deviation from average — positive and negative. Obfuscating these deviations might produce charts that make people feel good about buying decisions up front, but other than a near-term CYA, how useful will these be in the long run for those relying on them for, well, anything?

At the new SolutionMap subscriber level — separate from Spend Matters PRO — the tangible value of SolutionMap becomes even clearer. At this level, we unpack the underlying data we show for the analyst scoring by rated sub-category. For example, in the Supplier Management SolutionMap, you can see individual, tiered-based scoring for capabilities such as master data management (MDM), supplier onboarding support, core supplier information management (SIM) and supplier performance management, among other areas. Customer ratings (e.g., level of value perceived, quick deployment, ROI) are also visible.

To see the full level of data available to SolutionMap subscribers, check out the currently available reports from the Q1 2018 release:

There are views of the data beyond those provided in these reports (e.g., tiered-based scoring and ranked scoring for all sub-components that comprise an area, such as master data management within the Supplier Management report). Per our competitive intelligence policy, however, we reserve this view for practitioners going through a selection process (or the consultancies advising them), with strict licensing. This prevents comparative information from falling into the hands of competing vendors participating in SolutionMap. We take intellectual property protection and data privacy, for providers and practitioners, very seriously here at Spend Matters; otherwise, we’d find ourselves out of business quickly.

So, how exactly does all of this work? Read on as we unpack a SolutionMap Insider-level example within Supplier Management from the Q1 2018 SolutionMap. Specifically, we compare Jaggaer with Jaggaer Advantage (formerly BravoSolution) to showcase how it all works.

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Beroe LiVE Poll: Spend Analysis Helps Trim Costs up to 5%

A procurement organization’s spend data usually resides in various databases and spreadsheets, often making it difficult to collate them into one coherent form for reporting purposes. However, procurement organizations can reap enormous benefits by bringing in much needed visibility into spend patterns. The importance of spend analytics has not gone unnoticed: 38% of procurement leaders had rated spend analysis as the most critical area to receive investment, according to Deloitte's 2016 Global CPO Survey.

E-Sourcing and Spend Analytics 2018 Trends and Forecast (Part 3: Provider Analysis) [PRO]

After years of relative stability in the e-sourcing and spend analytics market, 2018 appears to be ushering in a period of disruption and innovation for solution providers. From the early rise of artificial intelligence to greater adoption and innovation around sourcing optimization to the rapid emergence of contract-based analytics as a complement to traditional spend analysis, 2018 promises to be the year where change is just about the only constant in these markets. And, of course, we expect M&A activity to continue in 2018, as well, fueled by private equity interest in the sector and a general trend toward consolidation — which may or may not be good for customers, depending on the circumstances.

This is the third installment of our 2018 procurement technology trend and forecast series, focusing on solution provider trends and priorities within e-sourcing and spend analytics. Part 1 and Part 2 of this series provide an analysis and exploration of customer trends. In today’s PRO research brief, we turn our attention to the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) and the continued trend toward M&A and consolidation within the procurement technology suite, sourcing and spend analytics markets. We also include a chart showing Jason Busch’s top five vendors most likely to be acquired in the next 12–18 months in the sourcing and spend analytics markets, along with a quick rationale as to “why” and “who”.

Following today’s analysis, the final installments in this series will feature additional trends (e.g., the rise of contract-based analytics) and conclude with our 2018 e-sourcing and spend analytics market sizing, forecast and adoption outlook.

E-Sourcing and Spend Analytics 2018 Trends and Forecast: Customer Adoption and Priorities (Part 2) [PRO]

The Spend Matters 2018 Trends and Predictions series is in full swing this quarter. In January, we published our complete e-procurement market commentary and forecast series (see Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3). Then in February, we continued the series with our first installment covering the e-sourcing and spend analytics markets, starting with two of five trends driving customer adoption and priorities. Today, we conclude our look at predictions and trends for these markets by exploring three additional developments: valuing suite optionality, expanding sourcing and spend analytics use cases, and the streamlining of RFI and deployment processes.

E-Sourcing and Spend Analytics 2018 Trends and Forecast (Part 1): Customer Adoption and Priorities [PRO]

Earlier this year we began our 2018 trends and predictions series, starting first with the e-procurement market. This earlier series is a useful primer for this one, and readers may find it worthwhile to read Part 1 (Customer Adoption and Priorities), as well as Part 2 and Part 3 (Provider Analysis and Market Sizing). Today, we continue our procurement technology trend and forecast series by diving into customer adoption trends and priorities within the e-sourcing and spend analytics markets.

We begin this exploration by analyzing what customers are valuing most from a selection and deployment perspective in 2018, as well as trends, such as IBM Emptoris migration, driving these activities. Then, in later installments in this series, we’ll offer insight into e-sourcing and spend analytics technology provider trends and strategies of note. Finally, we will share our comparative 2018 market growth and sizing estimates for both the e-sourcing and spend analytics.

From a customer adoption perspective, we see five distinctive trends, each of which we will cover in Parts 1 and 2 of the series: 

  1. Functionality Be Dammed! The Rise of the Nimble Buying Persona
  2. IBM Emptoris Migrations Accelerate
  3. Suite Optionality
  4. Expanding Sourcing and Spend Analytics Use Cases
  5. The Streamlining of RFI and Deployment Processes 

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Private Equity Procurement Optimization: Spend Visibility is Foundational for Accelerated EBITDA Improvement

Procurement optimization has become one of the most important EBITDA improvement levers for private equity firms and their operating partners. With investment valuations on the rise, private equity firms are increasingly relying on implementing operational efficiencies to quickly accelerate savings and maximize profits — and focusing in on procurement is becoming the “go-to” strategy. In addition, extended hold times of portfolio companies and lower management fees due to less capital being deployed on a regular basis has led to PE firms to ask their operating partners to do more with less.