Sievo – welcome to our new sponsor, measuring procurement savings properly

You may have noticed a new “Associate sponsor” logo to your right – we’re delighted to welcome Sievo as partners of Spend Matters UK/Europe.  I’m particularly happy for a number of reasons. Unusually, I came across the firm before my US colleagues, perhaps not surprising as they are a Finnish firm by origin, founded in 2003, headquartered still in Helsinki, but increasingly international.  And secondly, Sievo has a product that is still pretty much unique in the procurement solutions space, and in a field that is a long standing personal interest of mine – savings measurement.

Sievo provide software that supports detailed spend analysis, but also enables the most meaningful automated measurement of procurement performance and ‘savings’ that I have seen anywhere.  Now measuring savings has been a hot topic for as long as I’ve been in the profession, and most of us know that in many organisations, the reported “procurement savings” figures are a combination of guesswork, deception and a little bit of real data.

That often means we end up with credibility issues for procurement, once colleagues start questioning the basis for our numbers. I rather liked this soundbite from the Sievo website. “Having your procurement savings being constantly challenged because they are not visible in the company’s accounts is demotivating, time consuming and point blank insulting”.

But Sievo’s system actually cuts through that, taking spend analysis to the line item level and separating out many of the factors that traditionally distort savings measures. So how did currency movements affect prices? What about the volume effect? The end result is a savings analysis that stands up to the most rigourous scrutiny and has credibility with the CFO and other key business colleagues.

Now this level of analysis has other benefits beyond “just” the savings aspects, of course.  It takes us into the potential benefits that can be driven by deep spend analytics, and I’ve noticed more recently that Sievo are emphasising that aspect of their product too. It can support spend controls and elimination of maverick buying, for instance, and also help in predicting future purchases and play usefully into the planning and budgeting cycle.

The firm has an impressive senior team too, and I’m looking forward to catching up with them soon – we’ll have more on Sievo to come in the near future.

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