A Spend Radar Update: The Beacon Grows (Part 3)

Please click here for Part 1 and Part 2 of this post.

One of the most interesting directions that Spend Radar is taking with its solution is the ability to enrich spend data sets with third-party information that one would not usually associate with spend visibility tools. A great example is an instance Spend Radar has configured, showing spend data in the context of Department of Transportation information about suppliers. For example, users can see precisely how much they spend with suppliers that have violations (and what specific infractions have been slapped against a transportation provider). With the additional enrichment fields Spend Radar enables, such an analysis might show that an organization's spend accounts for 20% of a carrier's revenue, yet that carrier is responsible for 10% of the overall violations in one area. See the graphic, below, as an example of how this looks in practice.

To get more specific, a user can see, in a single screen, their FTL, LTL and related transportation suppliers based on overall spending. But in the context of looking at this information, they can also see the number of driver violations, vehicle violations, driver fitness levels, controlled substance violations, fatigued driver citations, unsafe driver citations, and vehicle maintenance citations, among other reported fields. And they can also view this information, zeroing in on each infraction area and seeing how much spend they have with a given supplier with violations in each area (and the number of violations).

Spend Radar is also moving down the path of enabling category specific analyses in a range of other spend areas, including T&E. For example, for hotel rooms (a top three component of travel spending), a configuration can show the number of nights per facility, the average rate paid, minimum rates paid, maximum rates paid and price variance. Users can do the same for air travel (by route), car hire, etc. Analyses such as these may set up the opportunity to either gain credits from travel vendors based on charges exceeding contracted amounts or to better negotiate with vendors in the future by showing specific patterns and the precise amount of (historic) business on the line. In addition, such a reference point can help organizations more rapidly claim negotiated rebates from airlines based on negotiated terms and specific spending or related thresholds that can trigger rebate checks.

Furthermore, Spend Radar is beginning to integrate highly specific price index data into its applications as well, but this is a topic we'll tackle in a forthcoming series on the potential to enable better sourcing, contracting, compliance and related benefits by gaining visibility to price index data using a spend analytics toolset. Regardless, Spend Matters believes the incorporation of regional price index data for such categories as metals (ferrous and non-ferrous), resins, transportation surcharges, etc. will provide transformative visibility into data that changes how companies manage many aspects of the supplier lifecycle up to payment (e.g., proactively paying the non value-added component of a SKU based on an index price for the underlying material(s) rather than the actual invoice amount).

Another slick feature of the current Spend Radar release is the deployment of geo-spatial mapping on top of a traditional BI and cube environment. A user might click to gain a map view of the world or a region to look at International Trade Commission data around imports, exports, tariffs, etc. in the context of their own spending history by region, country, supplier, etc. Even though it's possible to get in the weeds quite quickly with this information, you're never more than a tab click away in the Spend Radar analytics UI to conduct category analysis, opportunity assessments, market analyses, compliance analyses or to gain visibility into supplier diversity, financial risk, safety and related information.

Jason Busch

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