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

12/08/2016 By

Image by NAN sourced from Adobe Stock

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.

Quick Facts

  • Parent company founded in 2002
  • Solution development started internally in 2004 with an internal tool focus; productized in 2012
  • Headquartered in Atlanta
  • ISG has experienced more than 20% year-over-year growth for almost a decade, with this statistic constant across divisions
  • SpendHQ is up 60% year-over-year, with 32 new customers signed in the first half of 2016
  • Customers come from all verticals and range from mid-size companies to the largest of multinationals
  • SpendHQ is used and recommended by more than 50 private equity groups as part of their spend management and growth strategy
  • Consulting partners in Germany and France for global support

Background & Overview

ISG did not set out to build a standalone analytics package from the start. They began by building an application for their internal use, in large part because third-party spend analysis tools did not meet their requirements. As more and more customers saw the reports (developed internally with the tool) and results and reporting they delivered, they requested access. After prodding, ISG built a viewer that clients could use to track and keep on top of their spend.

When customers saw the data and the insights that could be derived if their buyers could drill in and explore in house, they asked if they could use the technology themselves to drive their own sourcing and category management efforts. Finally, in 2012, ISG decided to productize the solution and SpendHQ was formed. And of course, they brought in developers with expertise in analytics to help them build the application.

SpendHQ became a complete cloud-based SaaS spend analysis and visibility offering that was being used by a number of clients, including a number of Fortune 500/Global 2000 companies out of the gate. Flash forward to today, and SpendHQ appears to be winning as many spend analysis deals (if not more) than other procurement technology firms.

Competitors include:

  • AnyData Solutions
  • Analytics8
  • Rosslyn Analytics
  • Sievo
  • Spend360

Commentary & Summary

SpendHQ provides a unique set of spend analytics capabilities that a range of organizations can take advantage of. These include:

  • Private equity firms or other holding company structure in which a portfolio view into spend and supplier data is of particular value
  • Fortune 500 organizations that need a pragmatic, sourcing-driven view into spending data (and are looking to replace or augment other procurement analytics investments)
  • Larger middle market organizations that want to get started with spend analytics and are looking for guidance (and potentially value-added sourcing and cost reduction services that extend beyond supporting a spend analytics solution alone)

Of all of the spend analytics solutions in the market today, SpendHQ seems the most like it was constructed with the voice of the procurement customer (including sourcing consultants) in mind, without taking into consideration what other competitors had or were building in the area. This is SpendHQ’s greatest asset and, depending on the perspective, also its largest liability, given how decoupled it is from other technology assets in the market. Regardless, any procurement organization that requires a pragmatic spend analysis solution would be hard pressed to find another toolset in the market with such an “in your face” focus on identifying both surface-level and more hidden category savings opportunities.

For a more comprehensive analysis and guide for procurement organizations looking to understand whether they should consider adding the provider to their shortlists for consideration, please head over to the Spend Matters Almanac.