Author Archives: Eric Hiller



Product cost management tool overview: Galorath’s SEER suite of costing solutions (Part 2) — Use cases, implementation, ROI and summary analysis

Hello there, spend analytics / Product Cost Management crowd. Welcome to Part 2 of this Spend Matters PRO series on Galorath’s SEER suite of software tools for product cost modeling.

In Part 1, we told you about our summary of the product suite from an executive point of view, and we looked at the SEER solution capabilities in detail, which are extensive. But that’s no surprise since Galorath has been focused on knowledge-based project and product cost estimation for over 40 years.

In this installment, we’ll explore the use cases (manufacturing, software and even space), discuss implementation/ROI, detail its data capabilities and offer a summary analysis of Galorath’s SEER.

Product cost management tool overview: Galorath’s SEER suite of costing solutions (Part 1) — Solution overview

Hello there, spend analytics / Product Cost Management crowd. In March, we started our series on deep dives into product cost management tools, looking at WTP, What's the Price. Recently, we continued the PCM product round-up with a two-part review of aPriori here and here.

Over the last few weeks, I have spoken with some of the senior executive team at Galorath Inc., a firm that has been on the forefront of knowledge-based project and product cost estimation for over 40 years. Galorath makes the SEER suite of software tools. I caught up with their VP of Product Development, Karen McRitchie, and VP of Strategic Sales, Brian Glauser, to view in-depth demos and explanations of some of their products (you too can view some of these demo’s on Galorath’s YouTube channel).

This two-part Spend Matters PRO series will include a company background, a solution overview and a detailed look at its capabilities. Part 2 will explore the use cases (manufacturing, software and even space), discuss implementation/ROI, detail its data capabilities and offer a summary analysis.

So, let’s continue on our walk through the enchanted forest of spend analytics / costing software solutions with a look at Galorath’s SEER.

aPriori: Product Cost Management tool spotlight (Part 2) — Use Cases, Depth of Solution, ROI, Summary Analysis

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Part 2 of this Spend Matters PRO series will look at an array of use cases for aPriori’s capabilities in product cost management. It also will include profiles of who should use the solution, the depth and breadth of the solution, how quickly aPriori can return value, and a summary analysis.

For full disclosure, I wanted to share my history with aPriori. I started the research that yielded aPriori’s technology in 1996, was the founding CEO of aPriori in 2002 and was the chief product officer and VP of cost modeling through 2009. So I know its past, and in my role now with the PCM consulting firm Hiller Associates, I just learned more about its present status.

I spoke recently with product management, sales and services at aPriori to get some in-depth demos of current product functionality and the services that the company provides to its customers.

Part 1 of the series gives a detailed solution overview, but let’s dive in to the use cases for aPriori’s offering.

aPriori: Product Cost Management tool spotlight (Part 1) — Solution Overview

Hello there spend analytics/product cost management crowd. A few months ago, we started our Spend Matters PRO series on deep dives into product cost management tools, looking at WTP, What's the Price.

It feels like a long time since then in so many ways because of the coronavirus pandemic, but we are moving forward with our series. What's the Price was on one end of the spectrum as a top-down, index-based costing tool focused on the “everyman” buyer’s needs.

Today we're going to explore another corner of the multi-dimensional PCM space by looking at aPriori.

For full disclosure, I wanted to share my history with aPriori. I started the research that yielded aPriori’s technology in 1996, was the founding CEO of aPriori in 2002, and was the chief product officer and VP of cost modeling through 2009. So I know its past, and in my role now with the PCM consulting firm Hiller Associates, I just learned more about its present status.

I spoke recently with product management, sales and services at aPriori to get some in-depth demos of current product functionality and the services that the company provides to its customers.

Part 1 of this aPriori analysis looks at its history, its current capabilities and how it works. Part 2 will look at an array of use cases for aPriori’s solution. It also will include user profiles and a summary analysis.

What’s the Price: Expert product cost management vendor review — a PRO Collab brief

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Editor’s note: This vendor review of What's the Price is the first in our "PRO Collab" series. Spend Matters will be inviting our expert friends in the industry to collaborate with us and complement our PRO coverage of the procurement, finance and supply chain solution landscape. Eric Hiller, the most knowledgeable person we’ve ever met in the product cost management sector, will kick off our Pro Collab initiative with his perspective on how the vendor What’s the Price fits into the cost modeling landscape.

Hello there, spend analytics crowd, product cost management fans and anyone else interested in improving the bottom line!

Back in December, Spend Matters was kind enough to invite me to do a two-part series on the most popular tools for product cost management on the market today (see Part 1 and Part 2). These tools spanned a wide range of use cases, including should-costing, target costing, design for manufacturing and assembly, parametric costing, spend analytics, etc.

Those articles were written from a historical perspective, and they classified solutions into sub-groupings by how they work. We received quite a lot of positive feedback on these articles, but many readers also asked us if we could go deeper into some of these applications and what their proper uses are in driving impact to the bottom line. We want to make sure that we help everyone as much as possible, so this is the first in hopefully a larger series of these spotlights on product cost management software tools.

We're starting today with one of the youngest tools on the market, What’s the Price, or WTP.

What's the Price entered the market about 2012 as the brainchild of three founders: CFO Jan-Paul Plieger, a former CEO and supply chain economist; CEO Robert Driessen, a seasoned supply chain procurement executive; and CTO Nico Bontenbal, a software entrepreneur.

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In January, Jan-Paul and Robert welcomed me to their offices in Rossum, Netherlands, where they gave me a personal demo of the software and an in-depth explanation of how they have been able to help customers. They even were kind enough to give me a demo license to tool around in the application and put the horse through its paces.

Here’s my detailed take on the solution from a product cost management perspective.