Iasta – Jason Busch analyses their new procurement platform / solution

Running up to Christmas, my friends and colleague at Spend Matters US featured some very interesting technology analysis on a number of solution providers in our market. In one series, Jason Busch looks at Iasta in more detail. We gave an overview of the firm here, but we haven’t featured any detailed product reviews here previously.

Jason took a close look at the new Iasta platform – or their “visualization and analytical capabilities” as he put it. It’s more than a traditional spend analysis or spend visibility product – what Iasta are trying to do is create a procurement dashboard for the senior executive that combines multiple data sources into a solution set that meets a range of CPO-type needs.

This doesn’t mean that Iasta are moving away from their heritage in eSourcing. As Jason says

“Moreover, customers, really at all stages of maturity, like it – we have confirmed this in dozens of reference discussions. Iasta has also expanded its sourcing capability into related areas, including supplier management and supplier performance management.”

But the new dashboard goes further. Iasta configure the solution for each customer based on how they want it - no two deployments are alike. The fields, presentation layer and ultimate drillable dashboard view are different. Users may opt, for example, to prioritize different dashboards based on initiative and/or reporting. This might include a main dashboard that provides a classic spend analysis view such as spend by category, supplier group, classification code, business unit, country (with a map view), and the like. This view might also include links to specific initiatives as well as initiative count (total), project leadership, and total supplier count.

More information can be available via a single click to drill into the dashboard – that can include other procurement such as savings, or third party data like supplier information around environmental or other data.

“In addition, configurable dashboards extend to trending data (perhaps within procurement but not limited to it) and geospatial analysis. More advanced users may opt to use dashboard views for forecasting and scenario analysis based on commodities, currencies, capacity, and demand, bridging the gap between traditional silo-based systems such as spend analysis, S&OP and commodity management.”

Linking specific initiatives to the data and analytics also gives some powerful tools for monitoring internal progress and performance as well as the external facing analytics. For instance, as Jason says,

“The power of the dashboard framework for initiatives within the EAS suite, however, is about being able to tag specific employees, suppliers and third-parties to programs (in addition to other metric-driven data), all of which can roll-up to other views (e.g., show me the aggregate savings targets for John  Smith across all of his activities and the percentage savings implemented for programs in the past 12 months). It's powerful stuff from a management perspective, especially given how one can both drill into results and then launch into actual initiative-focused tools from the dashboard (e.g., a specific optimization-based sourcing event).

It looks like a useful and pretty innovative tool from Iasta – we’ll take a closer look at it here during 2013, but for the moment, if you are interested then do read Jason’s full articles here and here.

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