Companies who follow spend analytics practices report millions of dollars in year-over-year savings.

Spend Analytics is the cornerstone of any procurement practice. In order to maximize savings and manage your supply base more effectively, it is pivotal that you can answer the following questions:

  • What are you spending your money on?
  • Who are you spending your money with?
  • Are you getting the best price?
  • How does your pricing compare to the market?
  • Are you reaching your corporate goals?

A Spend Analytics solution provides answers to those questions and empowers data-driven decisions; yet many companies have not adopted a centralized, scalable solution. Instead, they manually pull together data from multiple sources, spend days or weeks cleaning and compiling the data, and repeat the process for each new project.

Despite the benefits that a Spend Analytics solution provides and the hassle of not having one in place, it can be difficult for companies to select a solution due to the following concerns and roadblocks:

Lack of Control

Most Spend Analytics solutions available in the market are Managed-Services solutions. You send your data to the Managed Service Provider (MSP), they clean and classify your data, and then you are provided with access to reporting on their environment. The MSP controls how the data is cleaned and classified, what percent of the data is addressed, what analysis is available in the reporting, and oftentimes the taxonomy used for classification. While changes are sometimes available, there are always limitations.

Lack of Flexibility

Managed-Services solutions may not have the ability to support specific business initiatives, such as reporting on late invoice payments, movements in the market, financial risk of your suppliers, and preferred suppliers. Additionally, these solutions do not integrate into your business intelligence platform.

Cost Prohibitive

Any Spend Analytics solution comes with a price. With a Managed-Service solution, those costs can be extensive. Charges you can experience with a Managed-Service solution include:

  • initial cleansing, classifying, and set-up of the account
  • every refresh of the data
  • every user who has access to the reporting
  • any change to the reporting or inclusion of new elements

Many companies are unable to support a long term Spend Analysis solution due to the ongoing investment in the service provider.

SPENDVIEW: A new and refreshing approach to Spend Analytics

SpendView is a Spend Analytics platform built on the Qlik platform. It’s different than other solutions because it provides the following benefits:

Enables Ownership

SpendView is a Spend Analytics platform that YOU own. You determine:

  • the rules that cleanse and classify your data
  • how much of the data is addressed
  • the reports and visuals
  • how often the data is refreshed
  • the taxonomy that is being used

You have the autonomy to use the tool to best suit your needs.

Flexible Model

SpendView is a set of applications built within the Qlik Technologies to be used with QlikView and Qlik Sense. By utilizing a solution that integrates with a broader data visualization platform, you can turn data into insights across all aspects of your business. At any time, you have the flexibility to add or alter reports, enhance your solution with third-party data, and refresh the data. Make changes to the system as you see fit, without relying on an outside vendor.

Cost Friendly

Since you own SpendView, there are no fees for refreshes, changes, or additional reporting. There are also no recurring costs for the number of users who have access to the reporting. SpendView provides a Spend Analytics solution at a faction of the price compared to other vendors.

SpendView Modules

SpendView is comprised of three modules: Vendor Management, Classification Rules Engine, and Spend Assessment.

1. Vendor Management

The Vendor Management Application allows you to create rules that cleanse and normalize your vendor details and assign supplier level categories. The vendor details are loaded from all of your vendor sources and displayed within the tool. You are able to search your supply base and determine which suppliers have been assigned a rule within the system.

Click on the image to view interactive demo

Create a rule to address a specific supplier or craft a rule to address multiple suppliers using the wildcard (*).

Example: There are 7 unique instances of the supplier Motion Industries, Inc. within the system. In order to address each of the 7 instances, we can either create 7 rules or 1 rule using the wildcard to address all of them. A rule ‘Motion Ind*’ will assign all 7 instances to a single Parent Name, along with any new instances added to the system which begin with ‘Motion Ind’. The key is to determine a rule which will address the existing suppliers in the system, as well as further instances that may be added. It is important to make your rule broad enough to be scalable, yet specific enough to avoid inaccurate assignments. A rule such as ‘Motion*’ would be too broad because it could possibly assign suppliers such as ‘Motion Textile’ or ‘Motion Control’.

In addition to normalizing the supplier names, the system allows the ability to assign supplier level categories, such as preferred, managed, sourceable, direct/indirect, or even a high level category. The same rule that can normalize the supplier name can be used to make such assignments. Beyond the benefits of determining your spend by these supplier level categories, it can also make classifying your spend easier when you apply a high level category.

New rules are continuously applied to new records that are added to the source system. This allows for a scalable solution that doesn’t require major upkeep.

2. Classification Rules Engine

The Classification Rules Engine allows you to create rules that will classify your data to any taxonomy. You can utilize any combination of fields to classify your data at the multiple levels. Combine all of your spend transactions into one platform to determine the rules necessary to accurately classify your data.

Click on the image to view interactive demo

Incorporate any taxonomy to suit your business and help you focus on the areas that are important to your sourcing efforts. An effective classification taxonomy is key to making sense of your data. While many organizations utilize existing taxonomies, such as UNSPSC or NAICS codes, you might consider adjusting an existing taxonomy or developing your own. Creating your own taxonomy provide you with a couple of key benefits:

1.  Time savings – UNSPSC contain over 50,000 options, and there are thousands of NAICS codes as well. The time and effort to classify to that level of granularity and specificity can be extremely time consuming.

2.  Wade through unnecessary detail – there is little benefit to extreme granularity. Take office supplies as an example: Would you ever source pens or binder clips? Most organizations source paper and toner, and then all other office supplies is grouped together. Your taxonomy should inform and support how you source the category.

Crafting your own custom classification rules provides scalability, automation, and greater accuracy. No one understands your spend and how to group it better than you. While Managed-Service providers spend a considerable amount of time perfecting their craft, their services are generalized to support multiple industries. This often leads to general taxonomies, general rules, and general reporting which requires your involvement to refine, revise, and improve upon the classifications. Additionally, Managed-Service providers focus on the largest amounts of spend and work down. While this gets your overall spend percentage to the agreed amount, it often discounts key insights, such as your rogue spending with small one-off purchases and suppliers not under contract. We see this information unclassified too often because the Managed-Service provider has incentive to address the most amount of spend with the least amount of effort. With the ability to classify your spend based on your own priorities, you can address all of the spend in your system.

3. Spend Assessment

The Spend Assessment Application provides visibility into your cleansed and classified spend, uncovering insight and allowing you to make data-driven decisions. Spend Assessment allows you to:

  • Analyze your data in a user-friendly interface that can be customized to your specific needs
  • Identify categories with high spend and a large number of suppliers
  • Track your prices over time and across suppliers
  • Compare your price movements to movements in the market
  • Track your invoice payments and costs

Click on the image to view interactive demo

Taking ownership of your Spend Analytics may seem like a daunting task, but SpendView simplifies the process with easy tools and best practices built into the product.

Analytics8 Analytics8 is a data and analytics consultancy. We help companies translate their data into meaningful and actionable information so they can stay ahead in a rapidly changing world.
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