Yesterday we introduced you to SpendHQ, one of the strongest players in the spend visibility and analysis space from a software and services solution viewpoint. Unlike most spend analysis solutions that were designed and built by sourcing solution providers, SpendHQ was designed by sourcing and spend experts and implemented by a development team experienced in the implementation, and integration, of sourcing solutions.
In today’s post we are going to dive into the visibility module. The goal of the visibility module is to help the sourcing team, and the C-suite, get a handle on what the organization is spending over time (by quarter, month, or year — depending on the amount, and granularity, of the data available). The SpendHQ solution does this by pre-constructing a spend cube tailored to organizational needs and providing an interface that can drill into any level of detail, on the dimensions of relevance, and filter out any data items of interest, or non-interest, along any dimension. The solution then presents the data in a very easy to understand graphical display that is designed to be focussed on the most relevant items of interest, and only the most relevant items of interest. In the SpendHQ solution, no screen has more than three graphs. The designers, which have experience with a number of sourcing and spend products and associated dashboards, have found that any more than three graphs on a screen not only clutters the UI, but often distracts the decision makers from the most relevant data (which leads to more time spent analyzing the wrong data and less time focussed on what really matters from a savings perspective). This does not limit the usefulness of the product in any way as another key feature is that every screen tells you exactly where you are in a drill down as well as what filters have been applied. Furthermore, a user can always jump back up to any level or down to the bottom (using a pre-defined saved filter) and every piece of data is selectable and filterable dynamically. (So, even though the user only gets one cube, the user can extract any subset of that cube and view it along the dimensions of the user’s choice.) Plus, the current view, and all of the data behind it, can always be extracted to an Excel spreadsheet at any time (which makes it easy for the user to build reports, verify analysis, and load it into the supply management software of their choice for subsequent event execution and tracking).
The visibility product has six main components: home (the spend-trend dashboard), details, compare, compliance, reports, and tools.
The spend-trend home dashboard displays a spend trend graph for the default (but changeable) date range by month, broken down by category, the total spend, and the total number of vendors who contributed to that spend. From here, a user can drill into the relevant categories. Selecting a category brings up a screen with the spend for the category, broken into sub-categories.
The details section breaks the spending down by category and vendor, allowing the user to see trends by selected categories and subcategories, and, if desired, restrict that view to a select group of vendors.
The compliance section allows the user to quickly determine how much spend is being managed relative to the total organizational spend and how much of that managed spend is compliant. This allows the organization to not only determine the compliance rate, but the impact rate — which is the amount of compliant total addressable spend. This section is broken down into an overview section, a managed spend section, an unmanaged spend section, and a Rogue’s Gallery (TM) that summarizes the top unmanaged categories and the top non-compliant subcategories so that a spend manager can quickly zero-in on the biggest offenders with respect to compliance, and generate a list of the top locations, departments, and buyers.
The reports section allows the buyer to quickly access standard and pre-defined reports and the tools section allows the buyer to define their configuration options.
One of the unique features of the application is the Power Filter that allows a user to quickly select the spend range, dimensions of interest, and the relevant items as well as filter out the sub-dimensions and even line items of non-interest. With this tool, even the most novice of users can quickly slice and dice out just the data of interest to them. The user can save any and all filters of interest and (re) apply them at any time.
It’s not only a powerful spend visibility solution, but a very useable one. If your company is a mid-market company without a (useable) spend analysis or visibility solution that needs to get one up and running quickly, accurately, and usefully, take a very close look at SpendHQ. It’s a great starting point on your spend visibility and analysis journey.