In the first two parts of this series, we introduced you to SpendHQ, one of the strongest, but yet most overlooked, players in the spend visibility and analysis space from a software and services solution viewpoint. As noted, the SpendHQ solution, which currently consists of a spend visibility and category management module that will soon be accompanied by a contract (metadata) management module, is a good starting point for a company which needs to get up and running with spend visibility quickly.
The category management product has five main components: dashboard, details, order analytics, pricing, and savings.
The dashboard summarizes the spend from spend visibility, the managed spend, the core list compliance, and the pricing accuracy as well as metrics related to company, supplier, item, buyer, location, and budget center, among other identifiers. If the user selects pricing tier, she will see the average order size, total orders, and wholesale spend for the relevant pricing tier. From the dashboard, the user can quickly drill into the top level categories. In addition to the total spend trend graph for the default time period, the user can also see the maverick spend by supplier, ordered by the suppliers who receive the most maverick spend. Or, the user can drill into the metrics.
The details section is designed to allow a user to quickly drill into a category and get the relevant subcategory and item, buyer, or location information related to that category. On the item screen, for example, the buyer can quickly see the total spend, the total unit, the most recent price, the price trend, MSRP (if known), and the date of last purchase.
The order analytics section is designed to allow a user to drill into the order patterns for a category or subcategory and see the average order size and how it changes over time. A user can drill into the components of an average order or into the detail of all orders in the time period.
The pricing section is designed to allow a user to analyze the price paid for an item, or set of items, over time, relative to the price that should be paid. The user can see the total overcharges and undercharges for the time period in question, the net result, and the overall pricing accuracy. This allows a buyer to not only figure out where overcharges are rampant, but where it makes sense to go after them. If the item, or category, also had a significant number of undercharges (because the retail price went down during the time period and the supplier charged retail instead of contract throughout the time period) and the net result is that the net amount lost was small, it might not be a good idea to go after the supplier on those items as they will insist the undercharges be recognized (and be applied against a category where they rampantly overcharged you).
The savings section shows the user how the organization fared on a category, subcategory, or item over time relative to a (set of) baseline price(s) for the category from the comparative time period (before the current prices were put in place).
The details component is broken down into overview, item detail, buyer detail, and location detail subcomponents, allowing a user to see, for the category or categories of interest, the relative spends and then dive in by item, buyer, or location. In the item detail, the buyer can drill down into full purchase history by buyer if she desires.
All-in-all, the SpendHQ solution gives the user great visibility into their category spend, and the drivers of that spend (be it a department, location, or rogue set of buyers) and helps the organization manage that spend.