It’s been a while since Part I, where we covered the inclusion of native analytics capability, improved native contract management capability, and better integrated SIM & SPM capabilities in the Iasta platform and Part II where we covered extensive support for third party data feeds, P2P integration capabilities, and customizable reporting, but that doesn’t mean Iasta has been sleeping. Since then they’ve had a new major release, and a few minor releases, of their platform, which have included the following improvements:
Extended and Streamlined Project Management
One of the big changes was the ability for an organization, and a user, to define configurable project fields with whatever information they want to track — and all of the user-defined fields can be included in scorecards and analytics. So, in addition to name, start date, end date, etc. you can have custom sub-types, budget codes, execution hours, etc. The project team can be defined by role, with as few or as many roles as you like, and each role can have the user assigned, and re-assigned, as necessary.
Furthermore, setting up a project is a quick 5-step wizard-driven process:
- Basic Project Metadata
- Project Team and Customized Fields
- Project Classification and Value
- Bid Type, Display Settings, and Additional (Optional) Project Properties
- Lots and Items
In addition to the standard Smart Analytics module that was introduced in version 8, Iasta has added a new Executive Analytics module built on top of the Smart Analytics module that includes a set of dashboards with the most commonly requested executive reports and requests split into sourcing, scorecard, contract, profile, and trending dashboards.
In addition, each user can define their own dashboards with their own reports on any data fields associated with any data element from any project, supplier, contract, scorecard, etc. they have access to. New dashboards that can come pre-packaged with the solution include diversity and savings tracking dashboards. If you integrate an e-Procurement or Accounts Payable system feed (with a daily or weekly update), the reports on the savings tracking dashboard will compare actual versus projected spend and show you captured versus projected savings.
Excel Bidding & Embedded Optimization
Not only can bids be submitted in Excel, but Iasta finally added the ability to define individual bid fields in an Excel spreadsheet and upload complete bids broken down on all relevant cost dimensions – unit quote, shipping, tariffs, surcharges, etc. In addition, the optimization module, which used to be stand-alone (and which required projects to be imported to build models), is now embedded in the main suite and it’s easy to switch to the optimization tab and pre-populate a model with bids collected in an RFX.
Streamlined Supplier Portal
One thing Iasta has learned is that, even if a supplier makes a claim to the contrary, they are never as technical or proficient with the tool as the buyer and the best way to not only get a supplier to use a tool, but to minimize the supplier management and support time required as well, is to make that tool as easy to use as possible from the perspective of the supplier. As a result, they have completely redesigned their supplier portal so that when a supplier (rep) logs in, they can quickly see their current tasks in a front-and-center task list that breaks down their task by type, their active projects by status, their most recently completed tasks and projects, and quick links to their profile, training, and scorecards. Each project has a clear and succinct timeline and status for each of their requirements, bid and award history is available for each lot, and outstanding surveys are on the main page as well.
Survey navigation is greatly improved, with the user being able to quickly jump to specific pages and see the status of each page that is her responsibility. She can also assign pages to other team members if their input is needed or they are better able to provide the information. Everything is fully indexed and searchable and it’s designed to be just as easy for a supplier to manage her bidding and survey completion projects as it is for a buyer to manage his RFX and survey creation projects.
In their newest version, Iasta has implemented a screen-share technology where a user can send her colleague or superior a link through an email that they can use to enter a screen-share with the user within the Iasta application, see what the user sees, and even take over the mouse and drive if need be. The Iasta platform is providing a great, easy, way to get multiple users on the same page.
Sourcing platform for users and bosses too. Sweet.
SaaS on the cloud, always on, real-time reporting complete. L33t.
Analyze this. Auctions, Performance. Real time data.
Optimize It. Contracts, and vendor schema.
One. Two. Smart-Source Success!
Sourcing Smart-Source Style.