Simfoni – Ascending the Scales in Spend Analysis

Simfoni has matured and progressed quite a bit since we last covered them on Sourcing Innovation back in 2017 (in our article that discussed when a quartet’s not enough), and has even progressed since the doctor last co-covered them on Spend Matters in early 2022 (although the site revamp has conveniently erased his author credit from many of the series he co-authored) in their most recent 3-part vendor analysis (Part I, Part II, and Part III). (Note that a Spend Matters ContentHub subscription will be required to view this three-part series.)

Since the early days, when Simfoni was essentially a spend analytics solution built on Microsoft Power BI with some roll-your own customized spend analytics capabilities embedded with spend analytics process expertise, they have added quite a lot of capability on top, including both out-of-the-box and some DiY (do it yourself) analyses as well as:

  • Extensive out-of-the-box opportunity assessments
  • Impact assessments regarding GHG, ESG, and CSR elements
  • Self-serve classification and taxonomy management
  • Advanced dashboards and custom data analysis
  • Sourcing pipeline management
  • S2C (Source-to-Contract) capability accelerated through its EC Sourcing Group acquisition, including the following:
    • Self-Source/Full e-RFX (RFI, RFP, RFQ, etc.)
    • Supplier Management
    • Contract Management
  • Workflow Routing & Enablement
  • Catalog Management & Creation
  • BuyDesk & Global Sourcing Support
  • Invoice Management
  • Performance Management & Savings Tracking

In this update, we’re going to focus on Simfoni Spend Analytics. We’ll cover their S2C capability (which we last covered in 2016 in our post on how EC Sourcing was getting ready to take the mid-market by storm, and the doctor last co-covered on Spend Matters in 2021 on their 3-part vendor analysis: Part I, Part II, and Part III), in a later update. Note that we will not be covering their Global BuyDesk, their back-office GPO / Procurement-as-a-Service offering, or their Tail Spend Management Services as we focus on technology products only in this blog. But if you’re short on Procurement People Power or Category Competence, we do suggest checking these offerings out. After all, there are advantages to using the same provider for software and services, especially considering the breadth of their platform which provides a complete history and additional advantages once you’re ready to take over self-sourcing and make procurement personal.

The first screen you see in Simfoni Analytics is the “Terminal” which is the cross-application dashboard that front-ends the analytics solution providing a jumping point into key metrics and insights from each module of the full Simfoni platform, including analytics, sourcing, supplier management, and contracts. The Terminal is configurable, with several pre-built out-of-the-box widgets to choose from, which can even include currency trends / heat maps, quick links into key parts of the platform, and even (third party) content feeds.

From the Terminal, the most common jumping point will be Analytics, which has its own landing page that provides the entry point for all of the built-in dashboards which include:

  • Insights: spend summary for the current month vs the prior month, and the same month one year ago (in terms of spend, transactions, suppliers, and other key data points)
  • Spend: classic spend summary (total suppliers, transactions, POs, categories, suppliers, business units, trends, etc.)
  • Geo Mapping: spend breakdowns by regions / countries (and visual bubble map overlays)
  • Trend Analysis: insight into spend trends by supplier, category, region, etc.
  • Category Console: spend breakdowns by category and segmentation by value bracket
  • Spend Distribution: taxonometric breakdowns
  • Commonality Analysis: supplier by count of entity analysis and associated spend
  • Supplier Normalization: suppliers by duplicate count / familying opportunity and impacted spend
  • Supplier Spend Profiles: spend analysis dashboard restricted to a single supplier, possibly augmented with risk, impact, or other customized insight
  • Tail Spend: a spend dashboard limited to, and customized on, tail spend including breakdowns by invoice groupings, vendor groupings, and transaction groupings for insights into spend type (contract/non contract, direct/indirect), variance, and transaction cost

and may also include:

  • Supplier Risk: a risk dashboard based upon integrated third-party risk data feeds (from Darkbeam, out-of-the-box with subscription, or bring your own subscriptions like BVD or Ecovadis)
  • Spend Impact: the impact of your organizational spend from an environmental or social perspective, provided you have the appropriate data feeds for the necessary calculations;
  • M&A Analysis: a specialized dashboard that allows you to compare spend between two entities and do an opportunity analysis
  • Custom Insights: a dashboard custom built for very specific needs unique to your organization

In addition to these analytical dashboards that provide deep insights out of the box, the platform also has some optimizer dashboards that include:

  • Opportunity Assessment where they use the results of all their analysis above to indicate top opportunities across supplier consolidation, one-time vendor elimination, supplier normalization, production commonality, catalogue buying (vs off-catalog purchases), PPV (purchase price variance), payment terms, and other actions (based upon a custom analysis they build for you upon implementation)
  • Supplier Consolidation opportunities by bottom level category as well as projected savings (and savings range) from consolidation to the lowest cost product
  • Purchase Price Variance by product along with savings potential by item
  • P-Card centric tail spend dashboards with spend, transaction, category, supplier, user, facility, etc. breakdowns for deep insight so that what happens on the P-Card doesn’t stay on the P-Card
  • Payment Terms analysis and impact from payment term alterations

And, since the early days, they have added a lot of self-serve data management capabilities including:

  • Category Management where you can define your categories (in a taxonomy)
  • Material Description Management where you can define standard material descriptions
  • GL Description Management where you define GL codes
  • Supplier Management where you manage supplier groupings (families)
  • Transaction Management where you can drill down to the transaction level and get full details and perform transaction-level mappings
  • Taxonomy Suggestions where new classification or change requests are tracked
  • Manual Classification where you can classify by supplier, description, material, and/or GL Description and where you can see the % of currently classified transactions, suppliers, and spend

Simfoni’s Spend Analytics capabilities are quite extensive, informative, and best of all, easy-to-use. If you’re looking for a best-of-breed spend analytics solution from a mini-suite vendor that also has strong procurement services, Simfoni is a vendor you should definitely check out.