the doctor has written about many Spend Analysis vendors over the last decade*, including Ignite Procurement, which is one of the few newer vendors that he expected would soon breakout of their (Nordic) niche and start expanding, something which they are now starting to do having tripled their customer count in the last 6 months to over 200 customers.
The reason for this expectation? They earned their top right status in the Spend Matters Spend Analysis Solution Map when the (quadrant) maps still existed and the doctor was responsible for grading them as a Top 5 Best-of-Breed Mid-Market focussed Spend Analysis player located in Western Europe / the UK.
Founded by ex-BCG (Boston Consulting Group) consultants in 2017, with the first version of the platform launching in 2018, the key players not only have a firm understanding of spend analysis, but what analysis capabilities a customer needs to find their spend waste and their opportunities. Plus, they understood since day one that spend analysis in a vacuum is not that meaningful and is most meaningful in the context of negotiations, supplier management and development, contract obligation management, labour compliance and ESG reporting, for example. Negotiations work best when they are fact based, supplier development efforts are best focussed on those suppliers where improvements would result in considerable cost reductions or value generation, contracts are meaningless if not adhered to (and the resulting overspend completely unnecessary), labour violations in the supply chain can result in huge fines to your organization, and exceeding your carbon caps can be even more expensive (not to mention the fines if you don’t properly report). (And yes, this is a bit of foreshadowing.)
The core of the Ignite “Spend Management” solution is the analytics offering which, like most spend analysis solutions, has two core components:
1. Data Management
It’s very easy to get data into the Ignite Platform. In fact, it can be as easy as dragging-and-dropping a file onto the browser pane as Ignite allows you to define all of your taxonomies as well as your standard file format mappings to those taxonomies. It can then detect if the data is new, incremental, or updated and allow you to add, add only new records, update existing records, or even load the file into an entirely new cube.
When it comes to taxonomies, you can start with your own or built-in and then, during analysis, you can define and redefine taxonomies on the fly, with reclassification as simple as dragging-and-dropping. You can also define and update mapping rules quickly and easily as well, fixing errors or updating classifications as the need arises.
Data enrichment is easy-peasy compared to generic analytic platforms or suites as they support a number of financial metric, industry classification, currency exchanges, commodity intelligence, CO2 emission sources, and risk metric sources out of the box and provide a full integration platform with APIs, pre-built connectors, and timed data pulls (via SFTP, for example) for those who need custom integrations.
The platform also supports multiple tables and spend cubes and allows you to work on global tables and cubes or local tables and cubes for what-if analysis.
But most importantly, it’s one of the few best-of-breed platforms with a fully integrated visual data flow manager where you can define the entire loading, mapping, enrichment, classification, and automated analytics, reporting, and notification process, including automated supplier normalization.
The Ignite Platform has just about everything you would expect from a modern analytics platform including arbitrary dimension selection, formula-based dimension derivation, easy (powerful metric based) filters, multiple chart and widget types, easy drill down, easy view/report modification, and ad-hoc analytics.
It also comes with a full suite of out-of-the-box analytics to help you identify potential savings opportunities through contracting (off-contract spend), renegotiation, supplier (re) negotiation, supplier benchmark improvements, spend consolidation, invoice management, payment term rationalization, price improvement, etc. Contract coverage, PO Coverage, key supplier coverage, and a suite of KPI reports are also available out-of-the-box (including a spend development dashboard that can go beyond just spend to impacting metrics such as OTD, quality incidents, etc. if you track the data in the supplier management module).
It’s ability to identify supplier-based (re)negotiation and development opportunities is extremely good and based on its proprietary Ignite Matrix that maps “share of wallet” vs EBIT Margin (which it calculates using mandatory government disclosures and integration with appropriate feeds, such as Enin in the Nordics, and appropriate adjustments) and scatter plots the results to help you quickly identify where your business is contributing to a supplier’s high profit margiin (and where the supplier has room to negotiate without jeopardizing its stability).
On top of this they have also built:
3. Supplier Management (Information / Performance / Risk / Compliance)
With its strong data management underpinnings, the Ignite Spend Management platform can store any all supplier related you wish to track and analyze, which not only allows deep spend-related insights by supplier, but performance and risk (metric) insight by supplier, with the ability to track and compare over time.
In addition to providing a full Supplier 360 view across all data captured in the platform, the Supplier Management capability includes standard campaign management where a buyer or supplier management can create questionnaires for supplier data augmentation and collection of relevant data and documents for supplier performance / risk / compliance management.
4. Contract Management (Governance)
Due to its strong data management underpinnings, the platform can also store all relevant contract meta-data in addition to the contract documents and allow users to manage, report on, and automatically annotate spend that is covered by a contract (as well as determine if it was billed, and paid, at the contracted rate using the appropriate payment terms). Also, as with most contract management plays, it can support tasks and alerts and the linking of contracts to tasks and alerts.
5. Scope 3 Management / Carbon Accounting
The best foundation for a carbon calculator / carbon reporting application is a true analytics platform that can support the definition of all of the appropriate Scope 1, 2, and 3 Categories of relevance to the organization and/or required by the appropriate authority to which reports must be made; the integration of data feeds to allow for the appropriate carbon emission calculations; the collection of actual data from suppliers that can supply it; the generation of the appropriate reports with the appropriate calculations for mandated reporting; and the tracking of changes over time. This is precisely what the Ignite Procurement platform supports.
The entire platform is easy to use and the UX is quite modern, but you don’t have to take our word for it — you can see a three minute demo on their webpage … just scroll down to the Meet Ignite Procurement section. So if you’re looking for an analytics platform that can provide you actionable spend insights on your contracts, suppliers, and ESG that you act on to reduce waste and increase value, you should make sure that Ignite Procurement is on your shortlist, especially if you are in its current target marketplace in the EU/UK.
* Not all on SI, many write-ups are on Spend Matters, behind the revised paywall.