FreeMarkets Offers Spend Analysis

Software, services solution intended to give companies visibility into their global spending

Pittsburgh  August 8, 2002  Online reverse auction specialist FreeMarkets this week expanded its product portfolio with the launch of a new spend analysis solution.

FreeMarkets said its Spend Visibility Solution combines analysis software with data collection, cleansing and enhancement services, giving companies visibility into their global spend and allowing them to implement spend management strategies as part of enterprise sourcing programs.

"Spend management is a key piece of the strategic sourcing process," said FreeMarkets Director of Product Management Jay Odell. "Yet gaining the visibility necessary to determine how money is being spent and outlining effective strategies for better leveraging resources are among the most daunting tasks that sourcing professionals face."

Because spend data frequently is spread across multiple systems that are neither connected or integrated, and because often different users enter information in an unsystematic, non-standardized manner, many organizations find it difficult, if not impossible, to obtain a clear and accurate view of their corporate spending, Odell said.

Tim Minahan, vice president of supply chain research at technology research firm Aberdeen Group, identified spending analysis as the foundation of successful sourcing in his report on the e-sourcing market last year.

"The first step of any sourcing event should include a company-wide review of the expenditures and purchase trends for a category of products or services," Minahan wrote. "Such analysis helps identify opportunities for improvement in particular spending categories, including the potential to use alternative products or to aggregate purchases across divisions. Such spend visibility is critical to effective sourcing."

FreeMarkets said the Spend Visibility Solution will allow companies to standardize and validate spend data from across their organization regardless of the source; segment, scrub and store this data in a central location to facilitate enterprise-wide data aggregation and sharing; and analyze the data to enhance processes, structure and execute spend management strategies, and measure their effectiveness.

The solution is also intended to let companies automatically update and recleanse spend data to maintain a consistently clear and accurate view of information; generate a variety of reports and actionable analyses to support spend decisions and strategies; and identify opportunities for substantial, ongoing savings.

FreeMarkets is offering the solution in a hosted model.