Image reads "Software procurement reimagined: Minimize friction to maximize value."

Software procurement reimagined: Minimize friction to maximize value


by Alec Woodward

A process as business critical as software procurement shouldn’t be full of friction, or worse, surprises! Yet, for many organizations it is. The hassle of collecting and analyzing the necessary data and the stress of tracking down stakeholders and getting their sign off for new software purchases and constant renewals is exhausting. And all that extra work doesn’t often lead to much added value today.

Luckily, all of that can change. We’ve found a way to provide a frictionless software procurement experience. But before we introduce the fix, let’s dive into what makes software procurement such a pain.

What are the challenges of software procurement?

For too long, the critical work that goes into preparing for software purchases and renewals has happened in the shadows. IT and procurement teams are expected to track down the people and data and coordinate reviews and approvals. But manual processes and siloed systems, lack of visibility and alignment, and limited access to data and insights make it near impossible to consistently deliver value across the process.

Manual processes and siloed systems are barriers for engagement

It’s not unusual for organizations to use around seven disconnected tools to support procurement decisions,  such as spreadsheets, communication apps, vendor assessment solutions, and procure-to-pay (P2P) or ERP systems. And processes aren’t consistently followed, making every purchase and renewal feel like a one-off. Existing ERPs and P2P systems have hard-to-use capabilities, which lead to a poor user experience. What’s more, using these systems is quite cost prohibitive, as expensive licenses need to be broadly provisioned to include employees making requests and stakeholders reviewing and approving them.

Lack of visibility and alignment slows down decisions

Buying teams of 6-10 stakeholders are often involved in purchase and renewal decisions, with ownership of SaaS budgets and apps spread across the organization — some in IT, others within business teams. Coordinating through spreadsheets, email, siloed systems, and general Slack channels is time-consuming and inefficient since there isn’t a dedicated, single location for data and discussions. This also leaves the organization with no visibility across renewals and software intake processes. As a result, decision makers don’t have a single place to understand the context and reasons for past decisions. And gaining alignment for decisions can take tens of meetings and weeks or months of effort. Worst case, decisions stall or no decision is made at all.

Limited access to data and insights weakens your negotiating position and introduces risk

Not having pricing, usage, and spend data at the right level of detail can result in poor negotiations and missed cost savings or optimization. For example, organizations can miss out on up to 30% in cost savings because they don’t have pricing benchmarks for their apps. Additionally, because of this lack of insight internally, many teams rely on reports from vendors, which are often out of date and skew in the vendor’s favor. Each renewal is an opportunity to rationalize the portfolio by reviewing overlapping or similar apps. Unfortunately, most organizations lack the visibility and insight to take these actions.

Gartner found that 83% of legal and compliance leaders identified third-party risk after initial onboarding and due diligence. Knowing whether the vendor passes your organization’s risk assessment is important during purchases and renewals in case shortcomings need to be addressed. Without assessments completed in a timely manner, your organization may feel rushed by deadlines, such as contract end dates, and not conduct a comprehensive evaluation.

The Productiv Platform takes the friction out of software procurement

Buying and renewing software never stops. But the stress can with the Productiv Platform.

The Productiv Platform automates procurement workflows to orchestrate reviews and approvals across multiple departments and equips you with the data and insights needed to reduce risk and drive stronger negotiations.

See The Productiv Platform in action

Consistent, intuitive processes with automated workflows

The workflow builder dashboard of the App Procurement Hub

With Productiv, organizations can now introduce consistent, automated processes for software procurement to help enforce policies at scale in a cost-effective manner and free up procurement teams to focus more of their efforts on strategic purchases and renewals.

And unlike the complex, user-unfriendly ERP tools many organizations use or have considered for their processes today, the intuitive user experience and integrated tools improve alignment and adoption to save valuable time. You’ll also save money by not needing to license stakeholders separately. This could help a midsize organization save up to $275K in license costs annually, which would be needed if you were to automate intake and renewal processes using an ERP or P2P solution and had to license employees across departments.

Strategic alignment with data-driven collaboration

Request Approval task in the App Procurement Hub with app engagement insights

People are essential to procurement processes, but the stress of aligning leaders across the business for constant purchases and renewals is exhausting. That’s why we’ve made it easy to identify and include the right stakeholder at the right time in the process. And with contract data, expense data,  usage insights, overlapping apps, and rightsizing recommendations embedded into the workflow, all teams have instant access to the data they need to quickly make decisions.

Productiv is designed to support the way people work and collaborate today. It features a two-way integration with Slack which automatically creates a dedicated Slack channel with right stakeholders to enable collaboration and automatically archives the channel once the process is complete. For transparency and record keeping, all task assignments, approvals, and comments are synced between Productiv and Slack. In addition, any document uploads from Slack, such as a vendor quote, are automatically uploaded into Productiv. All the comments, decisions, and documents for a given renewal or intake are available in Productiv for future reference.

In a Forrester Total Economic Impact™ study commissioned by Productiv, Forrester Consulting found that using Productiv can decrease time spent on renewal preparation by 65-75% by providing a single source for renewal insights.

Improved negotiations and reduced risks with actionable insights

Pricing benchmarks and cost reduction insights in the App Procurement Hub

Too often, procurement and IT leaders enter negotiations underprepared and unequipped with the data and insights necessary to gain leverage in the conversation. By ensuring you begin renewal discussions early enough to create alignment and collect the data you need, Productiv will have you prepared to confidently drive the most value during vendor negotiations.

Save time by having important data and insights at your fingertips, including historical contract discussions and license recommendations. Save money by knowing what your peers are paying with app and SKU pricing benchmarks. And minimize risk with timely vendor risk assessments and vendor intelligence, which include business health data, vendor-related internal information, and questionnaires for security, privacy, and compliance.

Through interviews with our customers, Forrester Consulting also found that a 2,000 employee organization could save over $130K annually just from contract negotiations using Productiv pricing benchmarks.

What makes The Productiv Platform different

Unlike other SaaS Management solutions without automated software procurement workflows and comprehensive insights, Productiv:

  • Automates workflows effectively and consistently with ease for a positive user experience through the creation of renewal, intake, and custom workflows (such as consulting service purchases) in a no-code workflow builder
  • Orchestrates collaborative reviews and approvals across multiple departments from one location with data and insights to guide proposal creation and support the review process, along with two-way updates through Slack to capture messages for reference in current and future renewals
  • Prepares you with the insights you need to negotiate confidently and reduce risks, including pricing benchmarks by app and SKU, usage data, license recommendations, vendor assessments, and purchase and renewal history

Learn more about how Productiv helps procurement teams

Hear how Omar Ghani, Head of Strategic Sourcing at Reddit, uses data and insights to align stakeholders ahead of renewals.

Get an easy-to-follow framework to help your organization implement a strategy for continuous SaaS cost optimization.

See how procurement leaders use Productiv to improve SaaS Management.

About Productiv:

Productiv is the only SaaS Management Platform built for bringing teams together. From new purchase requests to renewals, and everything in between, Procurement, Finance, and IT work in Productiv to align around trusted data, get AI powered insights, collaborate, make smarter decisions, and have confidence in every investment, at scale.

Learn more today