What can you do to get spend under control?
Categorise your spend
Understanding your SaaS costs is the first step to gaining control. To do this, you must discover and catalogue every software application your organisation uses and then categorise your spend. Regardless of the purchase size, all expenses and invoices should be organised so that finance teams have oversight of where spend is rising and by how much.
Payhawk makes this easy with subscription spend monitoring. By grouping costs by vendor, you can quickly highlight which purchases will incur recurring costs or subscriptions that may overlap across departments.
It's also important that you're aware of the difference between one-time fees, subscription costs, surcharges, and other add-ons. You need total visibility into which costs are susceptible to these changes to avoid racking up large future expenses.
Analyse your usage
Once you understand how much you spend on software, the next step is to evaluate whether you're using your purchased tools appropriately. Chances are, there are some areas where you could be pulling back.
Research from Vertice has found that, on average, a third of software licenses are underutilised. And it's even higher in departments such as sales, where a staggering 52% of licenses go to waste. This translates into some seriously wasted spend.
A tech-enabled SaaS purchasing platform such as Vertice can give you visibility into whether these tools are being used and how much, providing a clear understanding of how you could be right-sizing these subscriptions to benefit from potentially substantial cost savings.
Negotiate all of your SaaS contracts
Once you've armed yourself with the information about the tools your company is using, where there are overlaps, and where there are overages, it's time to make some decisions. Start by cutting out the overlaps. If you've discovered that two tools can accomplish the same thing, you should remove one from your SaaS stack. Similarly, you should get rid of licenses for the tools you want to keep but aren't utilising correctly.
You can equip yourself better to negotiate unique contract terms with a clear understanding of what you require from a subscription.
In fact, several different software negotiation strategies can effectively drive down costs, the most important being to obtain leverage in the form of pricing benchmarks.
SaaS costs are rarely set in stone, and for many vendors, there is often a huge disparity between the prices that companies of a similar size pay for the same plan. Ultimately, this means there are opportunities to secure a discount when negotiating a new purchase or renewal.
Keep on top of renewals
With 89% of SaaS contracts including auto-renewal clauses, you must also be on top of these renewal deadlines and cancellation periods. Leaving it too late to amend or terminate a contract can put you at risk of paying for an unwanted tool or excess licenses for another year — often at a huge cost to the business.
Auto-uplifts are another frequent challenge, with many software contracts allowing for price increases with little or no warning. Keep an eye on these terms when negotiating with vendors. Better still, ask for them to be removed.
Create a sustainable procurement process
Once you get your stack in order, you will want to ensure it stays that way. When purchasing new tools, it's important to document contracts governed by a central procurement team that can actively supervise the entire portfolio while providing further cost-saving insights.
Centralising and streamlining your procurement can also go a long way in improving information security, protecting sensitive data from potential risks, and fulfilling compliance needs.
By standardising your purchasing process and adequately vetting each tool used within the organisation, you can better protect your company files, intellectual property, and other sensitive data against costly security risks.
At the same time, the process needs to be user-friendly enough to discourage team members from skipping the process altogether. Finding ways to automate the process as much as possible will balance the need for speed with compliance.
Find a partner that can help
SaaS tools are evolving to solve all kinds of problems in the modern organisation and SaaS spend management is no exception. Partnering with companies like Payhawk and Vertice is the easiest way to achieve complete expense visibility on your contracts, streamline SaaS spend management, and use automation to transform your SaaS procurement into a seamless process. Book a demo and learn how.
This guest blog is from Sarah Monette, Head of Partnerships at Vertice.