Software Investment

Jennifer Nietz - Director of Operations

Have you recently been in the market for new software?  It can be an overwhelming task to take on.  Which one do you buy? Is it a waste of money? Can you build it internally?  What are others saying about the product?  How do you trust the sales reps?

I recently came across a nice overview article on software written by Dale Schmidt in an issue of SDC Executive.The article discusses why cost management is easier and more efficient than ever with the development of an array of software products that can track and manage virtually every aspect of procurement and back-end operations.

To ensure you can see a return on your investment, the market research firm IBISWorld has analyzed the pricing trends in the top categories of software that companies can use to manage outlays, including expense management software, procurement software, supply chain management software, inventory management software and contract management software.

In today’s industry report out, I have decided to include two segments: Expense Management and Procurement Software.  The remainder of the software industries is reported on at


Expense Management Software

When it comes to tracking and cutting spending, expense management software is king. In addition, this software helps streamline processes and save time by automating payment requests, expense reports and time sheets. Compared to traditional expense management services, leveraging software enables improved transparency and expense reporting, which shows buyers where spending needs tightening and even helps prevent overruns from the outset. According to IBISWorld, the average price has fallen at an annualized rate of 0.2% in the three years to 2015, and is expected to continue at the same rate in the three years to 2018. These trends are largely due to vendors’ stable supply chains and financial health. Fortunately for buyers, market leaders have yet to emerge, so a large number of vendors are competing against one another for market share.

Procurement Software

Procurement software is designed to assist procurement professionals in most aspects of their job. One of its prime uses is to automate repetitive tasks, such as request-for-proposal drafting, bid organization, vendor follow-up and more. Buyers require extensive customization of their procurement software, and software vendors offer a variety of customization options. Due to vast differences in the offerings, buyers may struggle to accurately compare competing offers against one another, which slightly hampers buying power. But they retain some leverage from the recent introduction of free procurement software. Free options have significantly fewer features than their paid competition, but they still provide buyers a substitute to leverage in negotiations.

These software products provide a great deal of insight into a company’s operations, tracking and reporting on activity from the initial customer order through the final delivery of product or service. Oversight and tracking do not cut costs on their own; however, they are tools a company can use to determine where cost overruns occur and where efficiencies can be gained. Further, once policies, processes or suppliers have been altered to realize cost savings, these software products can help ensure that these changes stay in place. Companies looking to improve the efficiency of their operations should, therefore, look to implementing software that will manage, track and report on the various stages of production. By leveraging the knowledge of the trends discussed above, companies can negotiate fair deals and maximize the return on their investment in this software.

Good luck on your software search!

Questions or comments? Please contact Jennifer Nietz at