SaaS Procurement’s Silver Bullet – How Automation is Changing the Game

Sven Lackinger, Co-Founder, Sastrify


Sven Lackinger is Co-Founder at Sastrify, the digital procurement platform for Software-as-a-Service products. Founded in summer 2020, the firm already supports numerous well-known digital-first companies in buying and managing their SaaS solutions. Before Sastrify, Sven Lackinger founded evopark, the market leading provider for SaaS solutions for parking operators.

Software-as-a-service (SaaS) is something that almost every business around the world has in common. Over 99% of businesses use at least one SaaS tool, and the average stack is much larger. Indeed, according to BetterCloud’s 2021 State of SaaSOps Report, the average organization in 2021 used 110 SaaS apps, an increase of 38% from 2020. In 2022, this amounts to an estimated $675 billion global software spend according to Gartner.

Behind every tool in a company’s SaaS stack is a procurement process – complex, necessary, and requiring significant resources. Statista data tells us there are an estimated 25,000 SaaS companies worldwide to choose from, and with each software solution requiring upwards of 10 hours of back and forth negotiations, the numbers soon stack up (pun intended). But what if procurement automation could relieve that burden, freeing businesses up to focus on other priorities?

The cost of software also represents an enormous area of investment for businesses – second only to employee costs. As demonstrated by BT’s increased cost saving target of £3 billion in response to inflationary pressure, the current economic uncertainty will require many companies to look closely at spend across the board – including SaaS – to ensure operations are as lean as possible. But bringing clarity to SaaS chaos across multiple departments to ensure that over-usage, function overlap and wastage is under control is no small feat. The challenges of SaaS procurement for high-growth teams commonly result in overspending on software by up to 7 figures. This is where automation can pay dividends.

For example, companies are often unaware that they have multiple contracts for the same tool, creating inefficiencies and higher spend. By centralizing their contracts in one place, leaders get better visibility and minimize the risk of inefficient purchasing. This streamlined approach can then enable automated early warning systems for contract renewal dates and price increase notifications, leading to an effective SaaS buying strategy rather than leaving buyers on the backfoot with last minute renegotiations. Automated SaaS procurement solutions proactively notify the user of upcoming renewals and important changes that could impact pricing negotiation. But the benefits of automation don’t start and stop with annual renewals – the beauty of creating an automated system means that vendor optimisations and savings are being continuously identified.

A great example of this in action in the finance space is Capchase, a leading provider of non-dilutive financing to SaaS companies. We worked with them to centralize and automate their SaaS stack, not only cutting their purchasing time in half – saving twenty hours on negotiation and freeing them up to focus on other areas of the business but also enabling them to gain full transparency of their stack. This allowed them to eliminate unnecessary or bad-fit tools and discover better alternatives.

By having full visibility on renewals, Capchase achieved a five-figure discount on their yearly HubSpot renewal, which translated into a 42% reduction in their HubSpot subscription costs. They were also able to ensure their HubSpot licenses were aligned to their changing team needs, and that they had the right plan to fit their growth needs. Moreover, by enabling access to one single source of information on a range of SaaS options, efficiency is increased by cutting the time needed to find and negotiate new SaaS solutions in half. SaaS vendors can be found and compared in seconds rather than hours, while benchmarked data takes the guesswork out of SaaS pricing.

Centralized communication and transparent workflows via an automated platform means faster feedback from key stakeholders to speed up decision making. Automated SaaS procurement also means having a team of SaaS procurement professionals available at the touch of a button to support or take over negotiations, ensuring that the time investment needed from finance leadership is kept to an absolute minimum.

While procurement might often be seen as something that only large teams invest in, it is often small teams that suffer the most from not being able to focus on what actually matters according to business spending solution Pleo. Pleo automates the formerly manual job of expense management for their customers, and so applied this philosophy to SaaS procurement. By centralizing and automating their stack they reduced pressure on their team and saved time and money. For them, automation is key, whether it comes to business expenses or procurement.

By centralizing and visualizing all software commitments in one automated SaaS procurement platform, and creating automated renewal alerts, spend overviews and budget reports, businesses can achieve transparency and control over SaaS spend and usage. Our team at Sastrify found that each SaaS negotiation requires upwards of five hours out of someone’s day, so finding a streamlined approach can save countless hours for tech teams overwhelmed by SaaS tool options and back-to-back product demos, enabling the discovery of hidden savings and cutting unnecessary SaaS costs by up to 30%. Creating this 360° overview of SaaS spend, usage, and renewals means no more spreadsheets, shadow IT or tech stack chaos, and allows businesses to focus on what matters most: efficient growth.



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