Making Cents

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The Coupa Benchmark: A fitness tracker for finance and procurement

Finance and procurement organizations need ways toravi thakur  Ravi Thakur determine if their efforts to drive savings and increase efficiencies are successful. But, their visibility is usually limited to what’s happening in their own business.


It’s like working out. Let’s say you’ve started running, and you’re doing a 15-minute mile and you're proud of yourself. The fact that you're working out is great, but is a 15-minute mile good enough to get your heart pumping at the optimal rate, burn fat and keep your cholesterol under control? Not so much. You need a to know what average, better and best mile times are for a person of your gender and age, and measure yourself against that to make sure you’re getting the full benefit of your workout.


At the beginning of the summer, we released our second annual new and improved Coupa Benchmark, a compilation of 10 key performance indicators. Think of it as a fitness benchmark for finance and procurement.


The Coupa Benchmark reports on data gathered from procurement benchmarksPerformance benchmarks from other, similar companies can help finance and procurement measure their performance.hundreds of millions in spend that has run through our cloud platform. This data is grouped by company size and represents millions of transactions by hundreds of thousands of global users and over 1 million suppliers. All data is aggregated and kept entirely private.


Our cloud platform actually allows us to track and measure hundreds of KPIs that we don’t report on publicly. Our Customer Success team uses these internally to help our customers continually improve their performance. The benchmarks we've selected for the report are in areas where we’ve found that companies really don’t know how good they could be.


They are:

1.   Req-to-order cycle time

2.   Number of approvers per requisition

3.   Invoice OK-to-pay hours

4.   Visible P.O. spend-on-contract percentage

5.   Percentage of P.O.s sent via CXML and EDI

6.   Self-service potential

7.   Catalog items

8.   Number of punchout sites

9.   Embedded buying policies

10. Web forms


These are areas where organizations can make immediate gains with Coupa, even those that are not very mature in their procurement life cycles.


We reported on the first six metrics in the 2013 benchmark. I would describe most of these as some of the core metrics of efficiency that organizations should be looking at.

This year we’ve added four more metrics around the content that companies are providing to users. These are what we see as fundamental to creating an organization-wide culture of spend optimization.


We believe that when people see these metrics and read the report, most of these items should be immediately actionable. Over the coming weeks, we’ll exploring each one in depth and providing suggestions for improvement.


We look forward to expanding the number of metrics we report on and we’ll continue to mine our platform for data as we deepen our offerings in inventory, catalog management and travel and entertainment expense management.


We believe that providing this information, along with product capability that makes improvement easy, is the best way to help finance and procurement get everyone in the organization engaged with the mission to optimize spend.


In coming years, we’re thinking about using our data to look at commodity and pricing analysis to give real trends on certain parts of the economy. What benchmarks would be most valuable to your organization? What would you like to know? Leave me a comment and let me know.


Ravi Thakur is Vice President, Customer Success for Coupa.


How to get out of an abusive business relationship


Everyone, myself included, knows or has known someonegabe perez   Gabe Perez stuck in a bad relationship. It was all roses for a while, but now things have gone beyond sour and the relationship is downright abusive. It makes you crazy because seems so obvious that the mistreated party should just walk away. So why don’t they?


Seeing these kinds of relationships in my personal life, it’s become glaringly evident to me over the past couple of years that they aren’t just person to person. They’re business to business too, and though the abuse is not physical or life-threatening, many of the underlying dynamics are the same. Customers behave badly toward vendors or vice versa, and this scenario seems


What makes a great mobile app? Simplicity.

When designing apps, it's tempting to want to include a laundry list of features that will please everyone. The most successful app developers have found that less is more. Overloading apps can lead to problems. Too many features tend to confuse and annoy users. With over 21 billion app downloads in 2013, it's a crowded marketplace. The most successful apps today are using flat, simple typographical designs. Here's an in-depth look at this evolving trend and some exemplary apps.



simple mobile apps

Is your company ready for the cloud: a 12-point checklist


As cloud computing crosses the chasm from “pi in the sky” to mass adoption, ravi thakur  Ravi Thakurcompanies are beginning to approach technology purchases with a cloud first or why not cloud strategy. But is your company ready for the cloud? Here are some practical considerations:


  1. Do you have enough internet capacity to all the locations where you want to use a cloud solution?
  2. Do you have an integration strategy for getting cloud solutions talking to each other, and to on-premise solutions?
  3. Is the business ready to


Mobile invoice approvals free up time for nerf gun battles





We’ve all got a lot on our plates at work—such as ping-pong tournaments, yoga, epic nerf gun battles and hanging out with Suzie the Snake.


That’s why Coupa mobile is bringing invoice approval to your cell phone. You’ll see all of the key invoice details right on your screen, so you can approve invoices that are ready to pay, reject any invoices that have issues, and leave comments to let everyone in the approval chain know why. When it’s this easy you don’t have to worry about interruptions to your other responsibilities.


Check it out in this 45-second video starring our mulit-talented dev team, Martijn (Invoice PM), Chris Yin (Mobile PM), Sal and Jeff (iOS Devs), Pallavi, Rofaida and Suzie, who's helping us put a stranglehold on our competition when she's not making videos. Props to Adhitya (our film intern), for recording and editing!


If you don't have it already - download the app here: Coupa Mobile iOS App. Can't see the video? Click here.




IT needs to be strategic to get benefit of cloud computing


Over the past couple of years, we’ve all heard plenty of buzz about the ravi thakurRavi Thakurcloud computing transformation. Many companies grasped the cloud vision early and are now several years into their cloud journey. Many more that have been sitting on the sidelines are beginning to adopt a “Why not cloud” or “Cloud first” strategy.


Now that the hype is settling down, let’s take a look at what it takes to be ready to benefit from the cloud, and the real transformation it brings.


Aside from the obvious, such as having enough internet capacity to all the locations where you want to use a cloud solution, and having an integration strategy to bring your solutions together, there’s something less technical and more fundamental companies need to be ready for the cloud: collaboration between IT and


Inventory application development team's got talent!

At our Inspire conference earlier this year, we introduced Coupa Inventory. In a recent review, industry analyst Jason Busch of Spend Matters had this to say about it: 


"We applaud Coupa for keeping inventory management simple – and creating what is a logical value proposition and upsell that should complement its core P2P vision for helping companies truly capture and manage more spend while driving better outcomes and savings wherever possible."
Inventory Product Manager Chris Yin led a very talented team that brought the Inventory application to market in just 9 months. Turns out the team, including Kira Letskina, Brent Wooden, Chris Fung, Brian Farr and Mikhail Knyazev is multi-talented. They also made and starred in this video about the effort. We think you'll agree, this team's got talent!









Spend analytics helps avoid awkward moments with suppliers


Working with organizations in various sourcing and dipan karumsi  Dipan Karumsiprocurement roles over the past 17 years, one of the common challenges I see is not having access to information on a timely basis. The good news is, real-time, or near real-time spend analytics is within reach for companies willing to undertake a process of continual improvement, and there is a definite competitive edge to be gained by doing so.


Based on what I have seen, a three-month lag from the time of spend to availability of reporting is common, and many organizations cannot get access to data about spend that took place as long as six months ago. Real-time data is almost out of the question for most organizations, because by the time they run the reports, check for data integrity and test to make sure


The one question not to ask your startup SaaS provider


There’s a certain amount of risk involved for customersrob-blue-shirtRob Bernshsteyn of startup SaaS vendor. There’s also a benefit—when you’re customer number ten, you are going to get a lot of attention and resources.

As the startup grows, customers and prospects begin to ask what they believe to be the key question, "Will we get all the attention we need?”


I firmly believe that this is not the question to be asking.


At first blush, that question sounds fair. With the current industry focus on customer success, existing customers want to know that they will continue to be special. Prospects want to know if as the company grows, there will be enough bandwidth to focus on them.


This is natural enough. If you’re at a busy hotel and they only have one


6 procurement leaders to follow on Twitter

Think procurement people aren't on Twitter? Think again. If you follow this blog, you know Procurement is undergoing a transformatiion, with new platforms and tools and a new attitude about becoming more strategic and influential. There's no better place to stay up to the minute with the latest news and trends affecting procurement professionals than Twitter. Here are six people to follow for some of the smartest conversation around procurement today: 


Spend Matters - @spendmatters

spendmattersnew@spendmatters publishes daily news from the world of procurement and supply chain management, as well as analysis of how global events impact these functions.


They follow all the major vendors in the space, providing updates on all the latest features and functionality.


They publish in-depth reports on a wide variety of procurement and supply chain related topics. We like them for their tongue-in-cheek humor and bold and bold and fearless predictions.


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