How to wrangle bottoms-up spend

Spend Management

Learn how to effectively manage bottoms-up spending in B2B procurement with our comprehensive guide. Discover strategies for reducing duplicative expenses, centralizing contracts, and maximizing cost savings.

Vendr | Wrangle bottoms-up spend with Explore and Contracts
Written by
Kristen Gephart
Published on
March 8, 2023
Read Time

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Prioritize cost savings in your purchase request process

When times are tough, it’s essential for businesses to keep an eye on spend across their organization. If your company was previously in hypergrowth, SaaS spend may already be out of control.

For procurement leaders, balancing cost savings with equipping your team with the tools they need to get their work done is integral. By turning every team member into an owner of the cost savings process, you can reduce your software spend while helping your team get the tools they need. It’s a win/win.

Don’t let bottoms-up spending lead to SaaS sprawl

With many companies moving towards a product-led growth model, it’s more common than ever for employees or teams to purchase individual licenses on credit cards rather than pushing something through the entire procurement process.

The benefit to this is getting something in your team’s hands fast so they can deliver on their goals. It also allows individual departments to try something before locking themselves into a pricey annual contract.

But what happens when a bottoms-up growth model starts to take off? You may find that multiple teams are similarly purchasing the same product. And before you know it, you’re paying for tens or hundreds of licenses at the list price. 

Even when teams go through a formal contract, they may not always be aware of similar purchases on other teams. Your company may have multiple small contracts from different regions, departments, or teams. 

Regardless of how the teams buy, your company may end up overpaying if you don’t wrangle this spend and negotiate a better deal.

Centralize your contracts for better visibility across the organization

The first step to wrangling bottoms-up spend is to organize all the spending you know about. By uploading your contracts into Vendr, you can pull out key vendor information and commercial details like renewal dates and termination clause terms. 

When a contract is uploaded into Vendr, you'll begin to see that spend accounted for in your system of record. Vendr then automatically calculates that spend into a category based on the product's primary function. You can then use the Overlapping Spend report to understand what duplicative solutions might already exist in your organization.


Connecting this data with integrations to your key business systems makes the bigger picture of your organizational spending even clearer.

Surface any products your team is purchasing through personal or business credit cards. Compare your projected spend to actuals to better understand what products your team is using vs. what you’re paying for.

Once a contract is uploaded into Vendr, you’ll also have full visibility into upcoming renewal dates to start negotiation or termination conversations with plenty of time to spare.

But looking back on what’s happening is only one part. By connecting Contracts with Vendr’s new Explore feature, it’s time to start recruiting every member of your team to reduce overspending.


Eliminate duplicative spend from the time of purchase

In tough economic times, reducing spend should be a company-wide effort. But employees can’t be co-owners in this initiative without visibility into what’s going on in the rest of the organization. 

By driving your team to start their search in Vendr, you can reduce duplicative spend by helping your employees understand what’s already in use across the organization.

When someone searches for a product in Explore, they see a list of similar options. They can also see which products are already being used in the organization and who the business owner is for that product. This makes it easy to reach out and get added to the existing contract instead of creating a new one.

Sometimes, they may still opt to request a new tool. Having visibility into what’s already in use allows them to proactively lay out their reasoning in a business case to present to finance. This reduces the back-and-forth and helps improve procurement velocity.

Cost savings is easier as a team effort

Effective use of a spend management platform like Vendr can help your organization save money without risking a blow to productivity. When every employee is a co-owner in cost savings, the entire organization can work together to save money and make the most of their resources. 

By using Vendr to take a proactive approach to cost management, companies can weather economic hardships and position themselves for long-term success.


Kristen Gephart
Director of Business Development
Kristen Gephart is a seasoned professional in sales leadership. She plays a pivotal role at Vendr, where she spearheads business development efforts, taking charge of our sales teams and ensuring smooth revenue operations.

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