Certn is an AI background screening solution for recruiters and businesses. The tool provides hiring teams, property managers, landlords, and other business users with an easy way to complete background checks and candidate or renter verification in minutes, using automation to reduce hiring time by up to 80%.
In fast-growing companies, tech stacks can get messy fast. The more robust the growth, the bigger the need to get ahead of purchases and renewals. Certn found itself in this position when its headcount grew exponentially over two years, from 40 people in 2020 to over 500 in 2022.
Taylor Martin, Certn’s Director of Operations responsible for procuring and maintaining SaaS products across the organization, knew he needed help to keep the company’s tech stack streamlined and cash-efficient.
Like many startups, the company’s SaaS procurement process — including a security and legal questionnaire — was largely ad hoc. The procurement process was documented but not always followed. A Google form provided some visibility into the current tech stack but couldn’t provide the structure to manage a large SaaS stack. With new employees joining the company and requesting new tools, the potential for redundant or overlapping tools increases.
“You're always balancing needs in a fast-growing company. You ask yourself, ‘How much chaos can you manage, knowing you must grow?’ That's where your effort needs to be focused,” said Taylor.
Additionally, the company was taking on investment capital, making oversight and visibility more pressing priorities. Taylor had previously worked with a negotiation-as-a-service company, so he knew the value of having buyers navigate and close deals. After researching the right partner, he landed on Vendr as a solution that could solve the need for more organization and strong negotiation for cash savings.
Certn implemented Vendr in January 2022 to meet the need for negotiation support and take advantage of Vendr’s other features, such as management tools, in-depth deal data, automated approvals, and notifications to keep up with renewals.
“Negotiation was the core service we were looking for,” said Taylor.
Partnering with Vendr brought this service and much more. The platform helped bring order to their process.
“It let us get away from spreadsheets for SaaS spend management,” Taylor said. With the help of Vendr’s specialty buyers, Certn has a negotiation partner to move deals through the process, keep legal and security reviews on target, and help close deals quickly and efficiently. In addition, with Vendr’s access to deal data for thousands of SaaS software transactions, Taylor has confidence in the pricing and terms negotiated on Certn’s behalf.
Building off the vendor management data the company had in-house, Vendr helped the team build a renewal calendar that would allow them to get ahead of their renewal cycle. Then, as contracts come up for renewal, Vendr reviews and negotiates pricing and terms on behalf of Certn, adding supplier details and other relevant information to the platform.
This process allows Certn to organize renewals into the automated workflow and centralize deal data. In addition, the platform triggers review and negotiation for future renewal periods. Vendr has also helped Certn build more visibility into the tech stack and de-duplicated some of their most-utilized tools. The improved visibility allows IT and stakeholders to make better purchasing decisions.
These improvements have enabled better processes for acquiring new software. Stakeholders now fill out one intake form for IT outlining the tools they’re interested in and the goals for the new tool. IT can recommend a tool already used to fill the need or use stakeholder input to pursue a new tool through Vendr. The intake triggers reviews, questionnaires, and approvals while a Vendr buyer begins commercial negotiations.
To ensure procurement compliance remains intact as the company grows, Taylor has built educational resources in the company’s knowledge base to guide new buyers through the process. With the bulk of procurement activities well managed, he has the time to onboard new SaaS buyers to the process, introducing them to the Vendr Slack channel, knowledge base, and intake form.
Through the partnership with Vendr, Certn has saved time and money, freed stakeholders from buying to focus on their roles, and allowed Taylor to plan for the following stages of Certn’s operations.
In just over a year, Vendr’s buyers have saved Certn over $366k on $1.3 million in negotiated SaaS spend. In addition, they’ve recognized significant savings and better terms on SaaS tools such as HubSpot, Atlassian, Datadog, and Okta, all while saving time and frustration across the organization.
Taylor describes the Vendr experience as “a straightforward solution to visualize our SaaS spend. It’s an extension of our procurement team.” The time freedom and savings have given Taylor the bandwidth and resources to pursue further refinements in the procurement practice. In year two, he’s looking forward to several projects bringing the company’s SaaS spending and stack into better focus.
These projects include unifying the stack across Certn and several newly acquired subsidiaries, further improving the employee onboarding experience and knowledge base, and integrating tools like NetSuite with Vendr to further increase spend visibility across the company. As Certn continues to grow, Vendr looks forward to supporting its success through increased and expanded savings and further enhancements to the buying and management process.
By centralizing procurement and negotiating deals for SaaS providers like HubSpot, Atlassian, and Datadog, Vendr helped Certn save over $366k.
- Built a streamlined procurement process to support rapid growth in headcount and deal flow.
- Saved the company 20% in SaaS spending, including deals for HubSpot, Atlassian, and Datadog.
- Centralized renewal data to provide a 90-day runway for contract and deal review.
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada