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Case Study

How Spendflo Streamlined Their Procurement Process With Cross-Organizational Collaboration

Colleen Jiang
  • Product
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About Spendflo

Headquarters: San Francisco, California

Industry: SaaS Spend Management Software

Use Cases: Client Success

Spendflo offers buying, management, and security for SaaS subscriptions. They enable companies like Airmeet, Hasura, and Wodify to focus on creating value for their customers while helping them save up to 30% on their SaaS stack.

The Challenge

The procurement process at Spendflo involves the buying team at Spendflo and several people on the customer side, including stakeholders from finance, legal, and infosecurity. And, because each customer may have as many as a dozen open requests with Spendflo at any given time, it was almost impossible to keep track of workflows.

Some conversations were happening over email, others were happening over Slack, and still more were happening over the phone and via text. There were private chats, group channels, and disparate email threads that involved different people at different times. On the whole, communication was fragmented, context was frequently lost, and everyone struggled to stay on the same page.

The result? Stakeholders on both sides were spending countless hours fishing through different channels to find the information they needed, drawing out the procurement process.

“We needed a way to facilitate these conversations, store the context, and provide updates as necessary for each request, similar to the chat functionality within a Google Doc,” Ajay Vardhan, Co-Founder and CTO at Spendflo explained.

In particular, they were looking for the following features:

  • Commenting
  • Tagging
  • Notifications
  • Badging
  • Conversation history
  • Easy implementation
  • Customization
  • Slack integration

While they had considered building these features themselves, they decided against it.

“If we only needed a commenting feature, we could have built it ourselves. But we required additional functionality beyond basic commenting. Cord’s collaboration SDK offered everything we were looking for which made our decision-making process effortless,” Ajay said.

The Solution

Using the following Cord components and APIs, Spendflo was able to transform their product and become the central node for cross-organizational communication throughout the procurement process:

  • Thread
  • InboxLauncher
  • Inbox
  • Support API
  • ThreadSummary API
  • Events API

Context-rich customer support

Using Cord’s Thread Component, Spendflo added a comment box directly into each request and contract page.

It doesn't look like anything to me.

It doesn't look like anything to me.

This allows Spendflo’s Client Success team and clients to communicate directly in the product – just like you might in a Google Doc or Figma file – and centralizes all conversations related to a particular buying process, eliminating the need for emails and Slack messages.

The comment box has everything end-users need for an excellent chat experience out-of-the-box, including the ability to upload screenshots and tag other users.

Thanks to Cord’s Support API, all messages happening in Spendflo’s product are automatically mirrored in a dedicated Slack channel. That means as soon as a customer starts a new conversation in the product, the Client Success team is notified. And, bonus: users can reply in-line. This is especially useful when CSMs are on the go, enabling them to use Slack on mobile to receive and reply to messages even if they don’t have access to the Spendflo desktop website.

Notifications that drive engagement

Spendflo’s Client Success team and their clients can be alerted of new conversations, @mentions, or replies in-app, via email, and/or through Slack.

In-app, Cord’s InboxLauncher makes it possible for Spendflo to alert users of unread messages or replies in real-time via a badged 🔔 icon. When they click the icon, an Inbox component opens, implemented in Spendflo as an overlay from which users can access any conversation, anywhere in Spendflo, wherever they’ve been mentioned or replied to.

Within the inbox, they can reply or react to messages, resolve threads, and update their notification and integration settings.

Notifications in Spendflo using the Cord SDK

Quick and easy implementation with minimal maintenance

Because of Cord’s API language binding, backend packages, and documentation, Spendflo’s developers were able to quickly and easily implement collaboration features in their existing codebase.

According to Ajay, “the implementation process was straightforward. It involved a simple backend handshake and adding a component to our frontend. Cord provided dedicated support, guiding us step-by-step throughout the implementation process.”

Month-to-month, there’s virtually zero maintenance required from Spendflo’s team. That’s because collaboration is Cord’s core competency, and our product and engineering teams are constantly testing and optimizing our SDK to ensure security, flexibility, and speed.

Customization powered by CSS

Cord’s customizable CSS allows Spendflo to set fonts, colors, and sizes to match their brand’s look and feel. This helps ensure the UX feels native to their product instead of like an add-on.

The simplicity of customization was an important factor when it came time for Spendflo to renew and, according to Ajay, “Cord’s documentation is straightforward and enabled us to easily customize features ourselves.”

Overall, Ajay says, “Cord has provided one of the best support experiences we’ve encountered with a SaaS tool. We highly recommend Cord to other Product Managers and Developers. The long-term value we derive from the price we pay is incredible.”

The Impact

Hundreds of thousands saved: To build and maintain complex collaborative features in-house, Spendflo would need engineering support (front-end and back-end) for 12 months, at least 3 months from a Product Manager, and 2 months from a Designer. That’s almost a year and a half of full-time work for four people. Given the average salary in the region, that adds up.

Procurement times reduced by 28%: With collaboration built into Spendflo, stakeholders don’t have to jump between the product, email, and Slack. By organizing all communication in one place and keeping users in-context, Spendflo has seen a significant reduction in the time spent per request.

Ability to focus on their product roadmap: Because they decided to buy vs. build, all the time that would have been spent on building collaborative features from scratch was instead dedicated to Spendflo’s existing roadmap. As a result, they were able to ship Usage Tracking, Sentiment Survey, Spend Analytics, and many other important Management Hub features.

Competitive advantage: Spendflo was named a Leader in the G2 Spring 2023 report, with a rating of 4.7 out of 5. One of their end-users favorite features? Their slick, intuitive, and user-friendly interface that makes it easy to collaborate with the buying team.

Get Started

With Cord, you don’t need to put other features on hold or spend 12-18 months building. Implementation is quick and simple, and you get sophisticated chat features out-of-the-box. Yep, including screenshots, notifications, in-page annotations, and file uploads.

And, because collaboration is our core competency, we spend all of our time tinkering with and evolving our components to be the best they can be…so you and your team don’t have to.

Aside from Spendflo, our happy customers include monday.com, ThoughtSpot, Stoplight, and trumpet. With the addition of collaborative features, they’re enabling their customers (like Netflix, Chili Piper, and Twilio) to do more in their product.

Want to get started? You can explore our Docs, or sign up here.