Dec 03, 2020

Localize.city Gains Spend Control Using Approve.com

by Dor Beglaubter

About

Localize.city, known in Israel as Madlan, is a unique service offering home buyers and renters insights about properties that were previously reserved for industry professionals. Founded in 2012, the service has already helped hundreds of people across multiple cities make informed decisions and find the right homes.

Challenge

With a global team spanning from New York City to Tel Aviv, Localize.city has employees across the globe making purchases on a regular basis. From marketing materials to cloud infrastructure and everything in between, these purchases are overseen by the company’s CFO and finance team, who are responsible for procurement. 

The finance team was using a customized Priority ERP for managing company spend. Credit cards were distributed to the budget owners across Localize.city’s different departments, who were responsible for ensuring that their spending activities aligned with company policy.  

While the ERP worked for Finance, it didn’t serve others in the company who were involved in purchasing activities. The system didn’t equip employees with the ability to achieve streamlined, budget-aware purchasing processes. Moreover, employees in every department were managing their purchasing activities via emails and Slack messages, making these activities nearly impossible to track and optimize. Lastly, the company did not want to purchase 10+ licenses for their ERP just for its procurement needs.

Localize.city’s main procurement challenges were:

  1. Controlling budgets was challenging. Unbudgeted expenses were often approved and paid, making it difficult to stay within budget and predict future expenses.
  2. Approvals were not centrally recorded. The company lacked one source for records of expenses or approvals.  
  3. Procurement processes didn’t involve the finance team.  Employees were making purchases and involving the finance team only at the payment stage. In addition to eliminating negotiation opportunities, this made it difficult for the finance team to enforce spending policies.  
  4. The finance team was burdened with vendor onboarding. Members of the finance team needed to manage vendor onboarding, without understanding the context in which the need for the vendor arose.
  5. Employees were reluctant to adopt existing tools. Mid-level management was reluctant to use legacy ERP tools that were rigid and difficult to learn.  

To address these challenges, Localize.city needed a robust procurement solution that would enable different departments to align their procurement processes with the finance team’s considerations and requirements.

Our aim was to adopt a procurement solution that would help us address spend management issues and also streamline our purchasing processes.” 

Eran Ben Horin, CFO at Localize.city

The new procurement solution would need to enable comprehensive control over Localize.city’s budgets, and also provide: 

  • A quick implementation and painless adoption throughout the organization
  • An easy-to-use interface offering visibility into company expenditures
  • A simple way for employees to understand which vendors the company is already working with
  • The ability to set up customized PR and PO processes
  • A vendor onboarding process where a member of the finance team is involved early-on as an approver 
  • Seamless integration with the company’s existing Priority ERP for registering new vendors

Solution

After exploring different procurement solutions, Localize.city found that Approve.com offered the exact capabilities they were looking for. With Approve, the company gained an intuitive interface for procurement approval flows and vendor onboarding that was easy for employees to adopt. 

Approve was easy for the finance team and also the marketing, facilities operations, HR and R&D teams to embrace. The platform enables informed allocation of budgets to specific budget owners, paving the way to better decision-making surrounding purchasing and procurement. It also allows the finance team to easily define custom approval flows that are based on their specific needs. 

Approve’s enriched vendor database gives Localize.city much-needed visibility into which vendors the company is already working with, eliminating costly and time-consuming onboarding processes for new vendors that weren’t truly necessary.

Modernizing our approach to procurement using Approve generated visible cost and time savings quickly.”

Eran Ben Horin, CFO at Localize.city

Results

With their new procurement solution in place, Localize.city was able to eliminate the unpleasant surprises that had previously popped up for the finance team often. Finance stopped receiving payment requests from vendors they didn’t know or approve. Moreover, budget owners across the company gained more accountability and greater awareness into the company’s budget, resulting in fewer invoices. 

The company’s purchasing processes, which were once fragmented and messy, became streamlined and organized, offering visibility to any stakeholder at every step of the way. And thanks to Approve’s intuitive interface, adoption of the solution company-wide was quick and easy. 

By using Approve.com to modernize the procurement process company-wide and enable budget-aware decision-making, Localize.city was able to accelerate operations and achieve complete visibility into budget statuses. The finance team also gained the ability to keep critical control over purchasing processes, gaining a much better handle over the company’s spending activities, all without introducing any new friction into their processes.

It’s exciting to see how our platform can drive significant improvements in a manner that’s straight-forward and easy for people across the company.”

Bar Winkler, CEO at Approve.com

Interested in implementing a spend management system that simplifies and streamlines your business’s existing process? Check out Approve.com and request a free demo today!

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