Spend Management
About Glean

Wanna save money? Of course you do!

Jeremy Johnson
October 11, 2022

Glean AI is the only AP solution available that delivers a comprehensive, full-picture view of your vendor spend.

What makes Glean AI so unique is its ability to drill down to every line-item of every invoice then to use this fine-grain data in high level analytics that help you better understand and optimize your vendor spend. These analytics include ‘gleans’ – defined as timely, relevant, and actionable insights on how you are spending – that are automatically generated by the system and shared with users.  

But wait, it doesn’t stop there.

Glean AI analyzes data from your invoices but then goes even further. Glean AI is able to pull data from its entire user base, anonymize it, aggregate it, then share it with users in the form of benchmarking data. This benchmarking data allows Glean AI customers to identify areas where they may be overpaying and also gives them quantitative backup for when they enter into vendor negotiations.  

Data Science at Glean AI

Dr. Jeremy Johnson is a member of the data team at Glean AI that is responsible for its proprietary benchmarking data analysis.   

“We get a textured understanding of spend across hundreds of vendors which then allows us to pinpoint variations. With our aggregate data, we can see what companies are purchasing, what they are paying and how they are organizing their purchases.

Dr. Johnson continues, “Our accuracy is very high in our extraction of information which means we are able to confidently pass on data insights that help our customers better negotiate with future deals and for products they already have.”

Customized benchmarking

Glean AI has the data to let customers know when they are not getting the best possible deal but this isn’t a one-size-fits-all service.

As Dr. Johnson explains, “We provide information for our customers to use in their negotiations with vendors so naturally we ensure that the insights are relevant. Data that doesn’t match your company is of no value therefore we ensure that benchmarking data matches a company of their size.”

“We haven't had an instance yet where a customer has taken the benchmarking data that we've given them and it hasn't resulted in savings.”   


Many ways to save

There are a number of different ways to save when it comes to vendor spend. After reviewing the list below, we hope you’ll feel inspired to revisit many of your own vendor agreements.

Volume-based discounts:  This is probably the most obvious route to savings – simply buy more. Vendors normally offer a tiered system in terms of quantities with higher volumes leading to lower unit prices. But not all companies can purchase in bulk, especially newer start-ups, so read on for many other avenues to savings.  

Bundled options: Often vendors have the ability to negotiate discounts when two or more products or services are bundled together. Consider this when evaluating vendors that offer a variety of goods or services your company may be interested in purchasing.  

First-time buyer discounts: All vendors love closing a new customer so they are often eager to promise special discounts or initiation bonuses when starting a new contract. Do not hesitate to ask for special consideration when signing with a new vendor and be sure to check Glean’s benchmarking data to see what other customers were able to achieve in terms of pricing.  

Negotiated discounts: This may come as a surprise but did you know that vendor discounts are often available to those who simply ask?  Glean’s data scientists see significant variants among a number of quite common service providers even for same-sized companies which demonstrates the power of negotiation.

One excellent example is Zoom. Zoom’s business package is priced at $19.99 which one may assume is a firm price. Well, not really. Among Glean AI’s customers, Zoom’s pricing varies by up to 25% even when comparing similar-sized companies. If we compare two companies with 50 employees each, Company A and Company B, Company B will save $3,000 a year in Zoom costs just from negotiating the lower price per person fee. When you consider this kind of savings extrapolated over multiple vendors, we can see that these are not insignificant numbers.   

Billing period discounts: Vendors will always prefer billing that is less frequent and therefore will often offer discounts to companies that switch from a monthly billing plan to something less frequent, such as an annual billing plan. A great example of this is Slack. Switching from monthly to annual billing could save you up to 18% on the price of your slack subscription, which is significant.

Payment Terms: Payment terms, put simply, is how fast you can pay. Offering discounts for those who pay fast makes sense because no vendor likes waiting to get paid for a product or service that has already been delivered. Glean’s data scientists see same-sized companies purchasing the same product but with payment terms ranging from 15 days to 30 days or even 60 days. Consider shortening your payment terms and asking for a discount in return. 

Longevity discounts: Many believe that discounts are available only at the start of a vendor relationship but this isn’t true; companies value long-term customers and do not want to lose them. ‘Longevity’ or ‘continuity’ discounts can often be negotiated with vendors, although vendors will rarely bring this up on their own. It is up to you to take the initiative, identifying those vendors with whom you’ve enjoyed a longer relationship and then proposing better terms. 

Some companies actually build in a discount for customers who stay with them longer, such as the software firm JetBrains. JetBrains offers 20% savings for customers who stay with them for one year, and a whopping 40% off after two years.

Consistency discounts: Consistency discounts are savings that are available to those who use a service every month versus on and off. Consistent customers equal consistent cash flow, so naturally a company will be willing to offer incentives to those who are consistent buyers.

Discounts through non-transparency: This is an interesting place to find savings because it can appear as invoice ‘trickery’. Glean AI’s data has shown that some vendors price in a way that is complex and non-transparent making apples-to-apples comparisons impossible. In these circumstances, overall packages are being discounted in a variety of different ways leading to total invoice amounts that vary significantly for similar sized companies.

A great example of this is Salesforce. For those companies that use Salesforce, line-item comparisons are difficult because the line-item pricing methods vary. However, at the end of the day, invoice totals are varying by upwards of 35% across similar-sized companies. Our conclusion is that when you are entering into these relationships, do so knowing that there is room for negotiation on pricing.

This is more than just number-crunching

There are a number of companies who have entered the spend analytics space, offering to analyze your company’s credit card spend or vendor spend over time. While this is a positive first step, it is nothing near what Glean AI provides. 

Glean AI is able to offer what other analytics players cannot for two key reasons:  

First, the data pulled by Glean AI’s data scientists is pulled at the line-item level (versus invoice totals) which means the data is fine-grained and robust. Glean AI is able to dig deep into product pricing, quantities, bundling and a range of other crucial details that cannot be found with an invoice total.  

Second, Glean AI is able to pull data from thousands of invoices and hundreds of vendors, versus your company’s invoices only. The analytics that result from such a massive sample size is unmatchable.  

Now is the time for you to access the savings you are entitled to from your vendors. To learn more about Glean AI and its incomparable benchmarking abilities, contact us at to schedule a chat at your convenience.

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