Maverick spending is costing schools significantly each year. EqualLevel developed the EqualLevel Savings Advisor™ (ELSA) to thwart this overspending. ELSA combines the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to automatically identify in real-time the lowest price for an item, or the best available substitute. In 2021, EqualLevel examined spend data from twenty school district customers that utilize the EqualLevel Marketplace with ELSA and the total amount of procurement savings the districts achieved in one year was remarkable.
EqualLevel Savings Advisor
The EqualLevel Marketplace solution consolidates supplier catalogs into a single marketplace to easily comparison shop items. ELSA combines the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to automatically identify, in real-time, the lowest price for an item, or the best available substitute. This enables shoppers to quickly edit their shopping cart to accept ELSA’s recommendation, or to enter a justification for keeping their current item. Detailed reporting is available that includes the alternatives suggested, decisions made, and the savings achieved or missed.
Procurement Savings With ELSA
To measure the impact of ELSA, in 2021, EqualLevel examined the spend from twenty school district customers that utilize the EqualLevel Marketplace with ELSA. These districts were spread among five states and utilized marketplaces that were integrated with eight different ERP systems–eFinancePlus, MUNIS, Oracle, PeopleSoft, SAP, Skyward, TEAMS, and USAS.
In total, ELSA saved the twenty districts a combined $642,454 for 2021. These savings were a direct result of ELSA auditing shoppers’ carts and recommending the same or comparable products at a lower price from other approved vendors, and the shopper accepting the substitute. The savings for each district depended on their total spend, but average savings were $32,122, and the highest savings calculated from data from one of the larger school districts was $282,852. In addition, data showed that savings increase over time. As more contracts are added to the marketplace, and as the AI engine learns more about shoppers’ buying behaviors, ELSA identifies more alternatives and drives even more savings.
Most of the twenty districts achieved a return on investment for their marketplace application in the first year with their savings from ELSA alone. This does not include the savings achieved via the marketplace itself. Ensuring contract compliance, increasing productivity, and reducing manual data entry and errors all contribute to greater savings beyond those achieved with ELSA.
For K-12 school districts, EqualLevel’s marketplace solution can do more than streamline their procurement processes and ensure compliance—it can also drive significant cost savings. By incorporating real-time analysis using an AI engine for comparison shopping, the EqualLevel marketplace can prevent overspending and deliver immediate cost savings to school districts.