September 1, 2022

Welcome to Season 2 of the Ramp podcast: Recession-Proof

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We're back with season two of our podcast! Welcome to Recession-Proof, where we delve into how finance leaders are viewing current economic conditions and how they're bolstering their teams against potential headwinds. The macro trends of 2022 are putting tremendous pressure on businesses and more specifically, financial leaders. Higher inflation, lower investment, and budget cuts suggest that we may be swiftly heading toward a recession (if we are not already in one).

Instead of raising capital and driving growth, many are starting to rethink their strategy to increase operational efficiency and reduce expenses. This season, we will be speaking with leading experts in marketing, sales, e-commerce, and more to understand how finance teams can partner with them to weather the coming months. We're delighted to welcome guests like Sam Mallikarjunan of OneScreen.ai, Geoffrey Woo of Archive, Keith Masuda of Modern Treasury, and more.

In the first episode of the season, Recession-Proof co-hosts Kimia Hamidi, Head of Savings at Ramp and Alex Song, VP of Finance & Capital Markets, discuss how to save cash, control expenses, and still focus on growth, despite unfavorable economic factors. Kimia and Alex discuss:

  • 2022 macro dynamics
  • What makes a great business
  • When you should bring on a procurement manager
  • SaaS procurement negotiation strategies

We’ve condensed some of the major themes from the conversation and summarized them below. But to get a full picture of their conversation, be sure to check out the episode, available on all major podcast streaming platforms. Here’s some of what you’ll hear about in this episode: 

Best practices for effectively cutting costs 

Reducing costs requires a lot of transactional data you can trust (so that you can be confident in negotiations) and an experienced team of negotiators. You also have to truly care about your costs in order to bring transparency and visibility to your spending.

“Everyone says they care. But not everyone actually cares” - Alex Song

The best time to bring on a procurement manager

A great procurement leader focuses on strict cost controls and ensures their team has an “ownership mentality.” If you are around $150-200k in annual SaaS spend, start thinking about operationalizing your procurement. When you get to around $3-5m of ARR, bring in a procurement manager. When you start signing large contracts that take a lot of time and effort to manage, start building out a procurement team.

“There is still a long slope up until you need a procurement manager” - Alex Song

Macro dynamics we can expect in 2022

Some believe the recession is here, while others say that it is on the way or never will come. Regardless, businesses are facing challenges such as high inflation, budget cuts, and reduced growth forecasts. The best finance professionals are much more concerned with operating efficiency. Many ask their teams: "If you had an extra dollar today, where would you invest it across the business? And if you had one fewer dollar, where would you cut?"

“It's a hard time. Hard times create great companies” - Alex Song

Check out the full transcript here. To keep up with future episodes of Recession-Proof, check us out on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or add our RSS feed to your favorite podcast player. If you like the episode, please follow, rate, and review the podcast!

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