Saturday 8 February 2014

Plan Better for Today & Tomorrow through Spend Analysis

Authored by Usama Shahid

The companies can greatly benefit from incorporating a smarter spend strategy into their organizational platform. By having credible spend information companies can make smarter purchasing decisions which will ultimately make them more successful. However, selecting the right spend analysis approach is not as simple as it may seems!
The primary purpose of deploying a spend analysis program is to help CPOs CFOs to transform there spend data into meaningful amount of  information to forecast and make better decisions for spend strategy.
The following tips are the key success factor that will help organizations to shape there spend analysis approach as well as drive purchasing success for there corporation.
 Saving Opportunities:
Spend analysis forecast better saving opportunities for feature and can plan to increase these savings by identifying the red areas. A buyer can get more just using the information to consolidate their supply base in a cost effective manner.
Furthermore , if a strategic approach is taken to spend visibility and analysis, efforts for spend and savings opportunities are multiplied and the organization can then achieve hundreds of million of dollars in savings.

Collect All Data  for Unfettered Analysis: 
The first step to deploying a deeper spend analysis is to collect data from every source system. The key here is to ensure that you are incorporating data that is spread across all of your organization. Additional unstructured data that may have been previously unaccounted for now can be blended into the mix to help drive value for other parts of your organization . Looking at all data related to spend provides the most visibility and leverage possible.
The key here is to ensure that you are getting a comprehensive look at all spend  related data which can be a difficult task if you do not have the right strategy.

Avoid Data Dumping:
The more resources and team that are working on your corporate data, the more difficult it will become to have all of this information unified into the same black box. This leads to the third issue your future. It will be an extremely long refresh cycle if your new resources are trying to understand inconsistent data that has been compiled by multiple outside corporations. By avoiding the black-box 
syndrome you will save your company time and money.

Minimize the Burden:
 One of the greatest burden for many sped analysis projects is to extract the data out of the system. This usually fall on your company's IT resources who are asked to not only extract the data but to formats those outputs in exact set of standards. With the number of systems deployed by a single  company, this task can become complicated. While it is recommended that there is some initial involvement by IT to help confirm the data totals , your spend analysis approach must offer the utmost flexibility when dealing with multiple file types and formats.

Spend Analysis is a Business Function:
Like many other aspects of business, spend analysis is a business function that requires internal and resources from different  business departments.It is essential that you have multiple people with sourcing knowledge along with expertise in business process. Having theses skills will enable your team to effectively communicate with IT, confirm control totals with member in the Accounting and Finance departments successfully lead category audit workshops with the sourcing teams.

Quickly "Mine" the Mountain:
One of the best approaches to building momentum around a spend analysis strategy is to generate quick wins. This is particular helpful if there are skeptics in your organization. The initial savings generated will turn skeptics into believers and set your spend management program off on the right foot. 

Benefit in Long term as well:
Spend analysis intelligence can be described as an ongoing process  rather than a one-time snapshot. The core components of a successful spend analysis program are the following:
  • Data-As comprehensive as possible.
  • Analytic-Visualize your information to make better decisions.
  • Performance Management-Measure performance of all savings projects in a timely manner
Understand Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow:

The capabilities of your spend management strategy needs to evolve as your business evolves. According to maturity curve, you can go from tactical to strategic by identifying opportunities, tracking compliance, measuring and tracking cost reductions and aligning enterprise initiatives.

Different Strokes for Different Folks:

Need and responsibility also vary depending on which user group you are working with. Therefore it is critical that companies understand those different needs and responsibilities and ensure that spend analysis focuses on the overall impact verses simple information.  

By starting the valuable spend visibility, identifying quick win opportunities and letting spend intelligence grow with your organization, your company will be efficient,  effective and hold the keys to overall success.

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