Posted by  Lance Mercereau  Published on  24 Jun 2014
  • Spend Analytics

Procurement teams globally are tasked with being tasked to find opportunities to lower costs, reduce risk and increase levels of reporting faster than ever before. However, they face a number of roadblocks and delays in trying to obtain the necessary insight, which are compounded by the use of traditional IT-centric and determined spend analytics tools.

IT and procurement departments have traditionally butted heads when it comes to spend analysis. IT is often the gatekeeper of spend data, but due to legacy IT infrastructure they have been unable to provide procurement with this data in a timely manner. All the while, procurement is under massive pressure to find savings, which can only come from a deep analysis into the data. These conflicting agendas mean that procurement teams are often left struggling without the data and using ineffective tools like Excel to conduct spend analysis.

Something has to change.

In an age of new technologies, accessed through the cloud, procurement is now able to regain control of their data and the necessary spend analytics without making an enemy of IT.

Here are three tips to enable you to take back control of your spend analytics:

1. Self-Service Spend Analytics

One of the most frequent frustrations we hear from our clients is that there is an overreliance on IT and lack of control of data. By moving your spend analytics to the cloud, you can open up new opportunities to effectively manage and analyze your spend data, and circumvent IT bottlenecks. Procurement teams can then achieve substantially faster time-to-insight than ever before with flexible, intuitive tools.

2. Quality is Key

Having the tools for self-service spend analytics only solves part of the problem – a renewed procurement focus on spend data means that there has to be a corresponding focus on data quality. This this has been a challenge previously because legacy IT infrastructure has impeded the ability to reconcile disparate, dirty data sources. Procurement needs to be able to have an effective method to integrate, cleanse and enrich data to provide the best quality for analysis – and cloud-based platforms offer the best, unified option for this.

3. More than One and Done

Once control is regained, spend analytics still needs to be treated as an ongoing process to ensure that data quality remains high for analytics. This means that procurement needs to ensure that the right tools are in place to ensure regular data refreshing and management.

The secret to procurement spend analytics success is having the right technology platform which incorporates intuitive self-service tools – ones that are designed to give procurement the insight it needs to make timely and accurate decisions.