Want to win a spot at the table? Do it through spend analytics!

Last week I had the pleasure to tour across New South Wales to visit many clients and talk procurement. Some of the major challenges we spoke about for procurement revolved around Supplier Relationship Management (SRM), talent management, and strategies for gaining more recognition within the organisation, gaining the proverbial “seat at the table”. They are all important topics. But there is one other topic that is increasing in popularity: procurement analytics.

Indeed, any discussion of the future of procurement must include a discussion of the role data analytics – or “big data” – will play. In many respects, it may well be the future of procurement. That’s because of the visibility that data analytics enables. Imagine conducting a sourcing process full well knowing what you’ve spent in previous years? That is a major power play with the view of forming strategic relationships.

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“The number-one issue in procurement is visibility and predictability,” says Flextronics CPO Tom Linton. Tools and techniques for upstream visibility will be critical. If you know there is going to be a problem somewhere, you can be proactive about solving it or avoiding it before it happens, he says.

A recent IBM study revealed that some CPOs are already using data to gain more influence in the executive suite as well as to make more intelligent decisions. In fact, the study asserts, 41% of top CPOs embed analytics into their procurement processes vs 16% of lower-performing CPOs.

That’s not the only study touting the benefits of ’big data’. The business magazine Forbes reported recently on a McKinsey & Company study on big data and cited several ways procurement can benefit from its application. Among them: better forecasts of service demand, greater visibility into supplier quality levels, and greater accuracy in predicting supplier performance.

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Procurement at many organisations already has that volume of data. Now if you want that buy in from senior executives, it’s time to make your function and the organisation more efficient by implementing data analytics.

Procurement and Contracts Division offers a spend analysis dashboard service named “Spendalytics”. Through our service, we have profiled over $2 billion worth of organisational spend. For more information on Spendalytics click here. If you would like access to sandbox version of our system to see how your data could be brought to life, email us on info@pcdiv.com.au

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