Spend Analysis: Why you Need Special - Purpose Tools

Charlotte Sutton
Charlotte Sutton,
Procurement teams frequently struggle with step one of the spend analysis process: transforming raw expenditure data into information that is fit for purpose.
There are almost always more data quality issues than anticipated – especially when combining data from multiple systems and business units. Most procurement teams do not have the necessary staff, resources, skills or suitable technology to undertake the data aggregation, cleansing and classification work that’s needed just to get the data in the right shape to analyse. And it’s not a one-time project – the process needs to be repeatable month after month.

Even if the data is in good shape and it is possible to extract it in a usable format, most procurement teams do not have skilled data analysts, easy to use analytical tools, or the facility to easily distribute the information to the business managers and operational staff that need it. Standard reporting tools are too inflexible and general-purpose BI tools are too complex. 

What are the main difficulties of the ‘Do it Yourself’ Approach?

At first glance, it may seem reasonable to assume that it is possible to effectively analyse spend data using internal resources. However, there are some things to consider before going down that road:
  • When transaction data is extracted from eProcurement, accounts payable, PCard systems and other sources, it is often in a very raw state and in multiple files. The procurement team who need to use the data are not usually data analysts, so getting what they need from the data in its raw state is just too difficult or too time-consuming. To make it useful, the data requires significant time, staff resources and database skills to aggregate, cleanse and classify the data before it is in a usable state. Done without the right tools, de-duplication of vendors across multiple files and classification of vendors and spend are both time consuming and difficult to complete consistently and accurately. But those steps are absolutely required if the data is to be fit for purpose.
  • Internally developed business intelligence solutions are often difficult to set up, distribute access to and support end users beyond a very limited audience. These difficulties mean that either the information is severely under-utilised, or an extra internal team of analysts is needed to respond to specific requests for information. Quite often, the key stakeholders and senior executives who really need the management information never get to see it.
  • Working in collaborative groups or comparing expenditure to other organisations brings additional challenges because data needs to be gathered and aggregated across those organisations. Aggregation, cleansing and classification of multiple datasets together just multiplies the difficulties an individual organisation faces in getting better spend visibility.
How PROACTIS Spend Analysis Makes it so Much Easier

PROACTIS Spend Analysis is a comprehensive, enterprise-grade, cloud-based, mobile-ready spend analysis solution that is ready to use almost immediately. It is a purpose-built solution that addresses all typical data issues and puts powerful ready-to-use analytical capabilities directly into the hands of procurement and finance professionals. It requires little or no IT assistance and can be delivering actionable insights in a matter of weeks. 

PROACTIS Spend Analysis combines sophisticated spend data capture, cleansing, enrichment and classification capabilities with powerful, intuitive, ready-to-use analysis tools to provide instant visibility into fundamental questions such as: What are we spending? What are we spending on? Who is doing the spending? Who are we spending with? How well are our spend control processes working?

As such, it provides procurement, finance and departmental managers with the information they need to: identify and capture savings opportunities, identify and mitigate risks, improve process efficiencies and improve financial and operational performance.

With PROACTIS Spend Analysis, you are not starting from scratch; you don’t need to think through all the details; you don’t need to build and test all the tools; and you benefit from years of experience. Why would you do it any other way?

Benefits of PROACTIS Spend Analysis vs. doing it yourself:
  • Designed and built by professionals with years of experience in procurement and technology
  • Requires far less manpower for you to design and implement
  • Greatly reduced time to results
  • Little or no IT resource required
  • Experienced implementation support
  • On-going enhancement and technical support
  • Confidence in quality of information
The basics of your case are simple:
  • Your team can do the job of procurement far better with clear visibility of your organisation’s spend always at their fingertips
    • More savings
    • Reduced risk
    • Greater organisational efficiency
  • An enterprise grade, purpose-built spend analysis solution such as PROACTIS Spend Analysis gets you there
    • Faster
    • More confidently
    • With less draw on internal resources  
So, if you are looking to build your business-case, contact us today.

Stop operating in the dark! Don’t go another month just ‘guessing’ how your organisation is spending the great majority of its non-payroll expenditure. Start focusing your Procurement efforts where you can make the greatest impact using actionable insights from PROACTIS Spend Analysis.

To learn more about PROACTIS Spend Analysis click here.
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