Resist the temptation to run for the hills
Many people are tempted to give up at this point. And this is where the wheels come off some solutions - because they just can't deal with the messy reality of business life.
But the best spend management solutions can overcome these tricky issues and more -using a suite of tools to clear up any mess you've unearthed.
Here's a taste of the kind of transformation that's possible:
- Spend intelligence tools: These can aggregate, cleanse, validate, categorise and analyse every ounce of data across your transactional systems. Supplier data enrichment can enable industry codes to be added too, so products and services appear under the right headings. Suddenly, you've got a crystal-clear picture of spending. Any patterns will show you where you could fuel the sourcing pipeline and enforce compliance.
- Strategic sourcing and eSourcing: You can use the most efficient and appropriate sourcing methods, from online auctions, RFx automation, supplier identification, bidding/ negotiations and advanced optimisation tools to dramatically increase the value of goods and services used.
- Contract Management: These solutions provide enterprise-wide contract visibility that allows for reduced cycle times, improved contract renewal rates, a lower total cost of ownership, and increased compliance. Your Procurement teams work hard to negotiate “great” deals with preferred suppliers and it's important that maverick buying doesn’t dilute the intended value.
- Supplier Relationship Management: Get a handle of your supplier base – to monitor their performance, status of transactions, and administer self-service capabilities. The end goal is to have a single view of the truth and improve supplier performance through the use of supplier evaluation systems and collaboration.
- Procure-to-Pay: Provides automated workflow, in-built controls and integration thereby improving cycle times. It facilitates a seamless, end-to-end stream of strategic procurement, purchasing and payables activities by connecting buyers and suppliers, whilst reducing the cost of transactions with efficiency improvements.
And that's just a taster of some of the capabilities available. With spend management, every dark corner of your procurement, purchasing and payment operation can be swept and made useful.
Using the right suite of tools, you can mend the leaks, reduce the waste and fix the cracks for the first time. It doesn't take years or cost a fortune to get right either.