5 Ways Sourcing Teams Can Start Spring Cleaning

As the weather starts warming up and hibernation days are waning, we tend to get the urge to reorganize and clean up the mess that accumulated while hiding from the cold. This phenomenon that helps pull us out of the funk of winter and into a fresh start is referred to as spring cleaning, and it can be applied to more areas of your life besides the home. You can probably start thinking about ways to clean up around the office as well. While you likely don’t have time to devote to a full office revamp, consider where you may be able to put your spring-cleaning efforts to work with these ideas:

#1: Scrub your data. If you don’t already organize and analyze your spend data, now is the time to start. You’ll need to gather all transactions across AP, PO, P-Card and supplier systems across the entire organization. Consider using a third party to consolidate and normalize the data to make analysis simpler. Organized spend data is one of the first steps to understanding where money is actually being spent and how you can improve strategic sourcing initiatives moving forward. Get scrubbing!

#2: Organize processes for efficiency. All too often process breakdown issues are fixed with flimsy bandages and a promise to deal with them later. Devote the time to uncovering where a process is failing and assess why. In the long run, this will save a lot of headache and potentially a lot of money.

#3: Discard unnecessary processes altogether. As organizations grow over time, processes tend to bloat to the point where some become irrelevant. Review all tasks and each step taken to complete tasks. Outline which processes and steps are still necessary and determine which steps aren’t worth your energy and resources. If the process doesn’t increase efficiencies in some way, align with a strategic initiative, cover compliance with an industry/governmental regulation, or save your organization from a disaster or risk, the process probably isn’t necessary and should be removed altogether.

#4: Polish your team. Make sure your team is current with industry information, negotiation strategies, and company strategic direction and initiatives. Training and team building can only make your team stronger in the long run. Looking for new training opportunities for 2014? Attend one of these industry conferences this year!

#5: Inspect departmental goals. Consider goals as they relate to the company strategic direction as a whole and make sure they still make sense. All goals for your team should easily roll up to corporate strategies.

As with cleaning your home, time box your efforts and always remember to “clean as you go” to make spring-cleaning an easier process next time.

What tips can you share about spring cleaning? Share your tips by commenting below or tweeting @iasta!

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