Category Archives: Spend Analysis

Analytics on the Brain in 2014

The emergence of Big Data has created a demand in the ability to understand and make sense out of an increasingly amount structured and unstructured information. The increased interest in analytics has given rise to a “culture of analysis” where procurement now sees: More data is being collected with an increased portion of this data to be analyzed coming from unstructured data sources such as pdf files, PPTs, emails, blog entries, wikis, word processing documents, photos, graphic images, videos, streaming … More

Go Beyond with Spend Analysis: 3 Ways to Improve Your Modern Sourcing Process

Have you uncovered the hidden potential lying within your data? Data visibility is often the most challenging for procurement pros to achieve. Scott McBride (Iasta Director of Global Alliances) shares the importance of “going beyond” with spend analysis in this short video below. With Scott’s perspective in mind, below are three ways you can improve your modern sourcing process using spend analysis: 1-Centralize your data. Data in a silo is useless. When data lies in different systems, the information is … More

Spend Analysis v. Spend Intelligence: 4 Questions to Ask As a Procurement Team

In 2013, it’s not groundbreaking to say spend analysis is considered a key function within most successful procurement organizations. In fact, Aberdeen Group research found that 89% of best-in-class procurement teams utilized a spend analysis solution within their organization. In the same report, Aberdeen Group gathered that access to data is a critical component to a Best-In-Class procurement team. If you’re curious in reading more about these findings, download the report here: Dynamic Procurement – The CPO as a Collaborator, … More

Building a Sourcing Pipeline: 8 Questions to Ask When Evaluating eSourcing Providers

Are you asking the right questions when you’re evaluating eSourcing providers? Andrew Bartolini of CPO Rising recently published an article entitled “Building the First Sourcing Pipeline – Getting Started.” He provides valuable advice to procurement organizations that have just purchased an eSourcing solution. These organizations should be commended for the decision to become more strategic by implementing tools that will (hopefully) streamline their sourcing processes and vault their positions within their companies. However, from one solution provider’s point of view … More

Make your M.A.R.K. in Modern Sourcing

Have you heard about this new term, “Modern Sourcing”? In an increasingly competitive marketplace, purchasing pros need the right sourcing solutions to identify savings, ensure compliance and mitigate risk. We can help you make your M.A.R.K. with these four tips to make sure you’re on the right path to Modern Sourcing excellence. Migrate towards a center-led procurement structure. Why is this approach so important? Center-led procurement models incorporate supply chain strategies and strategic commodities, best practices, and knowledge sharing while … More

Modern Sourcing Inspired by Dodgeball: 5 Best Practices to Learn

Have you ever watched the movie Dodgeball? I had a chance to watch it over the weekend and the famous line stuck out in my mind: “If you’re going to become a true dodgeballer, then you’ve got to learn the five D’s of dodgeball: dodge, duck, dip, dive, and dodge.” So, put your game face on…the same principles can be applied to modern sourcing.  If you’re going to become a true Modern Sourcing pro, then you’ve got to embrace these … More

Is Your Procurement Organization Dancing in the Dark?

Break out your dancing shoes, brush off the dust, and turn on the lights…it’s time to stop dancing in the dark! We find that a lot of procurement organizations are “dancing in the dark” because they don’t have the proper visibility into their spend and sourcing pipeline. Without this insight, you could be losing out on hard dollar savings and efficiencies! Iasta recently hosted a Webinar with AOL and Spend Matters, “Vote for Visibility: Yes, Procurement and Data can Dance.” … More

Look into my crystal ball…

As the economy continues to evolve and change, procurement groups are looking at past spend to determine sourcing opportunities, supplier consolidation and expansion, and off contract spend. But what about future spend? How can you predict the unexpected? Simple questions such as, “What effect will an increase in gas prices have on my spend?” and “If the real estate price index decreases 5% over the next year, what are my savings?” should be taken into consideration when forecasting for the … More

Spend Visibility and Your Local Coffee Shop

One day last week, I was driving to work and listening to a story on NPR about a coffee farmer from a remote region in Guatemala. The story continued as they discussed a hip coffee shop in Portland, Oregon that is using spend visibility to sell cups of coffee. Okay, they didn’t say, “spend visibility,” but the coffee shop is certainly following spend analysis logic. The story by Allison Aubrey was about how a struggling coffee farmer managed to cut … More

Don’t Be Traditional With Your Spend Management Thinking: Part 1

For many Sourcing organizations, especially those at mid-market companies, being involved in Strategic Sourcing of Indirect Spend categories is still a relatively new opportunity… and a challenge!  Many manufacturing companies, which have historically had sourcing organizations focused on Direct Material and Capital Equipment purchases, may not have the internal staff or correct Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) to get involved in negotiating and managing indirect expense categories. In fact, sourcing organizations may not even exist at some companies, namely those in … More

Spend Visibility Leads to Improved Sourcing Efficiency

In a previous blog, we discussed the use of spend analysis technology as a compliance tool. Today, I want to introduce an additional value that spend analysis can greatly improve—sourcing cycle time performance. In today’s world, spend visibility has become vitally important for procurement organizations to make the right sourcing decisions, especially when there is an increased focus and visibility on driving bottom-line results. With added pressures on procurement teams, often the primary way to improve the bottom-line is to … More

In the New Norm of Fiscal Cliffs, Governments Need Powerful Budgeting Tools

Until recently, governments at all levels have found the market for budgeting tools to be woefully inadequate. Accordingly, most governmental organizations continue to use cobbled-together, Frankenstein-like budgeting tools that, more often than not, rely on users to extract or re-enter data in offline spreadsheets to analyze budgetary policy proposals. Such tools are labor-intensive, inflexible, error prone, limited by the data collected and fail to provide timely, sufficient budgetary insight to optimize resource allocation. In this time of greater public budget … More

How to Accomplish a Pareto Analysis in Microsoft Excel

When examining spend, the most effective way to start is at the top. This method will expose categories with the most savings opportunity because more savings are reaped from higher spend. A lot of corporate spend falls into only a select few categories. For example, a company may have 80% of its spend going to Financial Services, IT, and Published Products. A good spend analysis product should display a Pareto Analysis within each category in its reporting suite. From there, … More

Put on Your Detective Hat & Solve Mysteries with Spend Analysis

When procurement professionals are speaking with me about spend visibility, one of the first questions I ask them is: “What do you want to accomplish with improved spend visibility and data?” I lead with this question because there are many ways to define spend analysis as part of the strategic sourcing process and countless ways to empower sourcing professionals with actionable information. I encourage my clients to start with spend velocity reporting as a traditional starting point, which helps access … More

3 Must Haves to Get Spend Analysis Right

If all companies knew how to get spend analysis right, then there would be many more happy shareholders in the market, looking forward to their monthly holdings statements showing rising stock prices as a result of improved company earnings. But few companies that start a spend analysis journey get off on the right foot. All too often, procurement teams are misled by an incorrect map, showing a false path to what they believe should be their ultimate destination. At its … More