How much data does your organization generate?
Have you ever looked at your organization in terms of your data? This is a great place to start so you can see your spend and supply base information. Seeing is believing. The data gives you something tangible to review. Spend and supply base data can help you answer some very basic questions like:
- What is my organization spending?
- Who are we spending with?
- How much money is addressable spend?
- How much spend is under Procurement control?
- How much spend is under contract?
- How many suppliers do you have in each of the areas of spend?
- How many categories of spend are in each area noted above?
- What is uncontrolled spend and uncontrolled suppliers?
These are just a few questions you can ask to start extracting valuable information from your data. The information you are seeking provides the baseline value you need to optimize your Procurement organization.
What Does Data Provide?
Data is the key you need to zero in on the facts specific to your organization’s current health and growth potential. Data erases perception and doubt creating fact-based awareness. Without data Procurement is reacting to perceptions and noise painted by the organization. Data is the baseline to measure your work and value. It can show you inefficient and non-existent processes, force you to question and answer issues that you never really thought about and help you understand the facts so you can make better informed decisions.
Getting the Data
Finding, pulling and viewing data can be a nightmare, especially if you do it manually. Technology tools can help you quickly pull, streamline and manage the data so you can quickly find information you need and start answering the multitude of questions on spend and your supply base. Spend analysis tools are the easiest tools to identify, collect, cleanse, aggregate, enrich, categorize and analyze spend. Supply base tools are similar, however they are even more powerful when combined with spend data because they segment, show at risk, performance and compliance concerns that need to be addressed immediately.
Using the Data
Data is just data unless it is understood. Part of understanding is the process to get it and then use it. If you only grab pieces of the data you have only a small portion of the big picture which can leave you exposed to risk issues and reduce or eliminate additional value that can be derived.
After full visibility, you can zero in on facts and trends within the data to start understanding what your spend and supply base is telling you. A few questions to help you sort through it are:
- How much of our addressable spend is not tracked through Procurement?
- How much of our supply base do we not touch?
- What areas are we at risk of not meeting our stakeholders or customer’s requests?
- What areas lack proper processes to ensure compliance?
- How do we measure how well we are doing if we only see pieces of the data?
Data is a key component to solving organization issues but you need to get it, see it and use it in a defined repeatable process.