A growing number of senior executives are coming to realize that strategic supply management can be a significant driver of improved corporate performance and better risk management. Spend analysis is the most critical component, and the starting point, of strategic supply management and is essential to achieving world-class performance. If you can’t analyze your spend data, many opportunities for improvement beyond the low hanging fruit are without doubt being missed. One of the foundation blocks for transforming an organization’s practices to world-class supply management is the business process called strategic sourcing. And one of the requirements for enabling world-class strategic sourcing results is rigorous spend analysis.
There is a lot of confusion on what constitutes spend analysis and what benefits can it provide. Spend analysis can help improve several areas: the identification of cost reduction opportunities, the prioritization of sourcing projects, the negotiated results, and the tracking and monitoring to ensure that negotiated results reach the bottom-line. It can also play an important role in improving compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley. However, implementations are complex and involve many departments within an organization. If the implementations are done correctly, they can yield high ROI. If not, they can consume money and deliver no returns due to lack of adoption.