When launching a strategic sourcing initiative, knowing where to start can seem like a labyrinth. However, an effective spend analysis can provide the compass needed to guide not only your company’s spend reduction activities, but a whole host of other improvement opportunities as well.
A quality spend analysis goes beyond identifying savings opportunities but also:
- Consolidates, cleanses, and classifies spend data across departments, systems, and locations. The structured data creates a repeatable process so you can better monitor change and conduct audits to ensure you’re getting the value you expect.
- Identifies both quantitative and qualitative requirements associated with a spend category. Understanding the quantity and quality of your current suppliers can help you recognize areas of opportunity where your organization’s needs are / are not met.
This past week, Source One Associate Director and Spend Analysis expert, Jennifer Ulrich, spoke at LaSalle University on the topic of Spend Analysis. Ulrich engaged LaSalle’s Business Systems and Analytics professors and students through an interactive presentation on the methods and application of data analysis - for the purpose of Strategic Sourcing.
Students walked away with new insights on:
- How to use different data visualization techniques to communicate the findings to different audiences
- Techniques for managing disparate, decentralized data sets
- The various stakeholders and levels of accountability in completing a spend analysis
- The role of spend analysis not only within a strategic sourcing initiative but as a barometer for financial performance
- How to transform the data into actionable requirements
Ulrich shared, “The LaSalle faculty and students were a great audience, and I’m very humbled to have had the opportunity to speak with them. The audience had a real thirst for knowledge – to understand how what they discuss in the classroom does correlate to honest-to-goodness impacts in the ‘real world.’ Whenever we can create a bridge between academia and business, and the classroom and the workplace, everyone benefits.”
Based on the success of this event, LaSalle has invited Ulrich and Source One back for the fall semester.