Procurement has the power to do far more than execute purchases and sign on the dotted line. The function has game-changing potential to mitigate risks, develop strategies, and, of course, drive savings. This all becomes much easier when it’s got access to a wealth of accurate, actionable data. 

Unfortunately, the word ‘data’ alone can often raise eyebrows across Procurement teams. Things are even worse when data resides in a silo that’s off-limits to Procurement. At Source One, we take a data-centric approach to Procurement. We it as fuel for each of our initiatives and consider it a vital asset for both building partnerships and elevating Procurement.

Predictably, getting started is often the hardest part for Procurement teams looking to take a more data-centric approach. Collecting data is an inherently time-consuming process that’s often complicated by push-back, avoidance, and poor data management practices. It's not surprising that so many organizations take an "out of sight, out of mind" approach to their historical spend.

Our team has succeeded in helping even data-averse organizations recognize what they could be missing out on. We take the lead in collecting data points by embedding ourselves within organizations and applying the best practices we've learned over more than two and a half decades. More importantly, we facilitate the process of identifying the truly high-value, high-impact data. Organizations who've typically practiced poor data management are often confronted with inconsistencies, redundancies, and other headaches throughout their spend profile. Unaddressed, these can stand in the way of savings opportunity and efficiency boosts. 

It's important to remember that simply analyzing data won't bring Procurement much closer to meeting its goals. We set ourselves apart by empowering organizations to take the next several steps. We apply a taxonomy to spend data that's designed with Procurement in mind. Rather than bombarding the function with data for data's sake, we present it in terms that will resonate and inspire action.

Next, we work alongside clients to build out an opportunity roadmap. The document outlines the most strategic and effective path to savings and provides guidance for each phase of Procurement's cost reduction efforts. This is where the raw information provided by spend data becomes something far more valuable - actionable, tangible opportunities to cut costs and optimize supplier relationships. 

Another forgotten step of data-driven Procurement is ongoing savings tracking. In addition to helping Procurement verify its results, keeping a record of savings will help build the business case for future investments. With access to verified savings figures, Procurement can make a more compelling argument that it can, in fact, serve an essential role within the organization. It's no secret that Procurement doesn't always have a great reputation. A more data-centric approach and better processes for tracking and reporting on savings could turn the tide. 

We’re currently leveraging our data-centric approach to support a North American gas company. After wading through more than $400 million in total spend, we identified nearly $5 million in potential savings across 14 spend categories. Together, we're now working to act on those opportunities and make Procurement a valued strategic adviser for the business. 

Want to learn more about what data-empowered Procurement can mean for your business? Reach out today

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Lindsey Fandozzi

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