If you have already researched the topic, you may already know what a spend analysis is and what it does primarily. Its main job is to reduce costs associated with procurement and thereby improve the efficiency of the company. It has also been known to contribute to inventory management, product development, budgeting, etc.

Spend Analysis looks to find the answers to three questions- what is spent, with whom it is spent, and am I getting the thing that was promised in exchange for my expenditure? By critically looking at all these three questions, spend analysis tries to give a comprehensive idea about the whole procurement cost.

Most companies apply to spend analysis technology to increase their profitability. This analysis shows the companies the area of redundant expenditure, the scope of savings, and opportunities for future profitability. Spend Analytics Software has always been on the demand for many organizations as it can be a valuable tool for CPOs or Chief Procurement Officers. The result of the analysis helps the CPO and CFO with important decision-making insights.

In terms of data management, it helps you with transformed spend data, supplier data, detailed opportunity assessment, and comprehensive analysis. Not all companies implement the spend analysis tool. They do not realize that this amazing tool can give them a competitive advantage and keep them one step ahead.

Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) nowadays use this tool to find flaws in their overall process and manage them efficiently. Many businesses, despite knowing the advantages of spend analysis software, do not avail of the service to avoid incurring extra money. However, they fail to realize that the money they are trying to save is a one-time case, but if they avail of the service then it will become a permanent cost reduction system for them.

All the big companies are dependent on this type of spend analysis technology to help them make better procurement decisions. Any information or data without proper analysis is useless as they cannot provide you with any conclusions. Without the help of software, the manual calculation will take a lot of time. You should also take human error into account which is eliminated in the case of an automated tool. Any company can also manage its risk more properly if it can accurately pinpoint its problems and possible solutions and opportunities for them.

Despite the vital role that spend analysis plays in strategies and decisions for supply management, few businesses currently have in place formal procedures for the management and analysis of spend data. Even worse, the firms that have set formal procedures in place are only focusing on the examination of half of their total spending. Below is a look at some of the common challenges to spending analysis and management.

Disparate Sources of Data

Spend data is typically found in multiple systems across an organization, including general ledger, accounts payable, purchasing, legacy systems, and enterprise resource planning (ERP). Spend data can also be located in systems outside the enterprise such as credit- and procurement card systems, automated clearinghouses, and bank feed, as well as business systems installed at outsourcing service providers, such as procurement service providers. Historically, the aggregation of data from such disparate systems has proved to be a manual and time-consuming process.

Incomplete/ Inaccurate Data

ERP systems are originally designed for the control and processing of transactions, rather than their reporting and analysis. The detailed information required for successful classification and analysis of spending data is often located in unstructured data within ERP and other business systems. Such information is typically full of errors or lacking in critical data fields, such as product attributes, account codes, or supplier names. To avoid problems with spending data classification and spend analysis; it is important to correct such errors at the outset.

Incongruent Conventions for Vendor Naming

Within any given business, a single vendor will often be called by different names. For instance, IBM may also be referred to as I.B.M or Int'l Business Machines, and so on. It's also not uncommon for an enterprise to unknowingly do business with multiple entities that are in fact units of a single company. In addition, an organization may purchase products from a reseller or distributor never knowing that it has a direct contract in place with the manufacturer. Such issues pollute spend data, thereby posing limitations to the visibility of true spending patterns, while decreasing negotiation leverage with suppliers.

The main goal of performing spend analysis on a company is to increase profitability through the identification of wasteful spending and flagging contracts that can be renegotiated. Inadequate spend data analysis and management capabilities are costing businesses over $260 billion annually in missed savings opportunities. For a company to grasp its spending, it will need to reconcile all the disparities highlighted above.

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