We at Sourcing Force are immersed in the world of spend analysis and spend management and interact with a wide variety of companies – all with a diverse set of evolving requirements. The key words here are diverse AND evolving – what works for one company may not work for the next.
Throughout our deployments we are constantly evolving and flexibly accommodating unique customer needs – an inherent requirement of any spend analysis application. So, I have come up with some basic.
1- Is that an avalanche?
Anyone working in the world of spend analysis will tell you that at times it feels like you’re being bombarded with an avalanche of data.
The initial data brought into the system is not the issue – this is expected and usually identified and documented well in advance of kickoff. It’s all the “other” data that comes in after the fact that we need to be prepared for and more importantly, are working with a system that can accommodate. Business systems in use today are constantly changing with new releases and modules. Many times these new capabilities bring about the need to capture additional data in the spend system. One of the more interesting challenges we have been able to meet is incorporating vast amounts of external data into the system to provide expanded category and commodity visibility.
2- Beware of changes in terrain.
These are the business requirements which can radically shift on a moment’s notice. What starts out as a standard spend analysis deployment may quickly need to adapt to an entirely new set of requirements, such as supporting new product introduction analysis or inventory forecasting. If we have learned one thing throughout all of our experiences over the years it is that a standard spend analysis deployment is only the beginning. The visibility it yields immediately unlocks the need for even greater visibility.
3- Watch out for tremors.
The business landscape is in a constant state of flux, both internallyand externally. Companies are constantly acquiring a division here, divesting a unit there, with the expectation that the spend system always reflect the current state of the business. One of the best examples of this can be seen in the world of private equity/holding companies with diverse portfolios of autonomous companies.
As the portfolio evolves so must the spend system adapt.
As the needs of one portfolio changes so must the system…and on and on.