Better, Faster, Cheaper: The Future of Procurement Using Big Data Tools

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Imagine a future that is better, faster, and cheaper than the current procurement environment:

  • No maverick spend
  • No tail spend
  • Strategically manage all aspects of your procurement
  • Get 100 times more suppliers on every bid and 100 times more cost granularity on every single transaction

It’s possible with digital transformation. There are big data analytic solutions that allow you to do all of this without burning your people out, and that double the savings and innovation for your business.

Procurement faces a lot of challenges every day:

  • Policy issues or buyers completely bypassing procurement
  • Our tools are time-consuming and outdated
  • We have limited competition in our bids
  • We don’t have strong cost driver knowledge

These challenges can be severely reduced with new tools, processes, and capability changes that didn’t exist a decade ago. You don’t have to accept these challenges any longer.

How to Use Big Data Technology to Eliminate Procurement Challenges

What if you could unencumber your team from spreadsheet-based analytics? With big data analytics, you can take a complex, complicated bid that would typically take 75 days and a lot of resources and do it in less than two days.

With artificial intelligence (AI), robotic process automation (RPA), and machine learning (ML) algorithms, you can find more and better suppliers. Using these tools, you can drive change and deliver value, including savings, to your business.

1) Strategically Manage Spending

Typically, we only source and manage about 20% of our suppliers, leaving 80% unmanaged because our procurement teams just don’t have the bandwidth to manually track everything in spreadsheets. We tend to focus on our big suppliers and neglect the small ones, even if those small suppliers are essential. 

To strategically manage our spend, we need to:

  • Automate to manage ALL suppliers
  • Source more suppliers

2) Use the Right Tools

Sourcing and analyzing supplier data using old tools takes a lot of time and often delivers inaccurate or incomplete data. With updated technology, our procurement teams can analyze bids more robustly, manage more suppliers, and unpack a lot more information about costs.

To transition to the right tools, we need to:

  • Retire spreadsheets and switch to RPA tools
  • Eliminate manual Google searches and switch to AI-enhanced finding solutions

3) Eliminate Maverick Spend

Nearly every company has massive maverick spend that happens when the procurement process doesn’t work the way we need it to work, usually because the process or the tools to complete it are outdated or broken.

To eliminate maverick spend, we need to:

  • Create a technology ecosystem of easy-to-use, powerful tools
  • Create a simple process and accessible training to enhance buyer capabilities and procurement involvement

Data, supplier data specifically, should be available to everyone that needs to see it. If you could include 1600 suppliers on every bid and get cost granularity by unpacking 100 various drivers that actually drive the price, how much better would your deals be? Today’s technology allows us to get these insights in seconds instead of after months of pivot tables. It is a game-changer for procurement.

Every single bid, when you’ve got a lot of suppliers and a lot of cost attributes, is a big data analytics problem that can be solved to deliver huge value for your business.

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