Advanced spend analytics save millions in costly leakage
At a glance
Reliable data and repeatable processes lead to long-term savings
Procurement is one of the fastest moving organizations at any given company, charged with optimizing buying power while identifying savings opportunities. It’s also one of the most complex functions, requiring sourcing teams to sort through mountains of data, dozens of spend categories and lengthy reporting processes. Without visibility into categories or a streamlined way to edit classifications, it’s difficult to implement effective sourcing strategies or see where leakage occurs.
Data improves visibility into corporate spend, drives cost savings and is a fundamental strategic technique for businesses. That’s why one multinational petrochemical company embarked on a journey to standardize its spend analytics process and provide procurement teams with useable data to drive action.
The company brought in Aligned Automation, whose teams of deep procurement knowledge, technological know-how and collaborative approach developed and delivered a plan to enable the client’s targeted spend goals. After deep investigation and iterative design, the team delivered a centralized Spend Analytics solution built on reliable data and repeatable processes, driving millions in long-term savings.
in projected value savings.
The need for change
The petrochemical manufacturer’s Strategic Sourcing team was using an ad hoc, highly manual spend analytics process. Trying to identify and categorize procurement spend for commodity and segment was tedious and occupied valuable employee time. A lack of clear frameworks also led to undiscovered, unmanaged spend and spend leakage, resulting in lost cost savings opportunities. Past efforts were not comprehensive and failed to incorporate the unique blend of functional knowledge, collaboration and advanced technology needed for a lasting solution.
The team knew they needed a better way to manage spend.
Collaborative execution for an end-to-end spend solution
Aligned Automation worked closely with the company’s Sourcing team to research challenges across all teams and segments and create a framework for execution. The team followed an iterative review of identifying and categorizing the spend process—determining keywords, identifying commodity groupings and setting up reliable rules for digitization. A Spend Analytics Dashboard was created that prioritized a seamless user experience, reliable data and a uniform process to report spend.
Identify opportunities and mitigate risk
Comprehensive frameworks and the dashboard facilitated the development of Spend Profiles to perform robust spend analytics. A set of parameters worked in conjunction to provide the best possible result for each segment. To ensure new policies and frameworks were broadly adopted, guiding principles and business rules were socialized throughout the organization.
Aiding adoption was the implementation of pattern-finding algorithms to rapidly capture previously undiscovered spend—a convincing reason for all employees to engage with new processes. With these advanced algorithms and dashboards, employees across the procurement group had valuable insights into spend categories like segment, account assignment, device type and technology. Access to a view of real-time spending enabled strategic decision-making across the organization.
Capture more value through procurement
No matter the company, faster, effective and efficient sourcing analysis leads to strategy adherence and rapid expenditure leakage detection, resulting in significant cost savings. The Spend Analytics Reporting Solution cleans, collates, classifies and presents the organization with spend data from numerous systems. Since every organization is different, the solution uses both researched and pre-determined taxonomy to encompass the needed level of detail.
Real-time solutions like this provide invaluable detail on costs and overhead to improve negotiation and justify spend. Measuring the gap between expected and actual savings helps control leakage by improving compliance and process efficiency across the board. Most importantly, procurement category specialists and C-level executives get clear visibility to the spend for improved decision-making and KPI performance.
With these outcomes, the team is on track to capture $28.8M in savings.