What is Intelligent Spend Management?

12 May, 2019

Intelligent Spend Management: Why it Exists, and Why you Need it

Between global sourcing initiatives, product lifecycle management, supplier diversity milestones and more, the procurement operation in any sizable company is tasked with processing immense volumes of data.

And with the immense popularity of lean and tech-oriented skill sets in the discipline, no data is more relevant to procurement than the things that impacts company spend.

The Problem: Data Islands

Often, supply chain data is kept on systems that don’t talk with each other. Some systems may be deprecated, while others exist only on certain peoples’ machines.

In operations like this, the company is said to lack something called business intelligence– the ability to efficiently analyze data with technology and derive actionable information.

Introducing business intelligence to a company typically involves change management processes with long time horizons, affecting the bottom line. The growing pains required to become a business intelligence-enabled company may require a major culture shift, too, even while dropping large amounts of money on new ERP systems and consultants.

For those procurement operations that do have all their data efficiently accessible in one place, they’ve still only achieved half the battle. Approaching the data with informatics, or the science of how to use data, poses another challenge altogether.

Intelligent Spend Management: How it Works

Thankfully, for small and medium-sized procurement operations, it doesn’t take a reverse auction guru, enterprise software wiz, and sourcing strategist all in one to enhance the unit’s business intelligence with technology. The traditional methods of enhancing business intelligence have been tailored for procurement professionals in a new, simplified process called Intelligent Spend Management.

First and foremost, Intelligent Spend Management (ISM) streamlines your software suite into a centralized hub. From there, ISM allows the supply chain professional to anticipate threats, understand their market, and work across business units to deliver efficiencies that were virtually impossible before.

SAP Ariba, the most comprehensive ISM software suite, generates more data from across the source-to-pay cycle than any other network. As the company website notes, “SAP Ariba’s vast repository of data has been aggregated from millions of companies conducting trillions of dollars in spend over the course of more than 20 years.”

Thanks to the flexibility of SAP Ariba, third-party solutions and custom flexibility can be easily integrated into the software. Efficiency-oriented solutions like Premikati Marketplace fit squarely into the suite without disruption to the end user.

Intelligent Spend Management: Starting the Conversation

With any change management process, the business needs executive buy-in for the initiative to be truly successful. Achieving that buy-in can be a challenge to procurement professionals, who may face pushback for introducing disruptive, new ideas.

Thanks to the presence of consulting companies specializing in the process, like Premikati, the conversations over how best to introduce ISM to one’s own business can take place in a guided, easy-to-understand manner.

Intelligent spend management is as much a philosophical approach to the procurement operation as it is a function of corporate business intelligence. Reach out to the folks at Premikati, who offer an SAP Qualified Partner-Packaged Solution, to start the intelligent spend conversation.