I had a chat last week with an old friend who works in the procurement and supply chain practice of a global consultancy. The most interesting piece of news that he had to report was that the number Spend Management technology assessment projects that his firm was receiving inquiries on had increased significantly in recent weeks. And a number of these opportunities were for very large organizations. In many cases, these prospects had previously invested in Spend Management technology and were looking to upgrade their capabilities or standardize on a common platform.
If this conversation is representative of a broader market trend (and AMR's quantitative research suggests that it is), it's good news for the Spend Management participants on all sides. For practitioners, it signals a willingness to make larger investments in Spend Management to achieve results, and a willingness to prioritize efforts early in the calendar year. For technology vendors, it implies increased deal flow in 2006. And for consultants and analysts, it suggests an increased opportunity to counsel companies on vendor selection and implementation across the Spend Management technology spectrum.