New Research: Don't be a Spend Dirtball — Make your Procurement, Supplier and AP Data Squeaky Clean

Dirty supplier data -- not to mention inadequate access to it -- is a topic that is too often overlooked inside many companies. Our research suggests that typical large and mid-market companies are losing millions of dollars in potential savings because of dirty supplier data. Undoubtedly, spend analysis and related initiatives are helping with some cleanup. But they're the equivalent of a dust buster when you need a Dyson. Here at Spend Matters, we believe it's high time to take out the super broom and some Lysol and show organizations how to not only create accurate supplier records and details, but to maintain high levels of quality supplier data over time. If you need accurate vendor data to deliver value to your organization -- regardless of what data point it is -- our latest Spend Matters Perspective, Developing and Maintaining Accurate Supplier Data: Lessons from Personal Hygiene to Overcome Dirty Supplier Information in Finance and Procurement, is for you. Jointly authored by Spend Matters' Thomas Kase and Jason Busch, we can promise you that it's the most detailed and authoritative look on a subject that's, well, been swept under the carpet far too often.

Today, many finance, operations and procurement organizations have directed sourcing and supply chain activities toward finding the right product at the right price delivered at the right time -- while overlooking the impact of less tangible vendor issues, or even merely assuming that these will be dealt with by someone else in the organization. This Spend Matters Perspective is focused on the less tangible vendor data -- data that is normally collected and managed by many different business areas in any given company. Consider the following example, at one organization: when introducing new terms and conditions, a company had to send all letters to vendors updating them of the changes; unfortunately, a staggering 80% of the letters were returned because of bad address information.

Situations like this are not uncommon. Across supplier data types, companies often find themselves with many challenges, even beginning to assess the inefficiencies and errors from duplication of effort and use of outdated information. Others are blissfully aloof with functional silos, unaware of the existence of such data in the first place. Yet as we all know, anything managed by more than two parties is bound to develop redundancies (aka duplicates) and, if not from the beginning, quickly become filled with errors. So decided to take a look at some other ways bad vendor data can cause you grief in both finance and procurement.

Our analysis sets up the business case for investing in programs the right way to drive vendor data quality based on a real-world metaphor we can all understand. And in doing so, it highlights corporate costs associated with bad vendor data impacting supply chain users in procurement, finance, accounts payable, supplier diversity, legal and other positions. We provide examples of immediate hard savings that can come from eliminating over-payments, duplicate payments, missed rebates and discounts. The paper also offers numerous, real-life examples of specific and quantifiable cost sources of potential savings and related cost avoidance/reduction opportunities plus an actual case study from a leading pharmaceutical firm.

Perhaps most important, this Spend Matters Perspective introduces ways to turn bad data into quality data -- particularly through the use of technology. Readers will walk away with concrete steps about how best to eliminate bad vendor data and how strategically important such steps are to broad corporate initiatives outside traditional vendor management. We also explain how learning to fix data can be a means to self-fund other supplier management initiatives (supplier diversity, supply risk, supplier performance, etc.).

So don't wait. Download the free Spend Matters Perspective: Developing and Maintaining Accurate Supplier Data: Lessons from Personal Hygiene to Overcome Dirty Supplier Information in Finance and Procurement today.

Jason Busch

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