This post originally appeared on Public Spend Forum.
1. Use automated spend analysis to eliminate data wrangling and free up time for opportunity discovery
Top-performing procurement organizations spend much less of their time collecting, cleaning, and compiling spend data compared to the time spent analyzing it and using it to drive value. Do you have spend at line item level by supplier, cost center, commodity, and contract? Can you predict spend? Are you using spend data to push spend visibility to stakeholders? Are you also using it to drive master data management activities? Hopefully, the answer to these questions is ‘yes’.
Data in the federal procurement space is notoriously spotty, and can sometimes take months to bring together. Implementing a cohesive spend analytics program can save hours and money.
2. Get involved in stakeholder planning and budgeting to minimize downstream surprises and firefighting
The idea is to see the future internal demand for your ‘services’ and to get aligned on ‘spend planning’. Bring your spend analyses to help with this. Also, invite stakeholders to your planning processes and use any defined process (e.g., CapEx approval process) or methodology (DMAIC, project/program management, etc.) to get aligned. Finally, monitor the budgets and plan for the ‘hockey stick’ of heavy resourcing you’ll likely need at quarter-end and year-end.
Ensuring that all stakeholders are on the same page is both imperative and rare, even within single agencies. Sharing information from the very beginning helps avoid duplication of effort (or spend) down the line.
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