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New Year Insights for the procurement solutions and services marketplace 2023: The Classification Guru

12/14/2022 By

For several years now, Spend Matters has been collecting and publishing a series of  articles about predictions and insights on procurement, supply and services trends for the year ahead from expert tech and service providers in the market.

This year is no different and we’ve framed the subject around “insights,” highlighting providers’ observations from the year they’ve left behind and how they see these observations shaping the year ahead.

This series will run from mid-December to mid-January, then our analyst Bertrand Maltaverne will wrap up with his own take on the key themes that emerge.

In no order of preference, other than by the date they dropped into our digital letterbox, today let’s hear from Susan Walsh, founder of The Classification Guru, a data cleansing specialist.

Classified and maintained spend data for fraud prevention

2023 is going to be a hard year. Inflation is high and a recession is looming which could lead to job and budget cuts, and pressure to deliver more for less — things are generally looking a bit gloomy.

But fear not, it’s not all bad news! In times like this, there are always opportunities if you know where to look, and I believe that getting your spend and supplier data clean and under control is one way to do this. You can get a true and accurate picture of your spend with suppliers, which means improved negotiations and enhanced cost savings and the opportunity to rationalize your supplier base, curb rogue or maverick spending, and minimize any fraud that might be happening under the radar.

That last part is particularly important, as in tough times a rise in fraud is almost inevitable. And it doesn’t have to be large, obvious amounts, it could be small but regular spend which would nicely slip under the radar if all your spend data is not classified, maintained and analyzed. This is also true when keeping your supplier data clean and accurate. Avoid the opportunity for fake companies to slip into the system, keep the supplier name and address up to date, and run background checks to validate them. Also, avoid multiple versions of the same supplier in your system. This can lead to invoices and POs potentially being raised and paid against two versions of the supplier name if you are not careful, either by accident or design.

My not-so-secret tip is regular maintenance of your data. The more you look at it and are familiar with it, the more obvious mistakes, errors or problems will be to find.

And I can’t leave you without telling you to make sure your data has its COAT on.  It has to be:

C – consistent, make sure everyone is using the same terms, standards and processes

O – organized, have it categorized correctly whether its spend, region, country or something else

A – accurate, agree what that is and make sure it’s as accurate as it can be

T – trustworthy, once you have the above you can make better business decisions

Thanks to The Classification Guru for being a part of this series.


Look out for more Spend Matters Insights for the year ahead over the coming weeks.

If you need to find the right procurement technology and provider for your business needs next year, Spend Matters “Procurement Technology Buyer’s Guide” TechMatch can help.

For granular analysis and comparisons of procurement technology solutions, subscribe to Spend Matters PRO.

And if you are looking for procurement services providers to help you with your 2023 decisions, look no further than our Procurement Services Market Landscape Directory.