We’re entering a new era in procurement, payables, and finance, one that will catch many off guard and unprepared.
Just as the winds of change are swirling in fields such as transportation, retail, and medicine, the revolution underway here will deeply impact not only how our work gets done but why. We will redefine how we connect with both internal and external constituents in unexpected ways. We will challenge long-held assumptions and re-write the training manuals that guided the previous stages of our careers.
New talent will arrive, with new skills and perspectives, to navigate these changes with excitement and energy. Dare I say, a bit of fun will enter our ordinary work world!
The Rise of Data Intelligence
The upheaval we’re talking about is “data science”, and its application will empower our field to deliver big results. Adopters will gain new respect. Armed with facts, now readily available thanks to data science, we will create new value for the communities we serve.
Advanced analytics will help us understand external factors such as supply markets, consolidation opportunities, pricing trends, exchange rate dynamics, invoicing accuracy and cost drivers. Internal measures such as compliance, consumption changes, productivity, error rates, fraud triggers, and diversity supplier participation will all be incorporated into new tools that will comprise the toolkit of the modern procurement and payables professional.
What Leaders Share
A few years ago, as we were creating FinVantage Solutions, we reflected on the what types of organizations – and leaders – stood out in our field. We looked for common factors that tended to come to the forefront, whether it was during speaking engagements, small group meetings at conferences, vendor gatherings, or even negotiation sessions. Certainly the use of innovative techniques or cool technology played on over-sized role in their success, but what we realized at the core was this:
An Effective Impact Story
By and large, leaders at these organizations can articulate the identified opportunities, changes made, and results seen using DATA. And they’ve built teams around them to pursue analytical rigor, based on data science, to achieve their goals time and time again.
To that end, we’re building a community of innovators and visionaries who want to be able to tell their story better. Our blog, called Data-driven Procurement, will bring insights to how data is solving the most pressing challenges of procurement and payables. We’ll learn tools and techniques to make this vision a reality in your own organization. We will make it practical and attainable, no matter what your own background.
Moving beyond Spend Analytics
Using the term “spend analytics” is common in procurement circles. Our perspective is that this is a dangerously limiting view of the promise of what data can do. What we’re after is instead is procurement and payables *intelligence*. We’re seeking those measures which gauge effectiveness in supporting the mission of the organization. But having insights alone is not helpful if we can’t share it in a succinct format with others. The data visualization techniques used by today’s innovators spark not just discussion but exploration, debate, collaboration and finally – action. We hope you agree that this is so much bigger than “spend analytics”.
We’re excited to start sharing insights from our clients and others here in the Data-driven Procurement blog. We welcome your anecdotes, questions and topics of interest to firstname.lastname@example.org. Together, we will build a resourceful community of innovators that will define the new era.
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