Posted on 7 December by Rob Painting Key points An accurately dated, near-continuous, history of sea level variations for the lastyears has been compiled.
At what price Who needs it? However, good spend analysis is much more than that. Additionally, it impacts more than just the sourcing team. Leadership needs to see the data in broader, aggregated groups, while sourcing power users need greater detail to drive specific commodity decisions.
The Evolution of Spend Analysis Spend Analysis has recently emerged as a larger, more integral piece of corporate spend management.
Formerly, spend analysis was primarily the purview of big companies with large amounts of spend under management and significant internal budgets for managing that spend. New technology, new methods of collecting and managing spend data, along with the growing acceptance that in order to manage your spend you have to understand it, have raised interest in spend analysis from companies of all sizes.
In a challenging economy with many companies experiencing sales that are either trending down or flat, managing costs may be the only way for companies to improve their bottom line. In recent years, spend analysis tools have made dramatic functional and technical improvements while the costs have gone down.
The affordability and power of new tools and technology are proving less sophisticated spreadsheet and gut-feel methods of analysis to be inferior. Many companies are embracing the idea that they can't afford not to incorporate spend analysis into their spend management system. When organizations begin implementing Spend Management they typically start with some form of strategic sourcing, choosing an obvious commodity based on highly visible factors such as quantity purchased, number of suppliers, or widely varying price points.
Eventually organizations run through low hanging fruit and realize that in order to manage their costs they must understand where they are spending their resources: The process of collecting and classifying this information is Spend Analysis.
Organizations start with Spend Classification, eventually achieving Spend Visibility, before progressing to Organizational Spend Management. New Advanced Capabilities and Criteria With greater customer success at each level, newer technology continues to push advancements in Spend Analysis.
Business Intelligence tools are making data easier to manage, store, maintain and classify. Better access to data is allowing businesses to employ evidence-based decision making at all levels of their organizations. The ease of collecting data is driving organizations to look at how they can best use the information.
Spend Analysis is one of the ways that businesses are extending the power of Business Intelligence data by connecting the information about a product or service with the people responsible for choosing suppliers and negotiating prices.
The additional availability of data is increasing demand for data-driven business solutions and Spend Analysis is no exception to this trend. Data-driven Spend Analysis means more capabilities and savings opportunities at less cost. In-House Efforts Because Spend Analysis appears to be a straightforward database application, in-house personnel typically IT staff are often eager to take on the challenge of building a Spend Analysis system using tools at hand.
Few of these efforts succeed, because data mapping, hierarchy organization, and refreshing of data become problematic and burdensome over time without technology specifically developed to enable them.
However, at least one leading e-sourcing vendor in the 's produced a Spend Analysis system using a third-party OLAP database, a third-party OLAP viewer, and third-party services for cleansing and mapping spend data — without ever developing any of its own technology. So there is at least an existence proof that it is possible to build an in-house Spend Analysis system from existing components and services, albeit an expensive one.
Manual Approach Spend Analysis can be performed with nothing more than ordinary tools like Excel and a sharp pencil. Many sourcing consultants, for whom Spend Analysis is a necessary prerequisite to any advanced sourcing effort, still use largely manual techniques. The problem with manual spend analyses is that they are not repeatable; they are one-off efforts that support one-off sourcing projects.
Thus, most of the effort is thrown away and is unable to be re-used the next time spend information is required. Packaged Solutions Starting in the early 's, a few vendors began offering custom Spend Analysis systems. Then in the late 's, a much larger number of vendors began to produce Spend Analysis applications; now, inevery e-sourcing suite vendor offers a Spend Analysis application, as do several independent vendors, despite significant consolidation in the space.
What you don't know costs you money! There's a common saying, "you don't know what you don't know. Not knowing what and where you're spending means not knowing where you can save. Organizations that collect more data and classify it to their sourcing categories discover more opportunities for leveraging suppliers.
These may be opportunities that were completely hidden from view this is especially true for disparate and geographically spread-out companies.
By integrating all of this granular data, companies can achieve greater insight into expenditure areas that were not previously visible. Most companies identify different categories of expenditure breakdown where the number of purchases made from multiple suppliers reveals opportunities for leveraging price and volume discounts.
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