Welcome back to another installment of Whitepaper Wednesday here on the Purchasing Certification Blog. This week, I’ll be reviewing a whitepaper entitled “Beyond the Basics: Using Spend Visibility to Drive More Than Category Sourcing Strategies and Spend Reporting” from Spend Matters.

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The #1 question on my mind after reading this title was “OK – what else will we be doing with spend visibility technology in the future?”

If you’re a get-to-the-point person like me, you’re probably wondering the same thing. So let me just give you the quick answer to that question instead of digging into the details, which the whitepaper does quite eloquently:

  • Using mashups to draw a virtually unlimited number of conclusions ranging from how a supplier’s quality compares across multiple facilities to how actual pricing changes compare with market movements.
  • Monitoring internal contract compliance in real-time.
  • Identifying supply risk sooner thanks to integration with external systems that track the same suppliers that you do.

The whitepaper gives many details on these three functions – and a fourth that, despite the title of the whitepaper, deals with developing a sourcing strategy – so I won’t repeat them here.

One of the parts of the whitepaper I found particularly interesting was its description of the changes in the technology on which spend visibility solutions are built. A major one is a shift from using data cleansing as a technology that transforms and combines data from separate systems into a new system to a technology that “can search hundreds (or more) disparate sources while normalizing, classifying and cleansing information at the point of query.” Through implementation of this idea, the new approach will “allow users to integrate new information sources in an often simple and rapid manner (vs. requiring underlying surgery, as it would in a database or data warehousing-centric approach).”

Sounds interesting, although I still think that we’ll see users continuing to be “distrustful of ‘black box’ approaches to gathering and analyzing spend data.”

This whitepaper is an 11-pager. So I am only covering a portion of it here. If you want to dig deeper into the details for the topics I’ve mentioned here – or some topics that I haven’t, such as the whitepaper’s eight thoughtful recommendations – you can download your own copy of the whitepaper from Spend Matters (registration required).

To Your Career,
Charles Dominick, SPSM
President & Chief Procurement Officer
Next Level Purchasing, Inc.
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Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3

Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3 is an internationally-recognized business expert, legendary procurement thought leader, award-winning entrepreneur, and provocative blogger. Charles founded the Next Level Purchasing Association in 2000, oversaw its incredible growth, and successfully led the organization to its acquisition by the Certitrek Group in 2016. He continues to blog and provide advisory services for the NLPA on a part-time basis as he incubates his upcoming business innovations. Charles is also the co-author of the wildly popular, groundbreaking book, "The Procurement Game Plan: Winning Strategies & Techniques For Supply Management Professionals."

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