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How data-driven recommendations can drive your process efficiency and better spend management

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

5 minute read

How data-driven recommendations can drive your process

When it comes to your business objectives, goals span across your entire procure-to-pay (P2P) process. You want to increase efficiency across your whole P2P while also getting a better grip on spend. And you want to be able to do this in the most effective, clear way possible. The best way to do all this? Use data-driven recommendations provided by elite analytics.

 

The need for data-driven insights

While a hot topic for some time now, the need for data and analytics has increased exponentially as CFOs and CPOs are trying to drive cost control and containment while at the same time minimize business disruptions. But it’s not always easy. In a study by Accenture, 43 percent of CFO respondents said technology was the biggest barrier to achieving the kind of real-time insights they needed to improve strategic decision-making. In other words, they understand the importance but lack the tools necessary to do so. Additionally, according to Gartner research, 78% of CFOs believe it will be difficult to achieve their analytics goals in 2021 while 82% agree that they’ll still be spending a lot more time developing their advanced data analytics tools and technologies this year.

cfo settings

And when it comes to procurement departments, a report by The Harvard Business Review Analytic Services reveals that “First, [there must be] an acceleration of adoption of new digital approaches to supplier management, competitive bidding, and requisitioning. This first step will create greater real-time visibility into sourcing and procurement spending, improve operational efficiency and control of spend, and streamline reporting and analytics across the business.”

So it’s clear - organizations want to use their data in a more advanced, predictive way going forward – to not only drill down but to alert up. Using data to establish actionable insights empowers organizations to not just look at the current state of operations but make proactive and informed plans for the future.

And as organizations begin to see the value of an ecosystem of best-of-breed procure-to-pay (P2P) applications linked together with a central source of data, the need for 100% visibility becomes even more vital and useful. With complete visibility over spend, organizations know who they’re doing business with and how much, so they’re able to manage their spend and forecast in a more predictive way.

When integrating and analyzing data from multiple sources, finding the relevant data to support your operational goals, like improving processes, enforcing decision-making, and driving efficiency, becomes more complicated and time-consuming. Therefore, requiring advanced analytics systems that are capable of handling large amounts of data to alert up and make data-based recommendations.

So, what are some ways firms can use the data gathered to inform their strategies for increased efficiency and better spend management?

Spend Insights for Better Spend Management

A proper source-to-pay (S2P) partner ecosystem makes sure you cover all areas of business spend by using a multivendor approach. With a holistic, multivendor ecosystem, your business gets the best of the best in each area of P2P. So, what exactly is an ecosystem?

It’s the alternative to a full S2P suite from one vendor. With a “one vendor fits all approach,” customers are locking themselves into suites of uneven quality that will often take years to roll out. This can lead to low and slow adoption rates. And in order to achieve user adoption, Gartner says you “should focus on finding solutions that fit your buying organization's needs as closely as possible. This means that, in many areas, it makes sense to consider alternative specialist solutions to replace or — in some cases complement — the suite offerings.”

Basware, as an advocate of this type of P2P approach, helps customers gain 100% spend visibility by utilizing Basware as their single, primary spend management provider, augmented by seamlessly integrated partner solutions, providing greater flexibility and depth. Since Basware customers typically collect 100% of their invoices within Basware AP Automation, that means 100% of their supplier spend is also collected and processed within Basware. The invoice data in this “hub” becomes critical to business performance, supplier performance and future strategic spend management decisions.

What this also means is that with an ecosystem of strong partners, we have the opportunity to team up with industry-leading analytics providers to get even more insights. Our ecosystem partner Sievo, for example, can seamlessly integrate Basware data into its analytics platform to provide AI-powered insights to end-users.

And thanks to our ecosystem partner paired with Basware’s built-in Analytics platform, we make it easy for an organization to get a total view of their entire spend profile – not only PO-based spend but also non-PO-based spend. The use of data-driven recommendations and analytics is what Basware’s dedicated Spend Insights Dashboard empowers businesses to do, but it’s just the beginning!

  • Visibility of 100% of all the outgoing money and how it’s structured

  • The ability to break spend down into authorized and unauthorized spend

  • Visibility of the contractual spend – how much of the payments are based on an agreement in aggregated level, and show that also on contract number level

  • Transparency over how much spend has been allocated to individual agreements and see how compliant they are

  • Clear recommendations of what kind of actions they should take based on this data