Last week, Jason Busch, executive editor, Spend Matters, and I did a webinar on how to achieve “Order Out of Chaos for Indirect Spend.” In this webinar we sought to help companies understand why indirect spend has historically been so difficult to manage and to begin surfacing solutions and tactics they can use to reign it in. Many companies are beginning to explore strategies for managing their indirect spend but the chaos most are finding behind the scenes is daunting at best.
It’s imperative to get this message out because most companies are still using spend and expense management tools that were designed in a different era, not for use by knowledge workers that require a consumer experience. These employees simply don’t have the time, inclination or bandwidth to use legacy solutions. I firmly believe that companies and employees deserve as much innovation in their business apps as they do in their mobile apps, consumer shopping experiences and personal devices.
The response was fantastic, both during and after the webinar, and I am excited to continue what we’re now envisioning as a series on indirect spend management in blogs, articles and webinars over the coming months. I’ve pulled out a few highlights from my and Jason’s discussion last week and included at the bottom of this post is a link to the full webinar recording for those of you interested in hearing more about indirect spend management.
Highlights from the CEO of Deem and Jason Busch (JB): Order Out of Chaos in Indirect Spend
The first step…: “To me…it’s time to admit we have a problem: We are nearly 20 years into the B2B eProcurement and eCommerce ‘revolution’ and yet indirect spend remains chaotic, often unmanaged and invariably sub-optimized.” -CEO
Little companies have big problems, too: “Despite size we find similar situations between middle market and large organizations around indirect and services. Now, these challenges can magnify in large organizations, but even mid-tier organizations often have a lot of commonalities.” -JB
Integration is key: “We’ve got to think about managing Indirect holistically, and whether we use one provider or multiple providers integration for process and technology is absolutely key.” -JB
The fundamental challenge of Indirect: “One [of the challenges for Indirect] is that Procurement doesn’t manage it. The irony of this is that procurement centralization in larger companies is typically focused on Indirect, but the fundamental challenge of Indirect is that it’s not somebody within Procurement or Operations or Supply Chain doing the purchasing, it’s the frontline users in the business. So whether we like it or not, our stakeholders manage it, and whether we like it or not as well, too often our suppliers manage it for us.” – JB
The evolution of client server to web: “The people that were largely designing these [early indirect procurement] applications…came from companies that never had to design software meant for human consumption – the were automating business processes for the CIO,…applications that may have been used by a handful of employees – they never had the burden of a consumer experience for the end-user population…That is still manifest in many of these [market leader] applications.” -CEO
Suites reduce maverick spend: “In the B2B space, if you can provide that integrated suite, that common shopping experience, it doesn’t lead to maverick spend because ideally that platform, those applications actually contain your negotiated deals with your preferred supplier…[so it keeps] them in that integrated suite, abiding by corporate rules and policies and avoiding that maverick spend.” -CEO
The backend is as key as the frontend: “So many solution out there today, looking at P2P and T&E, have prioritized the frontend and there’s complexity on the backend that [they] do not take the time to focus on.” -JB
“Architecture matters and openness matters…no solution is an island” -JB
Webinar Link: Order Out of Chaos in Indirect Spend