98% of employees complain about spend management. Here’s why that’s a good thing.

In Spend management by James Deem

Remember when people used to complain about driving to the video store, only to find all the new releases were gone? Or when ordering shoes online came with considerable risk? Or when shopping for groceries meant maneuvering through packed parking lots and aisles, hoping everything on your list was in stock?

What complaints mean in the business world.

Innovators see complaints as opportunities. For every, “I wish I didn’t have to…” there’s an opportunity to ask, “What if…?”

Companies like Netflix, Zappos, and Instacart listened to all the consumers who said “I wish I didn’t have to…” and they asked, “What if…?”

What if people could access a virtual library of personalized entertainment without leaving their couch?

What if people could learn everything there is to know about each shoe and how it fits before ordering – if it tends to run wide or narrow, for instance – and still have the option to return the product at no cost?

What if people could order all their groceries from multiple stores without leaving their house, and without paying exorbitant fees?

People are complaining about spend management.

As I alluded to in the title of this post, 98% of employees complain about spend management (Wakefield, 2015). Why is that great news? Because a whole lot of innovators have a whole lot of opportunities to improve a whole lot of companies in a whole lot of areas. And a whole lot of company leaders who continually ask, “How else can we improve?” have a clear diagnosis they can use to improve the health of their entire business.

employee complaints spend management

Create a new spend management status quo.

The leaders at Netflix, Zappos, and Instacart recognized that the status quo wasn’t ideal, so they created a new one. Complaints about spend management are no different. They are opportunities. They are a better status quo, waiting to be realized.

If your company is like most, you receive plenty of complaints about spend management. That means you have an opportunity to save money by making employee spend simpler and smarter. As a bonus – and by bonus I mean major differentiator in an era when corporate culture insight is a Google query away – employees are happier.

A better spend management status quo is only a few “what ifs” away…

What if employees could book travel in seconds, using one system, feeling certain they received the best rate?

What if every employee who orders supplies could save time and money by automatically choosing the ideal vendor and shipping method?

What if we removed dozens of disparate systems and hundreds of processes?

Make your company’s ideal approach to indirect spend a reality. Get started by checking out A New Hope for Employee Spend Management.

About the Author
James Deem

James Deem

James Deem will make the opposition green with envy as he highlights our awesome social events, casts a spotlight on our amazing collection of talent, and provides potential hires with insight into who we are, what we do, and why Deem is one of the hottest places to work in San Francisco. Keep an eye on the culture blog for frequent updates on all things Deem.