Outsourcing Spend Analysis in Procurement When Resources are Limited

outsourcing spend analysis in procurement

In today’s fast-paced business environment, where most procurement leaders strive to stay ahead of the curve, it’s important to have a system in place that can track and report on spend data effectively. The need for outsourcing spend analysis in procurement is even greater when management aims to reduce costs and improve process efficiencies, while not adding to the current workload.

But what can you do when spend analysis and reporting needs have increased but you’re short on staff and resources? Resource limitations are why outsourcing spend analysis in procurement can be extremely helpful. The benefits of outsourcing a large part of your expense review can be huge. Procurement teams can streamline processes, preserve precious hours, and increase cost savings by partnering with a reliable and trustworthy third-party expense review service.

The Challenge of Working with Limited Resources

Procurement and financial employees, especially card managers, are often already stretched thin. Staff shortages and limited resources can hamper productivity and leave many struggling to keep up with their work. 

This can be further compounded for those responsible for the monitoring and management of Procurement cards, Travel Cards, supplier invoices, and other regular spending. If not already, there will come a time when every transaction can’t be monitored manually, nor can the department keep up with the paperwork and record-keeping required to maintain clear spend visibility. If this sounds like your current position, you’re not alone.

However, by outsourcing spend analysis in procurement to a dedicated spend analysis service, you can tap into a wealth of expertise and resources that can help you stay on top of your responsibilities. This can help you improve your productivity, streamline your processes and free up time to dedicate to other important areas of the role.

Benefits of Outsourcing Spend Analysis in Procurement

One of the biggest advantages of outsourcing spend analysis is that you can leverage the power of machine learning and artificial intelligence to automate and streamline your processes.

This is especially important when you consider the large volume of transactions that need to be processed. Outsourcing doesn’t have to replace your day-to-day work. Rather, it can help your department increase overall spend visibility by accessing several more data points.  

By using machine learning algorithms, your P-Card expense review can start to:

  • Identify patterns and anomalies in the data
  • Flag suspicious transactions
  • Prevent fraudulent activity before it occurs

In addition to this, outsourcing also means you can get access to a wealth of expertise and resources that you might not otherwise have. This means you can tap into the knowledge and experience of the spend management service team and use this to improve your processes, optimize your workflows, and ultimately save time and money.

If you’re dealing with siloed data across departments, outsourcing can also help with this by helping you implement a single, effective system that can be utilized for consistent reporting. 

Further, the data gathered from outsourcing can help bridge communication between different departments. Card Managers can help Procurement Directors and lighten their workload by communicating data findings and analyzing them. 

Dispelling Common Fears and Hesitation Behind Machine Learning

While there are many benefits to outsourcing spend analysis in procurement, there are also some common fears and hesitations that people have when it comes to machine learning. Some people worry that machine learning algorithms may not be able to detect fraud or suspicious transactions, that they may miss important transactions altogether.

However, in reality, spend analysis services use a combination of machine learning and human intervention to monitor transactions. This means that while the algorithms are working in the background to flag suspicious activity, a team of experts is also reviewing and verifying these transactions on a regular basis. This two-pronged approach can help reduce false positives and increase the accuracy of the system.

As many industries lean toward utilizing artificial intelligence and machine learning, it’s important to understand that these are not standalone tools. Human interaction and guidance are necessary and required. Using certain tools doesn’t replace your human team, but enhances and empowers them. This allows for more effective staffing and decision-making.

Moving Forward with the Right Tools

If you’re considering outsourcing spend analysis and other expense monitoring, there are several things to consider. 

  • Budget. Cost is an important factor when considering any new tool or service. Luckily, a third-party spend analysis service in procurement doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Card Integrity’s services are cost-friendly and geared toward getting you the best results for your investment. 
  • Flexibility and customization. No matter your budget, you’ll also want to get clear on your needs and goals. That way, you’ll know which services you need and can prioritize the features that are a must. Consider choosing a service that offers a variety of packages or customizations since every organization has different needs.
  • Compliance. Confirming that spending remains compliant is crucial. The analytics and reporting service you use should be able to effectively single out questionable purchases, suspected fraud, and anything that threatens the compliance of your card program.
  • Support. No one wants to pay for a tool and then be left to figure it out on their own. Make sure the service you’re considering offers adequate training and support and is easy to use long-term. 

Card Integrity Can Exceed Your Outsourcing Expectations

Outsourcing spend analysis in procurement can be an excellent way to improve your workflow, streamline your processes, and save time and money. By partnering with a reliable full-service monitoring expert like Card Integrity, you can leverage the power of machine learning to monitor and reduce fraudulent activity. 

DataWISE, our flagship service, monitors 100% of your transactions across multiple payment methods. DataWISE also helps identify spend behavior, and our reports prioritize findings based on your key areas of interest. 

Each client is matched with their personal Forensic Principal from Card Integrity’s team to help manage their account, customize reports, and answer questions. On a regular basis, your Forensic Principal will communicate any pertinent trends and detailed reporting and provide ongoing support. That way, you won’t have to worry about implementing tricky tools or systems. 

Card Integrity also offers other services to handle receipt validation, prevent duplicate payments, and provide valuable cardholder training to employees. Our goal is to help organizations tap into a wealth of expertise and resources that can help procurement stay on top of their responsibilities and increase spend visibility through detailed reporting.

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