Millions Saved. Pennies Spent. Why Won’t They Learn?

Trade Extensions recently released a new set of case studies chronicling just half a dozen sourcing projects it did over the last couple of years for its fortune 500 clients that chronicled, on average, savings of 10% or more which ranged from 500K on a 5.5M category to 28M on a 200M category. All of these companies saved tens of millions (or more) and only spent in the six figure range for the Trade Extensions solution, which means for every penny it saved a dollar.

It is not just the magnitude of the savings that is significant though – it is the breadth of the impact. The air freight example not only identified a savings potential of 42%, with a realized savings of 21% (when the company took risk, performance, and preferred vendors into account), but also identified a scenario which improved service levels and reduced risks while delivering 21% savings.

The compliance reporting example helped an organization that, due to the scale of it’s operations, took five days to analyze the output of its Transportation Management System (TMS), reduce its retrospective analysis time to a proactive operations step that automatically executed in 30 minutes or less, and allowed the organization to, for the first time, ensure its product movements were consistent with the awarded contract scenario.

In the full truck load and global packaging examples, the companies were able to rationalize the supply bases by 25% to 40% while reducing cost and at least maintaining service levels and risk (if not increasing service and decreasing risk).

But yet these examples are rare. Every year many organizations as large, or larger, than these continue to spend close to, if not, seven figures on their first generation sourcing or source to pay platforms while generating savings that, instead of being in the 10% or more range, are in the 2% to 3% range, which means that the organization is essentially spending dollars to save dollars — which does not make good ecnoomic sense. Especially when a modern optimization (backed sourcing) platform can always be run along side existing supply management system and used as appropriate to generate 3X to 5X the savings and value than the organization would otherwise obtain.

So while the leaders have learned, why won’t the laggards learn?