… does little to steer ships from the rocky disaster that is about to befall them. All it does is make clear the impending doom that awaits the ships unable to escape the waves about to crash them on the rocks.
Similarly, a spend visibility solution that does little more than show you data a quarter old without any ability to derive trends and capture outliers in realistic time frames, is no better than a lighthouse without a sufficiently bright light. All you will see is how much you over-spent on goods and services in the past, with no ability to recover that spend.
If you want to avoid hitting the spend management rocks and seeing all those negotiated savings go out the window, you need a solution that allows you to see your spend at most a month in the past, and for fast moving inventory, a week. You need a solution that allows you to plot trends, past, present, and future based upon similar market conditions; alter those trends based upon projections; and determine savings / loss opportunity based upon those projections that you can act on … while you have the opportunity.
Similarly, you need a solution that can capture all the contracts and contract rates, with all the contract suppliers, that can detect as soon as spend is off contract, who made the spend, where, and if it needs to be addressed. Roll it up, send it to the right managers and account managers, and make sure it’s addressed while the suppliers are still under contract.
But without this solution, you have no idea what is overspent, where, why, or how. — until it’s too late. And there’s nothing you can do about it. Don’t be in that position.