- Ensure the language in the presentation is simple and easily translatable.
- Conduct multiple training sessions to accommodate multiple time-zones.
- Record presentations and make them easily accessible for future reference if the need may arise.
- Develop a taxonomy of spend categorization which can give data collectors tangible examples of what kind of spend they are actually capturing.
- Advise data collectors to provide keys (GL code mappings, translations if necessary) for their unique data systems, as well as how to accurately link data sets to one another (i.e., PO data to AP data through a common PO number or identifier).
- Provide essential field headers which are absolutely necessary for the analysis portion of the project (i.e., Vendor name, GL name, PO text detail, etc.)
- Most importantly, make sure someone who is intimate with the data systems (AP, PO, and P-card) is present, and understands the accurate scope of the data collection process and how to conduct the data extraction. This is usually an AP clerk or purchasing professional.
By Brendan Carney, Consultant, Strategy & Operations Practice, The Hackett Group. Much like any global initiative a corporation will undertake, a global Spend Analysis presents a host of challenges which require considerably more diligence, coordination, and communication than a normal domestically-focused procurement initiative. What makes a global Spend Analysis uniquely difficult, however, is the process of collecting, tracking, and synthesizing an immense amount of data from numerous locations around the world, across multiple languages, time-zones, and data sources. The purpose of this article is to highlight some of the key processes and steps which will help your organization ensure success in this endeavor. 1. Training Before any data collection can proceed, a well-organized training presentation for data collectors around the globe must be delivered in a clear, easily understood common language. Ideally, this is English, which is today’s “lingua franca” for international business. Coordinating across multiple time-zones and in a language which is invariably not local can create a hurdle which can derail even the most aptly organized project plans. To help overcome this hurdle, the following is recommended: