February 9, 2023

Data – clean and accessible data is important.

But , you already know that data is essential. It is the fuel that drives the particular engine of digital transformation and enterprise stability plus success in a volatile world.

The problem, however is learning to move beyond recognizing data’s importance.

While the industry understand why data – particularly supplier data- will be essential, it doesn’t understand how in order to bridge the gap between this recognition and the particular tangible realization of data’s benefits on a real-world, real-time basis.

Understanding supplier data challenges

Technology has come a long way from the early days of the personal computer and spreadsheet software. In other words, with the advent associated with some procurement tools, the capability to turn raw information into actionable knowledge is no longer limited by cumbersome technology.

Despite these breakthroughs, a 2020 Supplier Information Study from TealBook reported several eye-opening statistics, including:

·           93% of purchase and supply chain leaders experience the adverse effects of misinformation about their suppliers, with nearly half (47%) experiencing said negative effects regularly.

·              On average, it takes organizations 21 times to validate and onboard suppliers, along with 81% of executives indicating that despite the effort, they are only partially confident in their supplier data.

·              Finally, 60% from the executives who reported that will their provider information was outdated indicated that this took them four days to update that information. While four days may not seem like a lengthy time, these types of seemingly minor hiccups resulted in severely negative consequences, such as missed deadlines (51%), unhappy clients (42%) or even financial loss (40%).

Given the above findings, if technology is not the particular problem, why are companies still struggling to leverage their own data to realize its full potential?

Between the spreadsheets

Based on the 2022 report , “67. 4% associated with supply string managers use Excel spreadsheets as a management tool. ”

While Sourcing Industry Group research indicates that this 2022 number represents a notable drop from your 81% of spreadsheet users in 2010, it is even now a sizeable percentage. If you think about it, a significant number of procurement leaders still manage their information using the “technology” with origins going as far back as 1979.

User comfort plus familiarity with spreadsheet applications can be compelling reasons for their continued use. However, two June 2022 parallel polls might shed some light on the matter.

The question, “why do procurement professionals continue to use spreadsheets, ” has been posed in order to two separate groups: chief procurement officers (CPOs) and the rest of the procurement community. The reasoning behind the particular parallel polling was to see if there was a difference of opinion regarding spreadsheet usage among senior management and frontline procurement experts.

If not surprisingly, the results were telling as 69% of CPOs and the procurement local community at large picked “ease associated with use” plus the ability to “share data in a common format” as the one-two reasons for using spreadsheets.

Even though making use of spreadsheets may seem more convenient, are they “really more efficient” than the new digital technology is an immediate question that will comes to mind.

As the polls suggest, is usually the “C-Suite to procurement’s frontlines dogged loyalty to 1979 PC tech impeding the move to more efficient 2022 digital tech? ”

Change from the top

This August 2022 report highlights the consequences of the struggle organizations face to get employees to “use digital tools as they are intended and to their particular fullest extent. ”

Besides overspending up to $32 million due to what the report refers to as the “uptake of electronic technology, ” 67% of leadership is still under “incredible pressure in order to accelerate digital transformation. ”

In addition to using outdated change management programs to facilitate greater adoption of brand new technologies, there appears to be the lack associated with “visible” direction through the top. Based on the report’s findings, 70% of people within a company “could not identify exactly who is responsible with regard to managing the particular adoption of new technologies in their organizations. ”

The above results suggest that change, which always begins at the best, must start with administration eschewing their own significant reliance on spreadsheets. In some other words, lead by example, starting along with a better understanding of user experience.

Now, it’s not really advised to entirely do away with spreadsheets. Like the pencil and the calculator, there is still a place for this tool in everyday business. Nevertheless, given the amazing technologies available now, spreadsheets should not be used as the primary platform to manage data. Put another way; it is time to put data first, which means embracing digital technology to understand its full potential as an industry game-changer.

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