There are any number of vendors of business automation software holding themselves out to be Spend Control solution providers.
Many have excellent applications, but lack the depth and breadth of functionality and technology to address all aspects of a ‘full-scale’ Spend Control solution.
And often, this is reflected in their pricing structures, which at first glance, makes these offerings seem very attractive?
But the dangers are significant.
Often these vendors focus in on the more common starting point for businesses entering the Spend Control market, such as requisitioning or catalogue management, offering what appears to be a cost effective solution as the first step.
Their literature and demonstrations may provide an insight to other applications on offer, but customers rarely investigate the level of functionality of these applications in any detail, nor how they will deliver a totally integrated Spend Control solution. A full solution requires integration with other systems to provide a seamless process from efficient selection of goods through to payment of goods.
It is only when the first part of the strategy has been completed and the detailed review of the next step is undertaken, that the truth comes to light.
The choice is either to start again, something that rarely ever happens, or make the best of a bad situation.
Beware of the wolf in a sheep’s clothing!
It is a mistake to not make sure from the outset what really is on offer. The incremental cost of a true Spend Control solution is significantly less than buying a tactical dead-end solution in error.
It may just warrant reviewing the budget, as the difference in cost between a tactical solution and a strategic decision may be quite small. Other budgets such as electronic document management or business intelligence could well provide assistance.
Having made the decision to follow the strategic route (and there are not that many choices on offer) then how do you go about implementing Spend Control?
Next-up in our blog series Spend Control Demystified (Part 5) will be “How Does a Mouse Eat an Elephant?”…