Data is a major tool in the procurement toolbox to help make informed decisions in support of category management strategy. We take a look at the areas you can improve with the help of good structured data sets and informed analysis.

Identify Opportunities for Savings

  • Insight – data analysis can provide context, background and highlight what the data means for your industry, organization or category
  • Data Cube – using a multi-layered approach to data provides further enrichment, validating and contextualizing opportunities
  • Group Spend – leverage spend effectively by consolidating business unit, regional or country spend
  • Contract Leverage – identify areas where spend can be aggregated or conversely where supply chains can be effectively dis-aggregated

Supplier Relationship Management

  • Power – suppliers generally have the upper hand in relationships as they know more than the buyer. Access to data can even this relationship leading to more balanced conversations
  • Negotiation – knowing the numbers and the facts strengthens the buyers hand in negotiations
  • Supplier Strategy – data can support the design and implementation of supplier management strategies

Risk Management

  • Category Risk – identify and manage risks associated with particular category
  • Supply Risk – identify key supplier dependencies and put in mitigation plans
  • Contract Risk – identify and manage key contract clauses through effective use of SLA’s and KPI’s
  • Maverick Spend – address spend outside of approved suppliers
  • Legal Compliance – use data to support regulatory requirements or considerations

Improve Processes

  • Improve organizational visibility
  • Flows of information and goods
  • Informed decision making

Savings Validation

  • Confirmation – of savings identified to the business through empirical evidence against an agreed baseline
  • Forecast – provide better forecast information for budgeting cycles
  • Total Cost of Ownership – identify further savings driven by total cost of ownership principals


  • Price – making sure your suppliers are not walking up prices
  • Policy – review internal policy against wider industry standards
  • Process – review processes against the wider market

Key Success Factors

Key to implementing a great data management strategy is to know your data. It should be cleansed so

it is accurate, reliable and most importantly relevant. If you don’t put good quality data in then don’t expect too much from the output. It is often useful to combine internal and external data for best results.

Aim to measure constantly and report frequently to an established and engaged stakeholder group. There are some great visualization tools in the market which make working with data a more engaging experience. We use Tableau and Power BI but there are many other alternatives available.