One of the biggest challenges in building and running any business is managing costs. From inventory, vendors and payroll to overhead, mismanagement of business costs can lead to trouble down the road. Why take the risk, when several solutions exist to help keep costs to a minimum and keep your business on track?
Using analytics can be a helpful tool for both reducing and managing costs while setting your business on track for success. Every startup should have a set of Business Service Management (BSM) processes–using your IT infrastructure as part of your business strategy to improve and automate internal processes and provide enhanced customer service–in mind to help achieve their professional goals.
Here are a few of the many benefits of using an advanced analytics solution to assess, enhance, and control costs associated with your business:
Easy to use
The creation and implementation of BSM processes can be tricky sometimes. Most of the time, you need to design and build your own interface and network-based around your business needs. Then there’s the constant maintenance, which can detract from the important job of actually analyzing your data. With an analytical software solution, you don’t need to worry about any of that, since most BSM processes are typically built-in to the software already. When selecting analytical software for your business, it’s always best to find something that’s easy to use with an intuitive design interface.
KPIs and performance reports are an important variable in following business trends and analyzing risk.Good software will have an intuitive dashboard providing access to key reports and performance indicators (KPIs). Detailed reports covering predefined roles (like financial and procurement, among others) help managers get a better idea of where their money is going and analyzing data becomes less cumbersome. Detailed custom reports can let you scrutinize and examine individual elements of a transaction to determine spend risk and find opportunities for cuts or savings.
Analyzing vendor performance and current market risk is a useful cost reduction method found in advanced analytics software. By looking at past performance and regularly reviewing a supplier’s track record, you can get more value for your own business with advanced data-driven reports. Instead of basing a contract on an existing relationship or how you feel about a supplier, the data helps determine a better overall strategy for selecting (and ultimately paying) suppliers. Using the data this way allows for a more cost-effective operation while delivering more value from the supplier in the long run.
Assess and establish customer service goals
Customer service matters and often goes hand in hand with supply chain management and procurement strategies. Software can help you determine both short and long-term goals in this regard. Start by determining what your customers want from your business by using data and analysis to predict supply and demand changes. Then use the data to find the best quality products at the best possible prices for your organization. In doing so, you can prevent waste, error and redundancy in the supply/procurement aspects of your business, saving money in the process. Data analysis is a valuable asset here as it allows the constant monitoring and risk analysis of suppliers to allow for mitigating these costs and helping secure better service, inventory or products long term.
Tracking trends, analyzing data and determining risk assessment are where some analytical software suites truly shine.Per the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply, there are five key factors to consider when using data to make procurement and risk assessment strategies. These are: focus, sourcing, storytelling, visualization and analysis. These same factors can help with cutting or managing business costs, too. The software already has many of these baked in as features. For example, the analytical software might break the use of procurement or supplier data down this way:
Focus the data on the topic at hand, whether it’s looking at supplier issues or payment trends
Attain the data from a reputable source by looking using the analytical software to help define its origin and use it effectively
Use the data to tell a story that will help you assess risks and determine cost-cutting measures
Create a visualization of the data so it is easy to assess and can better inform future business decisions
Use trend analysis to parse the data effectively and make better decisions in the long run
With these processes already being handled by the software, all you need to do is assess the information and make a decision from there. Easy, intuitive reports and dashboards further simplify the process, allowing you to assess any risks, follow modern trends, and make appropriate cost-cutting measures. Through a thorough understanding of your data and using software analysis, you can set yourself up for success now and well into the future.