A CPO’s Guide to Indirect Spend Management

Did you know that indirect spend can devour a whopping 20% to 40% of a company’s overall financial budget? This highlights the importance of effective indirect spend management. For CPOs all over the world, spend optimization is a constant pursuit. While direct procurement often receives the maximum attention, indirect procurement should also be aware of the eagle’s eye. This blog will guide CPOs on indirect spend management by showing its impact on procurement strategy. Get ready for actionable insights and best practices to change your approach to indirect spend.

Understanding Indirect Spend

Indirect spend, or indirect procurement, refers to all indirect expenses in producing goods or services. This could include office supplies, marketing expenses, travel, utilities, professional services, and IT infrastructure. Unlike direct procurement, with fewer suppliers and high-value contracts, indirect procurement involves a more extensive, more fragmented supplier base with lower individual purchase values.

Importance of Indirect Spend Management 

Cost Savings Potential: By optimizing indirect procurement, companies can reduce their costs by up to 25%

Improved Visibility and Control: Due to its decentralized nature, indirect spending can go beyond control. Its effective management enhances visibility across the entire supply chain.

Enhanced Risk Management: A diversified supplier base can help you avoid the risk associated with sole dependency, as in direct procurement. Intel is the best example of a company that spends $300 million annually with diverse suppliers. 

Challenges Faced by CPOs in Indirect Procurement

Let’s look at the challenges that indirect spend presents for CPOs. 

Visibility and Data Accuracy: Due to the decentralized nature of indirect spend, CPOs need help to achieve complete visibility and maintain data accuracy across their supply chain. 

Supplier Management: Indirect procurement involves a large and diverse supplier base. That makes it even more challenging for CPOs to build strong relationships, monitor performance, and negotiate effectively with each supplier.

Stakeholder Buy-In: Businesses need help monitoring stakeholder buy-in across various departments with the authority for indirect purchases. Unless you have implemented solid policies and procedures, it isn’t easy to streamline the process.

Limited Resources: Most businesses need a dedicated team to manage indirect spending. Also, they lack technology knowledge and do not know how to use automation to streamline processes. In that case, managing the indirect spend across the entire supply chain even gets more challenging.

Best Practices for Optimizing Indirect Spend Management

Here are some key strategies that CPOs can leverage to optimize indirect spend management:

Leveraging Technology: Nowadays, nearly 15%-40% of organizations are automating procurement through technologies for direct and indirect procurement cost savings. Using an ideal procurement software powered by AI and ML can automate tasks, centralize data collection, aid in spend analysis, and streamline approvals.

Category Management: CPOs can also group similar indirect spend categories and develop a strategic approach for each, according to a study by McKinsey & Company. This will help CPOs to quickly focus on negotiation, supplier consolidation, and volume discounts. You can also refer to this case study to learn how the e-catalog solution from Moglix has helped India’s second-largest tractor manufacturer save 85% of staff hours on procurement.

Vendor Management: Imagine working with a limited number of suppliers to manage your indirect expenses easily. Almost 70% of organizations are considering vendor consolidation by 2025 to negotiate favorable contracts, establish clear performance metrics, and identify cost-saving opportunities.

Spend Data Analysis: Big IT giants like Infosys are leveraging spend data analysis from both direct and indirect procurement to identify patterns, uncover savings opportunities, and inform category management strategies.

Are you looking for an ideal procurement software solution to manage your indirect procurement for substantial cost savings?

Partner with Moglix Solutions! Visit our website to learn more.

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