Kronos Group

The influence of spend management in the contemporary business landscape


The importance of managing spending cannot be overstated, especially in the digital world that contemporary businesses operate.

Businesses around the world have undergone many changes and with these changes, the need to reassess their spending strategies has become a vital component of their business strategy.

Managing spending is becoming more undeniable in the current business landscape and is becoming influential for several reasons.

Managing spending has an influence on business agility as it is one of the crucial ways that businesses can stay relevant and succeed in the new world.

Managing spending requires every step of the spending process evaluated, this rigorous analysis of spending habits has a positive influence on unit and team efficiency.

Influence on corporate culture can also greatly improve when everyone in the organisation is on the same page.

The hallmark of an effective spend management strategy is its inherent ability to maximise value and limit costs. Over the last few years—as a result of technological advancements—businesses have been forced to change the way they work to keep up with changing consumer demands.

Businesses have had to undergo transformations and reassess their spending strategies as technology has become increasingly instrumental in the success of a business.

Managing spending has moved away from being an expense management tool and today, it is a tool that analyses data, links to risk management, and overlooks innovation opportunities.

With digital transformation being the biggest change in recent years, it is no surprise that the speed with which technology evolves is out of the business’s hands. Managing spending, however, is something that is completely within the control of the business. If managed effectively, it can greatly influence the longevity, efficiency, and exposure of the business.

Influence on business agility

Today, more hybrid models of operations are emerging and businesses are completely centralised at the end of one transaction and decentralised at the other. This ensures that flexibility is always at the forefront.

Achieving this requires more than just a simple pen-and-paper approach. It requires procurement training and education along with a corporate culture that supports business agility with data-driven strategies and continuous improvement.

Managing spending using last-generation solutions is no longer viable and procurement teams must centralise enterprise resource planning (ERP) and material requirements planning (MRP) tools. These tools improve the transparency of spend data and allow businesses to benefit from cost savings and better financial planning.

The influence that spend management has on an organisation as a whole is evident, but the influence it has on departments and smaller business units cannot be overlooked as every aspect of a business has areas that can be modified to control spending. While they may seem like small savings, when accumulated, they can create a significant positive impact on the organisation.

The success of modern spending management lies in the technology that allows it to be agile and adapt to different business landscapes.

Influence on efficiency

Managing spending requires every step in the transactional process to be assessed. It involves strategic thinking and decision-making on how to make a process or a step in the process more efficient. To achieve this, decisions need to be more analytical than impulsive or emotional.

Even though digital transformation is becoming more important for businesses, it does not mean that they should spend significant resources on technology without careful consideration. Investing in technology should only be carried out after an efficient analysis of spend management.

Spend data can also help analyse specific areas of a process and help make an informed decision about which areas require technological improvements. 

For instance, the right strategy can assist with the identification of areas where the human element can be removed and replaced with AI. Not only can human capital be used to take on more strategic roles, but can also improve consistency, efficiency, and performance.

Influence on corporate culture

Managing your spending cannot be carried out successfully without involving every part of your business and every employee. Transparency in all operations is crucial because only when everyone is aware of the spend management plan can they generate a sense of shared responsibility and goals.

Having the right policies in place or conducting comprehensive training on how to manage spending and strategise future spending can be the difference between your spend strategy either succeeding or failing.

If the entire organisation is not aware of the spending controls in place, it can create disharmony among employees and business functions that hinder cross-functional operations.

While the strategies taken can influence organisation-wise spending, they can also positively impact employee relations, motivation, and communication.

Businesses cannot afford to ignore the influence of spend management

Managing spending is integral to the decision-making process of any business. The right spending structure can help support your business during times of economic volatility and also influence your profitability.

With digital transformation gaining a lot of traction, businesses need to make proper use of spend data and management strategies to make informed decisions. 

While technology is an important factor, managing spending is at the centre of these decisions.

Julie Brand

A part of Kronos Group’s team since 2018, Julie is a leader who has honed her specialisation in business transformation and utilised her expansive financial expertise to power business strategy and add value to what we do. She has amassed experience (Pfizer, Sony, AXA, SMEC, Tradelink) all over the world in strategy, project management, analysis, and supply chain.