Although purchasing teams rely on procurement software to save money and find the right suppliers, most say they lack web analytics to help them monitor and demonstrate results, a new study says.

Procurement teams are relying on their electronic procurement systems for more than just purchasing, but are finding that these systems often lack the built-in analytics tools needed to measure their effectiveness, Forrester Consulting says in a new study.

The study found that 82% of procurement teams rely on procurement software to save their company money; 76% said they use it to find the best suppliers; and 74% to identify purchasing processes that drive up efficiency. Forrester based the study on a July 2017 survey of 150 procurement and supplier sourcing professionals across various industries across North America and Western Europe. The study was commissioned by BravoSolution, a provider of procurement software.

Following are the percentages of respondents citing the top three most essential features of procurement analytics tools:

  • An online dashboard that displays the capabilities and delivery performance of multiple suppliers—58%;
  • Sourcing analytics data that shows how well each supplier performs as a source of products—55%;
  • Analytics data that show how well a procurement organization is managing spending—55%;

The report notes the following percentages of respondents as citing their biggest challenges in demonstrating the value of their procurement operations:

  • An inability to collect performance data—34%;
  • A lack of defined performance metrics—30%;
  • A lack of useful procurement data—28%.

“Procurement professionals realize that helping their businesses win in an increasingly competitive landscape means more than simple cost savings,” Forrester says in the study. “At a time when firms depend more and more on outside partners and suppliers, procurement professionals are pushing for a broader vision of their role with an increasing emphasis on the value delivered to their business.”

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“Many firms are looking for more sophisticated analytics tools,” Forrester adds, “to help them gain these insights.” That will not only help procurement pros do a better job of buying what their companies need, but also produce the data to prove how they helped to cut spending while improving operations, Forrester says.

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