Changes key to balancing Government cuts with frontline service provision
Public sector organisations, such as hospitals, must make radical changes to procurement processes, supplier contract management, and spend analysis to meet new efficiency savings targets, according to leading business applications and services provider, Advanced Business Solutions.
The Government’s latest round of spending cuts, announced in Chancellor George Osborne’s recent Autumn Statement, confirmed that the Government plans to reduce public spending by another £30billion if it remains in power after next May’s general election.
Systems, such as Spend Analytics from Advanced, consolidate data from an organisation’s finance and procurement systems to offer a unified and accurate view of all spending. The system allows staff to rapidly identify price variances, non-compliant ordering, invoice processing issues and common purchasing anomalies, such as one department paying more than another for the same product.
Dean Dickinson, managing director of Advanced Business Solutions’ public sector and enterprise division, said: “For many organisations, further costs cuts will only be possible if they transform existing procurement policies. Closer collaboration between multiple departments, eliminating manual-based processes and the consolidation of purchasing data is key to identifying where savings can be made.
“Spend analysis solutions provide a cohesive view of all procurement costs and improve financial transparency to assist with driving greater value from suppliers.”
Spend Analytics’ drill-down functionality allows staff to analyse spend by company, supplier, cost centre, product unit of issue, and contract categories. Tailored key performance indicators also identify where targets are not being met, providing greater intelligence when renegotiating contracts with suppliers to ensure more competitive pricing.
Management decision-making is supported by the ability to create customisable queries, scorecards, charts and reports. These enable users to analyse procurement data in different ways, refine existing purchasing processes and formulate long-term plans for reducing costs.
“Spend analysis must be a continuous process and not a one-off exercise,” said Dickinson.
“Many public sector organisations which have already reduced their spending are now tasked with making further cuts. By investing in technologies that enable them to initiate and refine their plans on an ongoing basis, they are better placed to achieve the significant savings that are needed.”