Case Studies
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Success Story: Spend Analysis

A Catalyst for Visibility and Organizational Alignment

The Challenge:

Unable to Support Unique Sourcing Needs With Homegrown Tool

For seven years, Brunswick was using a homegrown enterprise wide internal data warehouse system. As a common failure point in many organizations, most groups, including procurement, found that the internal system was challenging to use. Even worse, at some point the system was no longer supported by IT, which made it extremely difficult to get much utility out of the system.

Nancy Jorgensen, Director of Indirect Sourcing and Corporate Alliances said,”At the time, the data warehouse system became a true source of time inefficiency for the Corporate Indirect Sourcing team. Due to the inflexibility of the tool, the process for creating reports was very difficult, manually driven and just plain time consuming.”

For procurement, the challenges of using the homegrown tool also meant heavy use of spreadsheets and manual efforts related to data analysis. With seven disparate financial systems within Brunswick, procurement found it virtually impossible to retrieve credible procurement data for analysis. Moreover, since Brunswick operated in several different divisions, using the homegrown system was becoming a huge barrier in supporting the unique sourcing needs for each line of business.

The Solution

Implemented Spend Analysis Tool for Increased Visibility into Spend Data

Recognizing the data warehouse issue as a critical need, Brunswick undertook a comprehensive spend analytics project in March 2013. As the executive sponsor and project manager, Nancy managed a deployment plan that included short and long term goals, project timeline, software evaluation, supplier selection, communication plan, and staff training. In addition, executive support was imperative to the success of the project.

Based on the thorough software vendor evaluation process, SmartAnalytics met Brunswick’s criteria for selection. During the evaluation, it was determined that Iasta, a Determine Company’s, analytic tool offered procurement the ability to see all spend data across the entire corporate enterprise. Pricing is leveraged through the drill-down to the transaction level by many search criteria including: category, subcategory, cost center, general ledger code, supplier information, spend, date, payment terms, division as well as any other query field. With a combined team of IT, procurement and support, SmartAnalytics was implemented and up and running within just a few weeks.

Based on the detailed $600 million newly visible data and opportunity analysis, more than $6 million has been identified as potential cost saving projects for 2014.”

— Nancy Jorgensen
Director of Indirect Sourcing and Corporate Alliances, Brunswick

The Results:

Improved Collaboration Within Divisions and Supplier Alignment

Since its deployment a year ago, the SmartAnalytics tool has been very successful and has impacted procurement in many positive ways. For instance, the Indirect Sourcing team members today have the power and ease of access to obtain valuable and credible spend data at any time. Moreover, now that the procurement team can easily support facts and data, they are more actively involved in the business. Today procurement is working with five divisions through their use of spend analysis and is more productive than before having increased their number of projects 10% in comparison to last year.

The new analytics platform has also helped transform the Indirect Sourcing team’s role from one of support to being a consultative and strategic that provides new insights into spend for the entire organization. As a result of procurement’s newfound involvement, Brunswick is reaping the organizational benefits with:

  • Better communication and collaboration within divisions – With better visibility into corporate spend, division level staff members now interact with each other and no longer operate in a siloed environment. This translates into cross- functional leveraging of supplier spend, contracts, terms, trends, and pricing.
  • Improved supplier alignment – Suppliers have gained a better understanding of Brunswick’s diverse business requirements and are more aligned with its future business strategy and direction.
  • Impact on the wider organization – Several different departments such as Tax, Audit, Treasury, and Trade Compliance recognize the benefit and value of the spend data applicable to their particular operational needs within SmartAnalytics.

Based on these new found efficiencies, sourcing decisions today have shifted from transactional and reactive to a fact-based strategy. The benefits gained also allow for the ability for create short and long term strategies, goals, and timelines, which were previously unattainable. Furthermore, with this newfound success, the Brunswick Indirect Sourcing team made it their mission to be committed to spend analytics. As a result of their expanded spend analysis capabilities, the Brunswick team looks to advance their influence and continue to search for new cost savings and process improvement opportunities.

The Spend Data Project implementation not only identified data categorization best practices, but also trends and cost savings opportunities that were previously unattainable. SmartAnalytics allows us to take a deep dive into strategic fact-based decision making.”

— Lisa Spratt
Brunswick Corporation Indirect Sourcing Category Manager