Working more collaboratively with suppliers in order to improve supplier relationships is an often-cited benefit of sourcing, supplier management, and contract management solutions. The traditional view of benefits from spend analysis automation, meanwhile, tends to focus more internally on 1) identifying new categories to manage strategically, and 2) improving compilance monitoring capabilities. This narrow view sells the benefits of spend analysis short.
When considering the value of spend analysis automation, also consider the external benefits on supplier relationships. Consider that improved visibility into spend data makes you an informed buyer with better insight into your needs. In turn, from a supplier's perspective, you are a customer who is easier to serve and satisfy. This is a quantum shift from the worse case scenario - which occurs all too often - where the buyer is forced to call and rely upon the supplier for this historical information. And that is no way to do business!
This is no minor benefit. A number of customers I've spoken with leveraging spend analysis solutions have cited this ability to be a more informed buyer to not only improve their relationships, but even result in improved negotiated terms. What say you Exchange Nation? Has anyone experienced either side of this equation?