Take back control pt 1: Rogue spend

In logistics, there’s never a quiet time. The lifeblood of the country that quite literally keeps everything moving, the sector doesn’t stop, not for a second.

When already busy operations face ever-increasing demand from customers, it can be easy to lose control of some of those areas that you really should have nailed down, like expenditure, brand control and compliance.

We’re here to tell you that needn’t be the case. In our latest, four-part blog series, we look at how iSB Group can help you to take back control for more efficient, compliant and cost-effective operations.

In this first blog in the series, we look at unexpected, unpredictable or unorthodox spend. You might call it rogue spend, tail spend or maverick spend but, whatever you call it, if you find your employees are regularly making purchases outside of agreed supplier contracts and contrary to your procurement processes, it is guaranteed to be causing you a headache.

The good news is that we can help you to rein it in.

In our earlier blog on this issue, we discussed that most rogue spend happens around relatively low-value yet high-frequency purchases - in short, the types of purchases that employees want to be able to make themselves. Often, this might be something they wear, like safety footwear, PPE, gloves or thermal wear. Or it might be something they use often, like a utility knife.

When asked what might prevent them from taking expenditure into their own hands, a cross-sector survey of employees found the ability to self-serve the primary deterrence, as it was perceived to be quicker and less frustrating than following official requisitions and approval processes.

At iSB, we have developed a powerful, online order management tool, Control-iT, which offers easy, self-service access to our products for employees, while allowing employers to implement the ‘guided buying’ principles that help them to better manage their spend and eliminate rogue purchasing.

 

Control-iT: benefits for employees

Employees are given a bespoke login that tells them what products they can order, in what quantity, and how often they can request them. They can place orders 24 hours a day, seven days a week, from any location and on any device, and track the status of orders in transit. Meanwhile, depots can order in bulk, and request delivery to multiple sites.

With a catalogue of pre-approved items to select from, including a choice of product where appropriate, employees feel empowered to manage their own supply, but within agreed parameters set by their employer.

 

Control-iT: benefits for employers

With Control-iT, employers benefit from their own branded web portal offering a bespoke catalogue of products specific to their business requirements. Tiered logins allow for controls to be put in place on who can order what, how much they can purchase, and how often.

Detailed reports and analysis provide complete visibility and tracking of expenditure. Reports that employers can access directly from their online portal include:

  • Spend and volume usage by depot or cost centre

  • Spend and volume usage by product and product category

  • Spend and volume usage compared to the previous year

  • Top 10 most purchased products

  • Depots with the highest spend.

Reports can be saved in Excel or PDF format, and used and re-worked to suit clients' needs, allowing employers to spot trends, plan ahead and - ultimately - rein in that rogue spend.

 

To find out more about how Control-iT could help your business to rein in its rogue spend, you can read about how the system helped GSF Car Parts monitor and manage its expenditure, give us a call on 0121 749 4433, or you can email us.