Spend Analysis in Higher Education: Procurement’s Role in Staying Competitive

 In Higher Education, Procurement Blog, Procurement Solutions, Spend Analytics

By improving strategic thinking, prioritizing technology approaches, and acknowledging business priorities based on the changing demographics and economic factors, Higher Education Institutions can become more competitive.

Discussions around outsmarting your competitor often tend to be focused on the business world. But being competitive in today’s workplace can also start in an ecosystem where R&D and innovative ideas often take shape – Higher Education Institutions (HEI)s.

As the search for global talent, knowledge, and innovation continues to expand, the world’s universities have become a bigger part of the discussion around creating a competitive advantage. Perhaps a leading indicator of the quest for being globally competitive is demonstrated in the rise of both national and global university rankings. With prospective students looking at rankings to guide their academic paths, businesses increasingly leverage these same rankings to build their future workforce.

Yet, despite this improved market visibility to the wider market, HEIs are also under increased pressure to improve how they operate. In many cases, increased internal costs have driven up the average cost of tuition, often challenging a prospective student to reassess the value of even getting a college degree. Moreover, the evolution of career training and online/distance education as a competing force to brick-and-mortar institutions has changed the game for how traditional colleges and universities operate.

Therefore, just as businesses are transforming, HEIs are faced with the same question – “How do I transform to stay competitive?” Whether you’re a traditional private or public nonprofit institution or a for-profit organization, identifying the keys for transformation is essential for improving enrollment, ensuring student success and improving market share. Moreover, according to Gartner research, the most important technology area to differentiate in achieving an HEI’s vision today is improving BI/analytics.

Using this as a guide, procurement organizations need to address their analytic frameworks that will make the most impact for staying competitive. This starts with improving spend visibility. Why? Just like with any other organization, spend data is often spread across several college or university campuses. This also means challenges of managing against the needs and demand of unique cultures within the institution. And while these groups may try to manage supplier relationships and buying requirements on their own, there may be lost opportunities to aggregate spend across various parts of the HEI when shared visibility of spend does not exist.

Using spend analysis, HEI procurement leaders can play an influential role as a business consultant, by helping institute change management in spend for the variety of disparate stakeholders involved. This first starts with proper categorization and data optimization strategies to consolidate and normalize spend across all the various institutions’ data. It then starts by facilitating change through better spend visibility using dashboards and data visualizations.

To learn more about the how HEIs are taking a data-driven approach today, join SpendHQ and panelists Sara Malconian, Chief Procurement Officer at Harvard University, and Joy Howard, Strategic Sourcing Director at Adtalem Global Education, for an in-depth discussion on how our panelists are using spend analysis to transform their organizations today. Click here to register for the webinar.

 

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