Once the proper infrastructure outlined above is in place – including the data warehouse, access to aggregated data for external benchmarking, and the data cleansing practices – then a company is well on its way to achieving true BI capabilities. Yet Owens asserts that leveraging a highly valuable BI solution for services procurement requires more than just the technology infrastructure and related processes. Professionals with experience in the areas of statistical analysis as well as deep knowledge of human resources and procurement practices are required to transform all the information available in the warehouse into intelligence that provides actionable decision support. Monitoring the information flow for anomalies, performing statistical analyses, extrapolative forecasting and predictive modeling are the ultimate ends to all the aforementioned means.
Few supply chain solution providers today offer these kinds of external benchmarking capabilities in their BI solutions. But procurement organizations are beginning to realize the enormous savings potential and obvious necessity of BI for services procurement, and as demand grows, more providers are likely to follow in the footsteps of innovators like Elliot Owens and ProcureStaff.