With geopolitical issues currently driving inflation to record levels, controlling budget spend has never been more important for manufacturing companies. Whether Capex or Opex, project spend of all types has the potential to sky-rocket and impact daily operations. Trying to stay on top of all aspects of spend management through the once-reliable spreadsheet just won’t cut it anymore. Instead, the right digital tools can help you deploy automation and built-in capability to tackle the key pressure points you face when it comes to helping you control all project spend with authority and insight. Controlling the budget of individual projects will result in optimised visibility, real-time thinking, proper resource-tracking and of course accurate budget spend, whether under or over budget. Today, we are going to look at the key issues that make project budgets so hard to manage and what you need to take into account when it comes to getting it right. And we’ll see why the right spend approval workflow solution can make life a whole lot easier for everyone in the purchasing cycle.
1. Automate Budget Management
Too often, project managers are being left with the responsibility of pulling together key project spend information. To do this, they are using spreadsheets, which are very limited, typically offline applications. Automating this function will deliver many clear benefits. By moving away from cumbersome, manual processes and changing to an automated tool like SpendBooks™, you’ll see major efficiency gains, real-time visibility, and so much more.
2. Track Resources
Allocating the best resources or personnel to the right projects at the right time is already a challenge. When you factor in spend management for a given project, it adds another level of complexity. In manufacturing environments, you need to know who is working on what project and in what capacity they are required. Without this level of insight on what each project is costing in terms of resources, you’ll always be one step behind and costs can quickly spiral.
With SpendBooks™, you can easily track resources and personnel on one platform and one source of truth. This way, you can make informed decisions in real-time, allocating and re-allocating personnel and resources as you need to.
3. Involve all Stakeholders
Budget decisions in any project require input from lots of different people. From finance and procurement to operations and senior management, purchasing decisions in manufacturing companies impact many departments.
In the manufacturing world in particular, many purchases are time-sensitive and the role of the approver is often underestimated. When negotiating bids or tenders, you want all people in the one place. In an era of spiralling raw materials costs, timing is everything. If you secure a good price, you need to move fast and having your approver in the loop can transform the process. With SpendBooks™, you can make sure all stakeholders are involved in the decisions that they should be, by presenting them with the information they need – ensuring they take action as required.
4. Track and Adjust Your Budget
No two manufacturing purchasing situations are the same. Projects change and both controllable and uncontrollable factors can turn a simple decision into a multi-factor dilemma. If you can’t see all this insight in one place by tracking your budget, that means you cannot react fast and adjust to make the right spending decisions or indeed purchases.
This might mean having to take certain people off projects and reallocate resources elsewhere based on how a project is progressing. Waiting for spend reports to arrive from various parts of the organisation, in order to make these calls may be too late to act. SpendBooks™ can help you track all project-budgeting activity and adjust your budgets to reflect changing conditions.
5. Benefit from Real-time Reporting
More so than any other sector, time is a major factor in the manufacturing world. And when it comes to spend, timing is further magnified. At any given moment, you need to see all spending and budgeting information in one place to assess exactly where you stand at that precise moment in time.
By relying on spreadsheets and reports to be sent on request, you are working with information that is already out-of-date. Whether you are waiting one day for an update from finance or a week for an ERP-generated report, it’s too long – especially in our current environment of volatile global trading conditions.
An automated budget management tool like SpendBooks™ gives one real-time picture of all the essential insights needed, allowing you to make informed decisions immediately and effectively.
Risk is part of everyday life in manufacturing companies. Ensuring you make the right purchasing decisions at the right time can make or break any project. SpendBooks™ is the only spend management platform developed for manufacturing companies in the life science, healthcare and other heavily regulated industries. Our built-in project spend management module will help you increase visibility over project spend, deliver real-time insights and help you spend budgets accurately and wisely – minimising risk where possible.