Purchasers continue to struggle with tracking and influencing spend in services “black holes” such as marketing. travel and facilities management. consulting and temporary labour. according to a major new survey.
The most difficult aspect in establishing control. according to a third of the 225 procurement directors polled. was understanding the complexity of pricing structures of service agreements.
Only half of respondents to the European Spend Agenda 2004 survey. carried out by Vanson Bourne. said that in these areas they could see where more than 25 per cent of spend had gone. and with which suppliers.
But the survey of purchasing directors from large companies in the UK. France. Italy. Germany. Spain and the Benelux countries. found those reporting directly to the board had the highest levels of visibility of difficult areas. sometimes up to 75 per cent of spend.
Purchasers reporting to the board also said they had greatest control over this spend. said Jamie Anderson. programme director at the Centre for Management Development at the London Business School. which produced the survey in conjunction with software firm Ariba.