Can Business Intelligence Save Your Job?!

Posted on November 10, 2011


NOTE: The following post was originally posted in the new SpendShifts Blog.

In May, the vice chief of the defence staff, Vice-Admiral Bruce Donaldson, noted in an internal report that 2,100 public service civilian jobs would be eliminated over the next three years with more “adjustments” to follow. A recent report by Lt.-Gen. Andrew Leslie suggested that the jobs of 3,500 public servants at DND should be cut. 

from November 6th, 2011 Ottawa Citizen article “DND draws battle plan for job cuts” by David Pugliese

You know things are getting tough when the government publicly announces that they will be cutting their workforce by a sizeable number.  Usually the public sector is loath to take these types of measures let alone tell the world about it. However, tough times call for equally tough measures.  The question from a workforce perspective is who will be the ones to go?

As you drill down into the actual rank and file, even bigger questions loom such as “how do I avoid my number being called?”  It is safe to say that the self-preservation instinct kicks into high gear during these dark economic periods.

What is most interesting is that job survival can transition from a contemplative resignation to an actionable exercise when one can clearly demonstrate their intrinsic value to their respective organization.   One of the best ways to demonstrate said value, and ascend the high ground of job security is to show how your company can save money, at least according to a June 10th, 2009 article by Larry Marion titled “Cut Costs (And Save Your Job) Using Business Intelligence.”

Referencing a survey by BusinessWeek Research Services, which showed a “sharply increased interest in using IT in general and BI in particular to improve efficiencies and otherwise reduce costs,” the article identified five areas in which intelligence tools could be leveraged to drive significant savings (including purchasing).

While the areas in addition to purchasing that were targeted for savings were HR, Sales, Marketing and Inventory Control, two-thirds of companies surveyed had or were in the process of implementing BI solutions for sourcing and purchasing.

Focusing on critical areas such as supplier performance, the tools that have become dominant in the industry especially over the past two years since the article’s original 2009 publication, are even more accessible to anyone with the desire to redefine their positional responsibilities from that of a functional role to one that is more strategic.

This redefinition of traditional roles as outlined in the following PowerPoint is of course not limited to those in purchasing, with the race for employment longevity encompassing the entire enterprise including IT and finance.

Suffice to say, when it comes to job security, spend intelligence is well . . . the intelligent thing to do in more ways than one.

So taking a line from the famous CapitalOne commercial what is your spend intelligence IQ?


Posted in: Commentary