Part of the “Improving information ROI” series
Throughout this series, we have been looking at the different methods and techniques organizations can use to improve their ROI across the entire information management spectrum. For this blog, we spoke to InfoDesk’s technology partner cSubs, who specialize in helping organizations centralize and manage their information sources.
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The case for centralized information management
Allowing individual business units to have control over their own data procurement budgets sounds equitable enough. Teams get the specialized content they need to support their work without the bureaucratic hassle of going through a centralized body that may not understand why they need it.
But a lack of unitary oversight has its pitfalls, like not knowing how much money your organization is spending. Or what it’s being spent on. Or why.
Need proof? The largest academic library in the United States, Harvard University, discovered that its dozens of constituent bodies were paying for numerous duplicate subscriptions to some of the most prestigious (and priciest) electronic subscriptions on the market. By centralizing content management and acquisition, the savings exceeded $25 million over six years. Nick Collison, Director of Content and Library Support at cSubs said, “If as well-funded an institution as Harvard University can benefit from centralizing information procurement, your organization certainly can.”
Benefits of centralization
1. Reduced purchasing costs
Rather than having multiple business units contract with the same vendor, a centralized procurement hub can negotiate volume licenses for just the right number of seats and with more favorable terms. If you are receiving physical publications, bulk ordering has the added advantage of reducing associated costs such as contract review, usage analysis, seat and renewal management, shipping and handling, and so forth.
2. Reduced process costs
Think of the costs associated with maintaining a single procurement arm: soliciting and maintaining vendor relationships, negotiating contracts, managing and tracking orders, deliveries, and payments. Now multiply those expenses across all of your organizational units, and the benefit to your organization’s processes becomes clear. Assigning procurement to a dedicated team of experts reduces redundant effort and improves efficiencies across the organization.
3. Improved visibility
No more sifting through numerous organizational budgets to identify line-item expenses. A procurement hub affords greater control by establishing clear purchasing policies. Maintenance of centralized purchasing records means redundant systems can be consolidated. Most importantly: a procurement hub allows far greater insight into your company’s purchasing, resulting in more effective decision-making about how you spend.
4. Improved vendor relationships
If a given vendor has dealings with five different people in your organization – who in turn are each managing relationships with a number of other vendors as well – what does the quality of those relationships look like? Centralization means an opportunity to deepen the connection your organization has with its suppliers. Nick Collison commented, “Organizations that have consolidated their subscriptions with a single vendor have not only saved, on average, 10% of their actual spend, but it has also led to a better level of service overall.”
How to get started
The business value may be clear, but moving to centralized procurement will not necessarily be an easy road if a distributed model currently prevails in your organization. Making the business case for cost savings and improved efficiencies directly to procurement officers and soliciting their feedback can ease anxiety around procurement and budgeting responsibilities being transferred to another organizational area.
InfoDesk and cSubs have been optimizing how enterprises and large organizations use subscription content for decades. We know that one size doesn’t fit all, which is why we’ve developed a range of services that can be tailored to fit the evolving information needs of your organization.
If you’d like to find out more about how InfoDesk and cSubs can help organizations optimize their content management and delivery to drive the value of subscription sources, download our case study here.
Headquartered in New Jersey, USA, cSubs is an award-winning WBENC-certified women-owned company with over 20 years of experience providing knowledge management services to business intelligence professionals. cSubs’ pioneering Clarity platform provides an integrated solution enabling corporations to maximize their information resource spend, reduce risk and manage access to content. For more information and to find out how cSubs can help with your information management needs, visit https://csubs.com/ or contact Nick Collison +1 201-307-9900 ext 121, firstname.lastname@example.org