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Accenture Spend Trends Report—Q3 2014

Discover top trends in logistics, information technology, marketing, HR and corporate services.

Welcome to the latest edition of the Accenture Spend Trends Report, a quarterly publication that summarizes the top market trends affecting major spend categories—from Marketing to Logistics to Energy and many others—and outlines actionable insights that you can leverage to drive strategic value in your organization.

The content of the Accenture Spend Trends Report is drawn from our category experts’ and editors’ in-depth analysis of macro factors as well as aggregated spend, savings and project data, and outlines insights from each major spend category along with actions to consider in developing spend optimization strategies. Highlights from the report include:

Q3 Spend Trends: The Big Five

  • Logistics: Increasingly Tight Supply Market Raises New Cost/Service Risks: The North American over-the-road freight market continues to tighten, giving carriers pricing power and ability to “fire” difficult customers. Shippers should self-evaluate whether they are incurring avoidable costs or service risks heading into the holidays.

  • Marketing: Approaches Differ about How to Solve Marketing’s IT Challenges: As marketing becomes increasingly data-driven, talk of the “Marketing CTO” is all the rage. While marketing CTOs are still rare, there are clear opportunities for marketing, procurement, and IT to partner to maximize the impact of marketing IT spend.

  • IT: Don’t Ignore Savings Opportunity in Hardware Maintenance: As companies seek global support, hardware maintenance remains an area where significant savings are available (30-60 percent) if organizations are willing to consider third party maintenance options.

  • Direct Materials: Soft Natural Gas and Ethane Prices Send a Message to Ethylene Users: Natural gas and closely linked ethane prices have pulled back, but the Ethylene market has stayed resilient. Users should take the opportunity to insulate themselves from the risk of a price rebound in these critical feedstocks.

  • IT & Capital: Corporate Actions from M&A to Spin-offs Affecting Supply Markets: Industry consolidation via mega-deals in the construction area, for example, may mean more cost pressure for buyers. Spin-off activity is also on the rise, in IT for example, creating potential savings opportunities for prepared buyers.

We hope you enjoy reading this quarter’s report and the insights it has to offer.

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