While it may not be obvious at first glance, your vendor files offer more than information on contacting your firm’s suppliers – they are also a resource that can be used to cut expenses and boost your firm’s bottom line. To take advantage of the opportunities to do this, however, you need accurate data that is continuously maintained.

For all firms, this presents an ongoing challenge because data becomes outdated almost as soon as it’s captured. As Bill Swanton, vice president and research fellow with AMR Research says, “Data quality is an elusive goal for most companies because it’s treated as a one-time event. No matter how well they do it, the data begins to decay immediately.”

As Swanton indicates, data accuracy is a moving target. Maintaining accuracy is complicated by the fact that it’s often difficult to dedicate the resources needed for a solid, ongoing data management program. After all, it’s one item on a long To-Do list within most accounts payable departments. Often, it’s bumped aside by other responsibilities that have greater urgency. What’s more, it’s easy for data to accumulate, which increases the difficulty of managing the files.

However, failing to proactively manage your vendor files will result in extra work, which ultimately costs money. In addition, it means foregoing opportunities to reduce expenses and make money.