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Be Honest…Does Spend Planning Really Save Time and Money?

Read Time 2 mins | Written by: Lisa Akers

For Federal Managers, spend planning provides confidence that you are anticipating your expenses as much as possible, but does it actually save time and money?  With tighter budgets anticipated for FY24, planning and managing your spend becomes more critical. 

Let’s look at how spend planning helps you save time and money. 

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  1. Budget allocation: Spending planning allows you to allocate your budgets strategically. By analyzing your needs, priorities, and available resources, you can determine the most efficient and effective way to allocate your funds. This ensures that the limited resources are directed towards the most important projects and initiatives, avoiding unnecessary expenditures and saving money.
  2. Cost control: Spending planning helps in controlling costs by identifying potential areas of waste or inefficiency. It allows agencies to assess the costs associated with various projects, technologies, and solutions before making investment decisions. Spend planning allows you to forecast your spend and then monitor as you execute your budget. One effective way to control costs is to manage contracts and IAA using Estimates to Complete (ETC) so you continuously monitoring spend needed as the year progresses.  ETCs aren’t just useful in mitigating cost overruns, they also let you see where you may be underrunning and can reallocate funds.  
  3. Avoiding redundancies: Spending planning helps in identifying redundancies and duplications in investments. This can occur when different departments or agencies procure similar technologies, services, or systems independently. By coordinating and centralizing spending decisions, agencies can consolidate your requirements, streamline procurement processes, leverage your buying power, and eliminate unnecessary duplication of resources, leading to cost savings. Redundant purchasing also duplicates efforts.
  4. Enhanced procurement practices: Spending planning enables agencies to plan your procurement activities in advance. This allows you to leverage strategic sourcing, negotiate better contracts, and take advantage of economies of scale. Effective procurement practices, driven by spending planning, can lead to cost savings and more efficient utilization of resources.

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Lisa Akers

Ms. Lisa Akers brings 25 years of proven Federal and Industry leadership experience, as well as extensive functional expertise in acquisition, program management, assisted acquisition shared services and business operations management. As Executive Vice President of Solutions at Seventh Sense Consulting (SSC), Ms. Akers is responsible for developing and delivering innovative solutions to meet client requirements and objectives. Prior to joining Seventh Sense Consulting, Ms. Akers served as President (2013- 2016) for ASI Government’s Products and Solutions Division where she was responsible for managing the Virtual Acquisition Office (VAO) used by 25,000 federal acquisition professionals and as President (2010 – 2013) for ASI’s Consulting Division that had a $35M portfolio focused on acquisition and program management support services to federal government agencies. Prior to joining ASI Government, Ms. Akers spent over 16 years in the General Services Administration, Federal Systems Integration and Management Center (GSA FEDSIM) where she was the FEDSIM Director for her last five years and Deputy Director for the previous four years. FEDSIM is an assisted acquisition organization specializing in large information technology and services acquisitions with $1.4B annual obligations on behalf of 100+ other federal agencies. Ms. Akers received the 2011 FED100 award for her work as Industry Lead for the ACT-IAC 25 Points to IT Acquisition Reform and the 2006 FED100 award for industry outreach and stakeholder management for the ALLIANT and ALLIANT SB GWACs. She received the Meritorious Service Award while at GSA. She holds a bachelor's degree in Microbiology from Pennsylvania State University, and a master's degree in Information Technology Systems from George Washington University.