Top 3 Secrets for Successful E-Procurement

Every company wants to effectively manage its assets and control business costs. Successful financial regulation usually involves the establishment of robust internal control, enforcement of contract compliance and gradual spending reduction. For most organizations, the best solution is to develop a dedicated e-procurement strategy for indirect procurement.

The undeniable benefits of e-procurement incorporate easier cost management, greater spend visibility as well as greater discount capture, better contract compliance, lower total spend, higher accountability, easier supplier collaboration, and improvements across the purchase-to-pay (or P2P) process.

Majority of the organizations that implement procurement software only see a half of benefits they expect. They consider that while their e-procurement solution is capable of providing all of the above advantages, other factors come into play that affects its overall value. However, e-procurement is just a part of the entire P2P process, thus it must be understood within a wider business context. In many instances, it is much better to consider e-procurement as a corporate change program. By doing so, you focus not only on technology, but also on people and processes – what is extremely vital for individuals who strive to experience the full set of e-procurement benefits.

Since its inception, Precoro has worked with hundreds of organizations across all major markets and industries. Precoro cloud platform serves clients all over the globe, providing customers with the latest trends in procurement and helping them to achieve remarkable results in supply management. In Precoro, we perfectly know what exactly is important when implementing e-procurement within today’s business. Our team defined top 3 secrets for successful e-procurement that will show how you can ensure that your e-procurement program delivers the benefits you need to support your company’s success. Let’s look at them in more detail.

Secret 1 – Know Your Partners

Commonly, every e-procurement program touches many diverse departments across an enterprise. It is natural that there will be plenty of internal stakeholders who have an interest in how it is implemented and what positive impact it can bring to the company. To know your partners means not only to be aware who they are, but also to understand what they do, the way they do it, determine the challenges they face and define how they interact with each other. By doing so, you will help them understand how beneficial procurement system modernization can be, especially in making better purchasing decisions. Remember, it will be much easier for you to understand the primary needs of different stakeholders if you already have corporate-wide visibility into all spend categories as well as key suppliers in each category. Such approach makes it easier to prepare each department and its key suppliers for the positive change and profitable problem solving.

Secret 2 – Define Your Priorities

According to statistics, organizations with clear e-procurement vision are far more capable of building a spirit of consensus among stakeholders. They find it easier to cooperate and unite when they need to. In addition, they tend to succeed in aligning the expectations of often disparate groups.

Define your vision of e-procurement and introduce it in a written form for better effectiveness. Remember, writing down your vision concept is a critical success factor for almost any change program.

Vision statement of your organization doesn’t have to be complex or long-winded. As Anton Chekhov said, brevity is the sister of talent. Be clear of what you want. Think in terms of a single paragraph expressing the scope of the project, together with the expected benefits it will deliver to the business. Do not underestimate the importance of this step – properly composed vision statement will pay dividends throughout your program. It will help you make sound decisions, keep you focused on what is important and help resolve conflicts. As a foundation for what comes next, vision statement will be instrumental throughout the process. Having a competently crafted vision gives you something tangible and objective against which you can judge your actions. Using Precoro’s P2P solution, your organization will surely improve its finance and procurement processes, thus giving it the critical transparency, control and productivity it needs.

Secret 3 – Be Patient and Consistent

As they say, Rome was not built in one day. Today’s cloud-based solutions make it easier to start small and build from there. Firstly, consider starting your e-procurement program with a single location or department. Secondly, invite a limited number of key suppliers to participate. After that, use the template for rolling out the solution to other departments and cities or countries.

It often happens that start-ups expect a global roll-out all at once. Even though at first sight everything may look perfect on paper, to achieve evident results you will have to wait for a while. The project leaders may have done an amazing job of managing both the people that matter and the scope of the project. However, until the new e-procurement system launches, there is no certainty that you will have thought of everything every stakeholder in each country needs.

One thing we recommend to every organization is to devote enough time and resources to their project. Test every component with end users, see how well it integrates with other systems and departments, run some scenarios to mimic common situations you will face.  Remember, the initial roll-out, though limited in scope, is a serious exercise requiring dedicated resources and a clear commitment from everyone involved.

Make sure your supplier activation program for the initial launch is designed to increase coverage. Choosing a well established e-procurement software makes it easier to get more suppliers connected with your processes, since many of them are likely already part of the leading networks.  Precoro is a global leader in providing purchase to pay and e-invoicing solutions. It empowers small and mid-size companies to unlock value across their financial operations and business networks. This competent spend management software will inspire your company to spend smarter, faster and easier with a minimum of effort.

Conclusion

Once you decided to implement e-procurement, keep in mind that every business is different. Each has its own unique set of challenges, its own individual culture and geographic scope. The secret to an effective e-procurement program comes down to knowing what you and others want, implementing the solution that matches these needs, and then committing the time and resources required for proper roll-out and continuous development.