All companies want to gain effective control of what they spend and with whom. They need to establish robust internal controls, enforce contract compliance and reduce maverick spending across the organization.
Many companies make the mistake of looking at e-Procurement solely as a technology solution. Mikko Määttä, Product Marketing Manager, Procurement Solutions looks through Basware’s ‘how to’ guide to outline how an e-Procurement program delivers the benefits you demand and the rules you need to put in place to make it a success.
Rule #1: Know your stakeholders
Any e-Procurement program will touch many different departments across an organization. As such there will be numerous stakeholders who have an interest in how it is implemented and what it will mean for their departments. The focus should be regular face-to-face communication to bring these stakeholders together.
Rule #2: Be clear about what you want
We see significant differences between those organizations who can clearly articulate their vision for e-Procurement and those who cannot. Those with a vision are far more capable of building an atmosphere of consensus among stakeholders. Your vision statement does not have to be complex or long-winded. In fact shorter is almost always better.
Rule #3: Accept no compromise (in scope and resourcing)
The number one threat to any project this complex is scope creep. This is the tendency for even a well-specified project to gradually balloon and take on additional elements that sit outside the original plan. The result is that deadlines get missed, costs steadily rise and the project becomes increasingly politicized. Clear priorities and project vision is essential.
Rule #4: Set quantifiable objectives
As with any worthwhile business endeavor, the objectives you set for your e-Procurement program should be measurable, quantifiable and time specific.
Rule #5: Get process-wise
No process is an island. In today’s businesses different departments’ processes constantly interweave. Changes to one area inevitably have an effect on other neighboring ones. That’s why it is important that you spend time educating yourself and your team about the inner workings of those functions that are closely associated with procurement.
Rule #6: Don’t overlook the importance of piloting
One thing we recommend to every company we partner with is to devote enough time and resources to piloting your new system. Test every component with end users (not just those people who were involved in specifying and implementing the program). See how well it integrates with other systems and departments. Run some scenarios to mimic common (and not so common) situations you will face.
Rule #7: Ensure continuous stakeholder satisfaction
Communication is essential to long-term success. Carry out periodic checks against our original vision statement, albeit at a more detailed level. You may choose to conduct regular formal reviews or more casual ad hoc conversations. The main thing is that they happen, that they’re open, and that they relate back to core business objectives.