Procure-to-Pay Best Practices - 6th Secret: Start small and grow
Wednesday, 3 Aug 2016
When creating your new e-procurement strategy, keep in mind that today’s cloud-based solutions and supplier networks make it easier to start small and build from there. One procure-to-pay best practice is to start your e-procurement program with a single location or division. Invite a limited number of key suppliers to participate. Then, use the template for rolling out the solution to other divisions and countries.
Product Marketing Manager
Procure-to-pay best practices: don’t launch globally all at once
All too often, we encounter multinational companies who expect to roll-out their new e-procurement solution globally all at once. Though everything may look perfect on paper, especially from headquarters’ perspective, and even if the project leaders have done an amazing job of following procure-to-pay project best practices, we recommend against a simultaneous global launch. Why? Because until the new e-procurement system is taken into use, there is no certainty that you’ll have thought of every little thing that each stakeholder in each country needs.
Start small to iron out any kinks
Starting small is your opportunity to test every component of your chosen e-procurement solution with some ‘real’ end users - not just those people who were involved in specifying and implementing the program. You also see how well it integrates with other systems (e.g. ERP) and departments. Run some scenarios to mimic some of the common (and not so common) situations you will face.
Don’t mistake small for insignificant: the initial roll-out, even if limited in scope, is still a serious exercise requiring dedicated resources and a clear commitment from everyone involved. As such, it should have its own Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that are monitored closely to assess what’s working and what needs fixing.
Include a few key suppliers in the initial roll-out
You cannot test your e-procurement solution unless you have set up relevant products for people to buy. Don’t expect huge adoption of e-procurement if your roll-out offers only empty shelves. Hence, you should include a few key suppliers in the initial roll-out.
Connect suppliers quickly to avoid maverick spend
Though your first go-live may include a limited number of suppliers, adding more to the system needs to happen quickly thereafter in order to avoid maverick spend. Make sure you have a supplier activation program in place. Choosing a well-established supplier network makes it easier to get more suppliers connected with your processes, since many of them are likely already part of the leading networks.
Read our complementary ‘how-to’ guide for making e-procurement work for your business: 7 Secrets for Successful e-Procurement >>