Making e-Procurement Make Sense with WeProcurement™
Thursday, 8 Sep 2016
Managing procurement with traditional e-procurement systems can be tough but what is ultimately the key to success of an e-procurement project? User adoption. If you want people across your organization to follow new processes, comply with policy, and use the e-procurement solution for all of their buying needs, you have to design the system for them.
Product Marketing Manager
At Basware, we advocate an approach that accomplishes this by encouraging collaboration across your buying cycle to put the “We” in e-procurement – what we call WeProcurement. In this blog series, we’ll be taking a deep dive into three key pillars of the WeProcurement approach – Relevance, Intelligence, and Awareness – and how these components create a system that everyone actually likes using. This post is focused on the first pillar: Relevance.
Architecting an e-procurement system that optimizes user adoption requires understanding and overcoming the most common barriers:
- Failure to communicate the value of the system – Employees who don’t understand why they have to follow a process, or how they add value to the process, typically find ways to circumvent it.
- Making it inconvenient to use the system – If your workforce is on the go, they will find ways to purchase goods and services where they are. If they can’t access the system remotely, using devices they are accustomed to (e.g., smartphones), they will find a way around the system altogether.
- Delivering poor results to the employee – If the user receives poor quality products, costly products, the wrong products, or delivery of those products too late to be useful, the system loses credibility.
- Creating system interaction that is complex or confusing – If the system doesn’t speak the user’s language, requires them to understand complex procurement practices, or doesn’t present the information they need, they will give up and become more and more resistant to change.
- Excluding key participants in the procurement processes – While many purchase-to-pay (P2P) systems in the market have been architected for finance or procurement, few have been built to cater to the largest group of users – requestors, approvers, and suppliers.
A WeProcurement approach for a procurement system overcomes these traditional procurement management challenges by making the process as relevant as possible to each person’s role, department, category of spend, and industry – this approach makes sense of e-procurement for the users. Instead of trying to force people into a mold with a system that caters to procurement or finance, WeProcurement seeks to understand the nuances of each requestor and deliver a system that is the easiest thing to use in their natural course of work. Ultimately, WeProcurement makes it easier to use than options outside the system.
The Millennial’s expectation of immediacy, transparency, simplicity, and relatability are the mandates now driving disruption in every industry – not only from the aforementioned examples in consumables and fashion, but also heavy industries such as healthcare, finance and enterprise software. ~ Forbes Magazine
Why is Relevance so critical for getting the greatest ROI from e-procurement?
Today’s users expect technology to deliver convenience in ways that feel personal – think about Apple products, Uber, Amazon Prime, Netflix and others that have soared to the top of their industries because they cater to their users. Enterprise software and e-procurement solutions should be no different. With a rising workforce of millennials, companies need to rethink the tools they provide to employees.
Our WeProcurement approach to e-procurement offers customized workflows that users actually like using, simplifying every step, and creating obvious efficiency. These workflows do not require users to understand procurement process management outside of their scope of work – they are given only the information needed and not more. Relevant workflows not only include all of the appropriate people in the process, but also remove users, steps, and tools that are unnecessary.
Relevance enables users to follow the process and comply with policy because it’s the easiest thing to do in their daily work life and does not require them to understand the inner workings of the Procurement Department. Making a process relevant to the people that use it is the ultimate way to encourage people to follow it. And, as we discussed before, that is the number one factor for success of an e-procurement solution.
In our next blog post in this series, we will describe the Relevance of WeProcurement in practice with a customer case study example. In the meanwhile, you can download our e-book "Putting the We in e-Procurement" to learn more about the approach and the benefits it delivers.