7th Secret for Successful e-Procurement: Keep improving
Wednesday, 10 Aug 2016
It is easy to think that once your e-procurement system goes live, the job is essentially over. The reality, however, is quite different. To realize the full benefits of your new program you’ll need to develop and adjust your procurement management plan. Just as e-commerce sites are continuously monitoring and improving their sites to refine the products available and suppliers they use to better serve their customer needs, you should be too.
Product Marketing Manager
Fundamentally, a procurement management plan involves periodically checking that you are fulfilling the objectives of your original vision statement – but at an even more detailed level. Compare the situation before and after implementing the new solution. Are you seeing the improvements you expected? Are the benefits increasing over time? Is the e-procurement system helping stakeholders meet their own business objectives and spend visibility giving them the insights they need to support their decision making?
Questions to ask to ensure continuous improvement of your e-procurement program
- Is the adoption level rising? If not, why not?
- Is most of your spend going through your system?
- Are your end-users getting their orders fulfilled quickly enough?
- Do you have the necessary visibility into key aspects of the process?
- Is the number of electronically connected suppliers increasing?
- Is it well integrated with other relevant processes, or is more work needed?
- Is it delivering against the objectives you set out in the original vision?
- Do you have the metrics to prove it?
Based on the feedback from these questions, fix anything that needs fixing before it becomes an insurmountable problem. This feedback will also help identify skills gaps that can be filled with training. Finally, it will enable you to fine tune your procurement management plan over time to achieve greater value. At this point an external process expert can add value by working with you to define a development roadmap.
The companies that do best don’t see their e-procurement initiatives as one-off efforts, but rather as ongoing procurement management plans. They are constantly monitoring performance and making incremental improvements. Those with real-time process and performance analytics are better equipped to act proactively even before they start getting negative feedback. And they never forget the human aspect in everything they do.
Want to learn more about how you can ensure the success of your e-procurement project?
Read our complementary ‘how-to’ guide for making e-procurement work for your business: 7 Secrets for Successful e-Procurement >>