Here are the key steps to vetting solution providers and implementing an effective e-procurement strategy:
Assess your current process
Before you can introduce a new procurement solution, it’s important to have a clear understanding of the current process. Analyze every step of the procurement process, including how long each task takes, the suppliers involved, controlled commodities, payment methods, and compliance checks.
Identify any potential gaps
Once the assessment is completed, you will have a better understanding of where there’s wasted time, duplicated efforts, lack of visibility, non-compliance or supplier issues and other factors that the new e-procurement system will need to solve.
Think about the benefits
When a business truly adopts an e-procurement solution and gains 100% user adoption, purchasing compliance increases ten-fold, more spend is brought under management, and goods and services can be negotiated at better prices from strategic suppliers. In addition, e-procurement can:
- Optimize spend by reducing maverick purchases
- Seize discounts by combining orders and purchasing in volume
- Increase overall transaction speed
- Standardize the purchasing experience
- Provide more spend visibility
- Negotiate more favorable contracts with strategic suppliers
- Strengthen supplier relationships
- Safeguard against risk and supply chain disruption
- Alleviates routine tasks so procurement teams can focus on strategic initiatives
- Minimize fraudulent purchases
Documenting the benefits and sharing them with key stakeholders will help you secure buy-in from management. At this stage, you should also put a team together for the provider evaluation and establish KPIs to track progress and results.
Choose a provider
There are many e-procurement providers on the market and initial research may make it feel a little overwhelming. When you begin your search for the perfect e-procurement solution, it’s important to take into consideration all relevant stakeholders’ needs. Make sure you lead with your requirements and understand your budget to ensure both are met. Refer to the procurement section of this source-to-pay checklist for some suggested functionality to review in your demo(s) with each provider and clearly communicate what you’d like to see, so you can fairly evaluate each.
Create an implementation plan
Once a solution provider is awarded, you need to develop a plan for the implementation of your e-procurement strategy. Before kicking off the implementation project, it’s important to ensure you have the proper time and resources allocated. To minimize disruption, we suggest establishing key points of contact for each team affected and frequently communicate progress throughout the process.
Once the e-procurement solution is in place, you’ll need to monitor performance and analyze results. When doing this, keep in mind the KPIs set out earlier or refer to this eBook for key metrics to watch.