Why you are not happy with your eProcurement system
Often the answer to why your existing system is not firing from all cylinders can be found in our previous article. It’s likely that your implementation project skipped one of those lessons-learnt and you have consequently ended up in a situation where the uptake of your system is poor, end users complain about the usability, manual workarounds are in place, suppliers are unhappy and most of the benefits from your business case have gone out the window.
Many organisations in Australia that have invested in procurement technologies but fail to realise the benefits they expected, often blame the technology and technology vendors. Some then make the mistake of swapping out the technology, only to find they still have the same issues.
Get the most from eProcurement
So instead of starting from scratch, what can you do?
- Take back control. This is a matter for the procurement leadership team. We often find that businesses have handed over the ownership of the system to non-strategic operations personnel who do not necessarily understand that it takes a lot more than technology to deliver the best outcomes for users and suppliers and to realise benefits. They are also not empowered to negotiate with suppliers or have the capability to engage with senior stakeholders to drive change. They don’t understand why it’s broken and keep blaming the technology.
- Get all stakeholders on board and (re)define the vision for the system. In 12 months’ time, what is it that the system will do that it can’t yet do?
- Put a list of your issues together. Sit down together to understand what exactly the issues are, prioritise them and come up with an action plan for each. This is something a third party can help with
- Improve your processes. Often your business was just not ready for implementation of the new system. Now it’s time to streamline your processes and re-engineer them to fit as closely the standard processes of your system as possible.
- Retrofit the change management component. This is often the part that is being skipped. Clearly articulate why the system is not achieving the benefits and what you have embarked on doing about it. Train users and suppliers in how to make the most of the system
- Vary the contract with your suppliers. We often find that there is no alignment between the upstream and downstream processes. Change your contracts to oblige suppliers to offer an eCatalogue and collaborate during the contract management stage through your system