Adoption + Collaboration = Powerful Competitive Advantage in Procurement

Adoption and collaboration are hot topics in procurement because they can lead to a significant competitive advantage.

Naturally, if your company or organization wants to dominate, there are challenges that you will need to overcome to achieve the results you really want.

In discussing this topic with procurement professionals at all levels the following challenges have been shared with me.

Common Adoption Challenges:

  • Lean staffing and lack of time to implement a new system
  • Management and staff are skeptical that a new system will be easier to use
  • Complicated systems and tools that require significant setup time regardless of the size and complexity of the event
  • Spreadsheets created by other members of your team can be complicated to understand and modify
  • Documentation of spreadsheets is almost nonexistent and this is a significant problem if they were created by a former employee
  • Data is vulnerable in most offline tools including email, spreadsheets and word processing documents
  • Data in spreadsheets is difficult or impossible to combine for analysis purposes

Common Collaboration Challenges:

  • Business units using different tools or systems
  • Sponsorship and support of a common set of tools by key stakeholders is weak or nonexistent
  • Lack of common vision and goals among business units
  • Accounting systems don’t “talk” to each other
  • No common data set
  • Historical data is limited if it exists at all

If you are thinking “that sure sounds like our company” you are not alone.

There is hope.

Let me share a dynamic success story about an organization that started small and now has a decided competitive advantage.
About one year ago a large multinational company was searching for a new eSourcing platform. They had purchased a complex platform for 20 users several years before and it was sitting on the shelf.

The procurement team identified a different solution that they believed would meet their needs and took it to senior management. Based on the experience with the more complex platform, the new solution was only approved for 2 users in separate business units in the US.

Senior management was not ready to approve another platform for 20 users.

Even though the 2 users had limited time to implement they were trained on live events in the first few weeks and within the first month had successfully launched 5 events.

Word spread within the 2 business units and other team members in those units wanted access.

The company decided to add 2 more users to the platform and they were quickly trained.

About 6 months into the agreement, the supplier of the software was invited to present their platform at an internal procurement event. This was based on the positive internal feedback.

The supplier asked the current users to do most of the talking at this lunch and learn event. They then did a short demonstration to show what was possible in response to questions from attendees.

After the event, the procurement group received approval to bring the number of users to 10.

A year after the company started with the solution there are 17 users in multiple business units in the US and Europe. In January 2017, they launched 27 events.

The procurement group is building a powerful database of events that any user can utilize to launch new events.

Their shared knowledge is growing through collaboration across business units. Adoption of the solution is helping this company increase their competitive advantage at an accelerating rate.

This success story exemplifies what can happen when collaboration and adoption are combined with hands-on training and an easy-to-use tool.

There are other pieces to this success story that I can share if you are interested. Simply call me at your convenience.

If the eSourcing tools at your company are not being used, perhaps the tools are too complicated or the training is too general.

Action Step: Every organization wants to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of their procurement group. If the tools in your company are gathering dust, a procurement professional like myself can provide guidance and expertise to help your organization achieve the results you want. If you would like to explore this topic in greater detail, please contact me.

If you want to explore a purchasing or procurement topic in greater detail, I invite you to request 30-minute discovery conversation. In my experience the next step will be apparent at the end of the call. I never assume that my recommendations will be right for everyone, so don’t expect a sales pitch. You can reach me at 973-936-9672.

Organizations of all sizes are reducing costs and increasing efficiency, without changing the way they conduct business. If you would like to know how, simply give me a call or send me an email with your contact information and the best time to reach you.

You Won’t Drift to Success©
Think about it.
Until Next Time, I Wish You Great Success in Your Business and in Your Life
Mike Jeffries