How much time should you put into the internal marketing of a new procurement platform or tool?
Based on my experience, it is probably a lot more than you have in your plan.
The process to select a new procurement platform can be long and challenging.
I hope you have the commitment from the platform provider that they will do everything they can to insure your success.
Even if a platform looks to be incredibly easy to use and implement, there will be unexpected challenges. We all learn at a different pace and one-size fits all training seldom works.
Once the decision has been made the real work begins.
The first challenge may be push back from your team.
It is rare to find a team that is 100% behind a change in platform.
This is true even if the current process is a disaster.
Your team will have early, midterm and late adopters.
The same will be true for stakeholders and business owners.
Change is difficult unless you are an innovator.
Regardless of how good the new platform appears to be, learning how to use it will take time.
So, what is a proven approach to drive adoption?
People will follow the path of people they know, like and trust.
I would suggest that your primary goal is to gain support and drive internal promotion. This is word-of-mouth marketing and it is the most effective way to gain recognition for your efforts.
Identify the early adopters on your team. Do the same for stakeholders and business owners.
Let all team members and collaborators know that you will be using a scorecard to evaluate the new platform and the training.
Some items to consider including in the scorecard are:
- Were event milestones met? If not all, what were the bottlenecks?
- Was the platform more or less efficient than the previous one? By how much?
- What cost or time savings were negotiated? How did they compare with previous successes?
- Was it easier or more difficult to communicate within the platform? Please explain.
- How long did it take for inquires to be answered? Please be specific.
- Evaluate the training method. Did it meet expectations?
- How much time did it take to make changes after the initial set up? Provide specific examples.
This is a small sample of areas to consider.
Each success will build on each other and unfortunately so will failure.
A wonderous thing about success is that the middle and late adapters on your team will be jealous of your early adapters.
People love to brag, and excitement is contagious.
I could share success stories about organizations that picked 2 or 3 people to utilize a new platform and within a year every other person on the team was clamoring to use it.
When another member of your team is “suddenly” happy and motivated, other members will want to feel the same way. It will work the same way with collaborators.
When stakeholders realize that you have a strong desire to support them, they will be motivated to return the favor.
Your scorecards will be proof that the new platform is a winner and that your group is doing a fantastic job.
It will also help you identify areas where improvements still need to be made.
By participating in the scorecard, stakeholders and business owners should realize what is possible and what is not.
If they are willing to support the changes you want, it can help your group advance them within the company. In effect, they become your sponsors.
You can’t be bashful. Ask for their support.
I like having a name for the implementation plan.
Make it quirky – it will be easier to remember.
My last point – In the last month I have spoken with 4 companies that made a platform selection within the last year and are not happy.
The implementations have not gone well and the support has been far less than promised.
In one case the provider can’t get the tool to work as promised.
If you are having similar issues, perhaps we should chat.
Ask better questions, make changes and 2019 will be your best year ever.
Action Step: If you are uncertain where to start the process of change, a procurement professional like myself can provide guidance and expertise to help your organization achieve the results you want.
If you want to go explore this topic in greater detail, please contact me. 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 what I have to offer will be right for everyone, so don’t expect a sales pitch. You can reach me at 973-936-9672.
If you would like to know more ways to reduce costs without changing the way you do business, 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©
Commit to taking the next step.
Until Next Time, I Wish You Great Success in Your Business and in Your Life