Needs Assessment Outline for Procurement and Supply Chain Professionals

If you are considering new tools for your procurement team to manage procurement and supply chain functions, this assessment should be a good starting point.

Over the Labor Day weekend, I was finally tackling some home maintenance projects I had been avoiding.

One thing I realized is that the tools I take for granted do make the tasks far more efficient.

My rechargeable hammer drill made fixing some deck stairs easy. No power cord and effortless torque allowed me to finish this job into 30 minutes. In past years it would have been 2 or 3 times that long.

The camera on my phone was a great way to show the fellow at the hardware store another project I was working on. His suggestions on the best approach and materials were invaluable. I recall multiple trips that I made on past projects when I forgot a critical part.

The right procurement and data management tools can deliver the same type of effortless efficiency.

Here are some key questions for you to consider in evaluating new tools for your team:

  • What are the limiting factors of your current technology tools that almost certainly need to be changed?
  • Is there strong support from senior management to drive efficiency?
  • What data relating to suppliers, materials, services, contracts, spend etc. is available in a format that can be utilized to set up clean master data in the new tool(s)?
  • How easily can the existing data be migrated?
  • How long will it take an inexperienced user to learn the new system? Will it be days or months?
  • Will the casual user be able to utilize the tool without retraining?
  • Is training included or is it an extra?
  • How is the training provided? Will it be individual, classroom, self-directed etc.?
  • How is support provided? This can be a critical issue with worldwide operations in many time zones.
  • Is support technical only or is strategy included?
  • Are there subject matter experts available on the support team?
  • Is a pilot or sandbox site available? Is there a cost for this?
  • If you can do a pilot or sandbox:
    • What steps are required to upload a prior event or a batch of contracts?
    • How much support do you need to run the pilot?
    • How flexible is the analysis and reporting?
    • What communication and notification features are standard?

The answers you get to these questions may be eye-opening.

The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, the next best time is today.

If you and your team are ready to move forward, reach out to me. In most cases, I can determine if I can help you in 30 minutes. At that point we can decide if further discussions are appropriate.

Most people appreciate my candor if I can’t help them so either way it will be an efficient use of your time.

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

Mike Jeffries