Sourcing Challenges – Will Technology Help You Solve Them?

As part of my weekly routine, I speak with many talented people in sourcing about their challenges.

Some of the most common roadmap items include:

  • Become nimble in every phase of procurement
  • Replace standalone tools like Excel or antiquated systems with intuitive, best-in-breed cloud-based tools
  • Motivate stakeholders to utilize procurement services and expertise consistently
  • Enhance data capture and analysis
  • Foster collaboration with suppliers

Technological advances in software, storage and processing speed in the last decade have made these goals attainable.

There are other factors that should be considered in your evaluation of sourcing solutions:

  • Many systems are easy to buy but expensive to maintain – this is the hidden burden of time and money – multiply the proposal amounts by a factor of 2 at a minimum for your analysis
  • Big data that can be analyzed in hours or days gives you a huge negotiating advantage
  • Internal collaboration and alliances are essential to drive efficiency
  • People will always resist change; clear and convincing evidence of advantages should be the focal point of your internal marketing for a new system or process – blind acceptance doesn’t exist
  • Internal users at all levels want to have the same experience they get on online shopping portals – set achievable expectations – this isn’t shoe shopping!

How can you drive your organization forward?

You will need money and time.

Plus, transformational technology tools will only help if they are supported, adopted and fully implemented.

There is one other factor that has been shared with me over and over.

Simplification makes people happy and motivates them to support your change initiatives.

Many processes have grown over time in response to isolated issues. Eliminate unnecessary steps and everyone wins.

I recently reviewed a Master Service Agreement that attempted to cover every contingency. This was not a business-friendly document. It was on the opposite end of simple and I suspect it is rarely referenced when a supplier issue is uncovered.

Make your process better and your stakeholders should fully participate and help you minimize rogue spend.

Make it easier to do business with your company and suppliers will provide more competitive bids.

Think of the apps on your phone that you love the most – I bet they are simple to use and get the job done.

Simplify your internal processes and it should be easier to see how technology will help you.

Change can be hard, and resistance is to be expected.

If you are patient and implement tools and system changes that make it easier for stakeholders and suppliers to do business with your group – excellent results are inevitable.

Most great ideas aren’t complicated.

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