The decision to move to a cloud-based sourcing platform typically involves many factors.
CFOs and CPOs like the strategic advantages that most platforms provide:
- Time savings on RFP events that often exceed 50%
- Cost savings can approach 20% or even 35% for commodity categories that haven’t been “worked”
- A data repository that provides access to trends, pricing history, scoring, communication, budget support, RFP event analysis and more
With these positive outcomes, it would seem to be an easy decision to migrate to eSourcing.
What are some of the factors that can postpone the decision by companies that have relied on offline systems and tools like Excel, Word and PDFs?
- Management and staff may fear for their jobs if time savings approach 50%
- Staff members may believe that their unique knowledge of Excel will no longer be highly valued if the analysis is created automatically by the tool
- There is a built-in comfort with a system that people know, even if it isn’t the most efficient
- Implementation of a large system will be painful even if it goes according to plan
- Large systems can offer a lot of tools but not necessarily best-of-breed capability in all areas
- Purchasing a standalone tool may not deliver the expected savings if it is a challenge to link it to other existing systems
- A new system will mean that responsibilities can shift and this can create anxiety
Here are some of the key factors I have been told that motivated organizations to choose a tool or a suite of tools:
- The ability to quickly find historical pricing for every item, commodity or SKU included in prior RFP events
- Create, save and reuse multiple analyses including lowest bid, cherry-pick and what-if scenarios
- Create new events from previous events using cut, paste and copy features just like you do in Excel
- Search all communication in a current or prior event using true wild-card capability
- Live step-by-step training and guidance to help ensure event success
- Automated reminders
- Automated supplier onboarding
- Controlling the input fields to eliminate unacceptable or out-of-range responses
- Reports that can be configured to fit the unique preferences of multiple stakeholders and the reports can be automatically sent at predetermined intervals
- Realtime updates visible on your dashboard
- Instant data download to Excel if desired and controls that prevent uploaded data that has been changed from the original download
- References from senior level executives, hands-on users and suppliers that back up the claims of the sales team from the eSourcing provider
Each situation is different, but if a system could deliver the functionality, cost and time savings that are promised wouldn’t it be an easy choice?
Action Step: Every organization can get better. Finding and creating success is often a matter of taking the first step. If you are uncertain where to start, 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.
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