Shouldn’t an eSourcing platform take the guesswork out of your day-to-day procurement activities?
The right eSourcing tools combined with advances in processing speed and storage should make data capture and analysis a breeze for your organization.
The sourcing professionals that I connect with each week fall into these three basic groups:
- A system is in place that they believe in and it allows them to create value for their organization.
- The system they have is used sporadically or not at all and is basically “shelf ware”.
- A system based on spreadsheets, email and PDFs is in place and they are ready to look for a more efficient and robust solution that will help them clearly establish value.
Groups that believe in their systems are generally happy and motivated. The other groups tend to be frustrated and overworked.
Finding a better way will take some effort.
Here are some questions that should help you identify and quantify the value of an eSourcing platform for your organization.
- Who in your organization will make the decision to move forward?
- What will they need to see or hear to convince them that an eSourcing platform will add the necessary value to the organization?
- What are the biggest issues that you want to solve in purchasing this year?
- What are the primary reasons that you need to solve these issues?
- What specific financial benefit will the company realize when this is put in place?
- What specific operational benefits will be gained? What intangible benefits will be realized?
- What is the target date for implementation?
- Has anyone on your team had a positive experience working with another solution at another company?
- Does anyone on your team have experience coordinating the implementation of a system like this?
- How many stakeholders will need to be involved in the decision?
- What will the stakeholders need to see or hear to get them to support this?
Now you may be wondering why I haven’t included establishing a budget for the platform.
This may sound a bit unorthodox but I believe in establishing the expected financial gain that can be achieved first. This will then make it much easier to establish a budget and the expected ROI.
The gain should not be one number. A range that includes best case and worst case scenarios will help you “pitch” this.
My personal preference is to create an analysis that will support increased efficiency so adding staff can be avoided. That approach is preferable to headcount reductions. Headcount reductions cause other issues that are best avoided.
You should also be able to identify cost savings opportunities in most spend categories that have not been realized.
The reason savings like these typically exist is a lack of time and the data to capture them. Gaining time through efficiencies will allow your organization to solve this issue.
Many times, when I am speaking with a prospective client I think: “this sounds like a no-brainer”. In those situations, it is very likely that they have done their homework and realize that continuing along the current path is not an option.
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) 718-7071 x875. The call will be forwarded to my mobile phone if I am not in my office, which is pretty likely.
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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Until Next Time, I Wish You Great Success in Your Business and in Your Life