Three ways to make sure you realise the huge benefits of Procurement Digitisation

If your Digital Procurement programme is stuck in first gear, focus on user adoption to ensure you realise the benefits.

Digital Procurement Transformation is high on the agenda for many organisations striving to drive competitive advantage through process efficiency, reduction of risk and delivery of savings. With the continued impact of Covid 19, digitisation is seen as even more critical and a way to enable step-change transformation.

However, many procurement organisations have simply failed to realise the benefits that procurement digitisation can bring.

You may be one of the many organisations that have started the journey, but are stuck in first gear. We see many procurement functions unable to get past an initial phase of trials, free downloads and pilot initiatives, characterised by single-licence enthusiasts pushing pockets of best-practice. Of course, it’s a start but these do little to move the needle. In fact, all that happens is the organisation devotes valuable procurement energy on trialling different solutions; often changing the tool rather than increasing the influence of the tool in the organisation. If assessed objectively Return-On-Investment is negative.

Significantly, the problem is most often user adoption, and this is the critical factor in the successful roll out of any Digital Procurement Tool. According to a Forrester* survey: 34% of organisations reported that user adoption had impeded progress in their digital transformation, 82% had switched or are considering changing with 43% of advanced procurement functions citing that lack of user adoption was the reason.

However, in our experience there are three ways to get past it;

1. Go for leading-edge solutions

Gone are the days when organisations selected and implementing tools that originated in the ERP era. Modern solutions drive adoption, not only through a straightforward and familiar user interface, but also guide and encourage operators to leverage the system to its full capability. Many newer solutions recognise the problems older tools have faced with adoption and have built their platforms with the user interface at its core. Modern tools and new entrants should be strongly considered in any selection process.

To understand the range of Digital Procurement Solution Providers in the marketplace, you can use our Solution Provider Database;

Solution Provider Database

2. Prioritise the user interface (UI)

User interface should feature highly in any selection criteria. Individuals now expect an intuitive experience in line with those they routinely take for granted with B2C platforms such as Amazon. A digital procurement solution can have all the functionality it wants but if UI is poor this will lead to low user adoption and in turn a lower return on investment. To ensure that a tool meets the criteria it should be trialled and tested by the end users who will need to provide feedback on ease of use.

3. Plan carefully, manage proactively and drive implementation to embed the solution

Once a digital solution has been selected, organisations should not just rely on the UI to drive adoption. The tool needs to be embedded into the organisation with a thorough onboarding process and include initial training and alignment to internal policies and procedures. The tools must become part of the everyday standard-operating-procedure of the organisation, and usage should be tracked and refresher training provided where required.

In summary

Following the three steps discussed will drive user adoption of procurement tools within an organisation reducing the risk of having to change platforms repeatedly. This in turn will allow the procurement function and organisation to realise the benefits of Digital Procurement Excellence. A robust and structured tool selection process is vital for ensuring user adoption is achieved.

* (Forrester Thought Leadership – Executing A Successful Procurement Transformation, April 2019)

If you would like to discuss any aspect of Digital Procurement, we’d love to chat.
We help clients to define their requirements. Understanding the current situation and the target operating process are fundamental in selecting the right solution.
We help clients select the right solution from a complicated technology landscape. Hand-holding all the way.

And, we implement. Rapidly delivering Procurement Excellence.


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