While technology is making life easier and disrupting various processes in our day to day life, businesses are striving to be more agile and data-driven. When we talk about procurement, "The Sky is the Limit". There is a continuously growing demand for scalable & easily adoptable digitization platform that can be seamlessly adopted and be the extension of your core legacy system.
Across industries among all C level executives - CPO, CFO, CIO & CEO. There is now a realization set in the context of the importance of digitization for procurement processes.
Gone are the days when an eProcurement solution was considered as a luxury or nice to have for companies! Digitization of the procurement process has become a necessity to maintain & enhance the competitive edge of any organization as the market environment is getting more & more dynamic.
Considering the pace at which the decisions are expected to be taken in the procurement function on a daily basis. It is imperative to have real-time contextual information & ability to act quickly to ensure optimum decisions which can mitigate risks, quickly address demand, minimize TCO (total cost of ownership) & ensure compliance. Thereby generating huge savings for an organization.
However, the challenge today is how to select the most suitable technology partner to transform the traditional procurement landscape to Digitized dynamic procurement function.
Key points to Consider for Selection of your Technology Partner for Digitization of your Procurement Landscape
To address this challenge we are enumerating a few critical points for considerations while selecting your partner.
1. Align with someone who understands your pain areas!
It is of paramount importance to align with someone who understands procurement in the context of your business & the challenges pertaining to the same.
First of all, It would be most apt for you to list down your objectives prior to initiating an evaluation of probable technology partner. This will assist you to avoid possible confusion arising out of different technology companies proposing at a very high level what is the value they can deliver.
Be very focused on your checklist at functional level which can assist you to achieve your end objectives.
2. Don't Fall for Perception, Go for Reality Check
The proof of the pudding is in eating. How so ever good is the dressing if the taste is not good, you can’t eat. Same principle applies here! Don’t get carried away with the packaging of any solution. Get deeper to do a reality check. The best reality check will be to take a test run which will give you a fair idea on deliverables.
3. Determining the sustainability of your Technology Partner
Selecting your Technology Partner is like a marriage that normally lasts for a lifetime unless there are major hiccups between the partners.
Make sure that your technology partner is committed to service your needs on ongoing basis. When you start using a solution, your expectations start changing & you would like to go beyond what you have already achieved.
Another vital factor is who do you think can support your users on a sustainable basis. This will depend on the organization DNA of your technology partner.
Ensure that you are absolutely certain on deliverable on both the counts.
4. Ensure Best Security Measures
It is of paramount importance that your technology partner has taken adequate security precautions for the security of application and infrastructure. You need to evaluate in detail how your data is expected to be protected.
Before you begin the journey of any further discussions, request your IT team to define clearly security parameters desired & involve them in the initial stage of discussions to ensure that all your efforts of evaluating a solution on functional aspects later don’t go waste.
5. Evaluate Adaptability
Last but Most Important point is to determine which solution is most suited for adoption by users in your organization.
Two key elements are essential here.
First, identify what fits your business needs. No technology company understands your business better than you. Yes, a good solution will have in-built best practices & work flow with compliance parameters build or configurable to suit your business needs. Ensure that this is TESTED very well.
Secondly, it is of paramount importance to determine which solution will be most adoptable by your users. i.e. your buyers, suppliers, techno-commercial approvers & the whole eco-system of external partners relevant to your procurement function. As failure to have adoption will result in the complete collapse of the digitization journey.
Technology is not a driver, it's an enabler.
An eProcurement software is a support system for increasing the procurement efficiency of your team.