Mobile Procurement and the Everywhere Event Planner

 Spend Matters welcomes another guest post from Ivy Montgomery of Vroozi. Back in January, Jason Busch challenged Vroozi to come up with fifty real-life use cases for mobile procurement. This is an ongoing series.

As any person who has been involved in hosting a large event can attest to, the preparation is much more stressful than any attendee could imagine. Balancing your planning agenda with time and budgetary constraints is both an art and a science.

One of the best at her craft, Vivian is an event planner and a master of balancing multiple priorities. Vivian is an experienced multi-tasker who has overseen more than her fair share of event preparation. In situations where others would find themselves feeling in-over-their-heads overwhelmed, Vivian excels.

In two months’ time, Vivian’s company will be hosting its annual user conference at the Marriott in downtown Chicago. The conference will play host to a two-day event in which Vivian’s company is expecting around 120 guests to attend.

After a particularly busy day supervising the progressing conference set-up, Vivian takes a moment to consider the evolution of the event arrangements that have gotten her and her team as far as they currently stand. They’ve done so much, yet there is still so much more to do.

Vivian does a walk-through of all of the rooms that will be in use at the event.  She paints over every detail with her eyes, methodically taking it all in. She makes mental notes of anything that may be a cause for concern. Vivian can already visualize the event unfolding.

Looking over the empty event tables and displays, Vivian realizes she’ll still need to place an order for pens, charts, notepads, and giveaways. She’ll need it produced in a timely fashion, and she’ll need to fit it all in under her budget.

Ideally, Vivian will be seeking out a local vendor, keeping shipping costs to a minimum. Ordering through a local vendor can also help reduce any headaches that could be caused by the uncertainty in waiting for these essential items to be delivered on time.

Luckily for Vivian’s company, their event planner is a mobile procurement superstar and has been in this situation numerous times in the past. Vivian logs into a mobile platform and is already breathing a sigh of relief.

The system quickly syncs up Vivian’s location using GPS. As Vivian begins to type in the items her conference is in need of, the system begins to populate with pre-approved vendors and their shipping calculations, also suggesting items based on Vivian’s frequent purchasing transactions. In no time, Vivian has placed her order requests and selected for the items to be shipped directly to the hotel.

Mobile platforms can remind Vivian not to forget to order the latest corporate logo display holders to go with this purchase order. Putting these concerns in her permanent rear-view, Vivian is now free to focus more on the context of the conference and less on the logistics of event planning.

Procurement doesn’t have to be burden or an inconvenience. With the increase in business travel (and with the rise of cloud computing, BYOD and other trends) it’s clear that businesses need a procurement solution that augments their day-to-day activities and processes – not one that redefines it.

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