We recently spoke with Jack Mulloy, CEO of BuyerQuest, to hear what the e-procurement provider thinks will be a main focus for procurement in the new year. The conversation is part of our ongoing 2016 provider prediction series, in which we talk to procurement technology solution companies to get their take on what they see as the top challenge and trend procurement will face in 2016. For Jack and BuyerQuest, user adoption is priority No. 1 this year.
Procurement will increasingly push for more user adoption of e-procurement systems this year, Jack said. Procurement organizations want to ensure team members are actually using the solution that is implemented, as it leads to more savings, better contract compliance and a higher percentage of catalog-based purchase orders, among other benefits. But, Jack added, the challenge remains: How do you get users to actually use the solution and use it simply? This will be a top procurement focus for the new year, he said.
Jack pointed to first generation procurement solutions that turn users off with their high number of user interfaces and other downfalls like low levels of flexibility, interoperability and an inability to actually locate and purchase catalog items. Users continue to demand that “Amazon-like” buying experience, which makes sense, Jack said. From a consumer standpoint, buying on Amazon is simple and is done all on a single interface. It is also a place to go when you know what product you are looking for but you don’t necessarily know what specific supplier you want it from. This translates well into the procurement buying process. It’s also the experience BuyerQuest aims to deliver.
More procurement organizations are seeing how newer generation procurement solutions are likely to attract more users, which will continue to drive user adoption this year, Jack said. “Our clients are saying, ‘Yes, this is going to be a carrot rather than a stick that will get my users to actually adopt the system,’” he said.
Don’t Forget the Data
Data quality, data relevancy and accuracy will also be of growing importance this year, Jack said. Flexibility, too, is a focus. Procurement organizations don’t want a rigid solution with little flexibility or little interoperability, according to Jack.
“Having that flexibility to integrate with the backend systems is important,” Jack said.
Many of BuyerQuest’s clients are pushing for integration with existing inventory management systems, for example, which will be something the provider focuses on this year. In 2016, BuyerQuest plans to further expand their services procurement functionality and BuyerQuest Network.