A few months into any new year, many people’s New Year’s resolutions start to unravel. Psychologists can offer numerous reasons why you have (yet again) failed to maintain that new diet, but when it comes down to it, there’s really one explanation: accountability. Whether you’re trying to cut carbs or make it to the gym, your chances of sticking to a new habit increase greatly if you don’t take on the challenge alone. In the business world, if you’re trying to get adoption of new approaches and tools, you may become dismayed when end users don’t adopt a new tool that you know will create value. In procurement, take the example of strategic sourcing. Many large organizations buy a new e-sourcing solution, but don’t get adoption. The reason? A shared tool doesn’t imply a shared commitment to continuous improvement.
The Change Management Category
The Hackett Group and Ivalua presented a webinar this month on this year’s key procurement issues, and digital transformation stood out perhaps most of all. What does digital transformation really involve, and how can procurement get on board? The presenters explained that there are four main areas to look at, with the overarching one being improving the stakeholder experience.
Spend Matters conducted this interview with Craig Reed, global director for raw materials, energy and packaging at DuPont, during the Global Procurement Tech Summit. We thought practitioners would benefit from reading how a procurement leader at a Fortune 500 firm approaches his work. In this Q&A, Reed discusses the biggest challenges he faces in his role, hurdles to technology adoption and how his procurement group aligns itself with the rest of the business.
Tips for Preparing the Business (and IT) to Adopt E-Procurement: Usability, Tactics and ERP Considerations
Getting frontline users ready to adopt e-procurement systems consistently is a last-mile challenge that too few procurement organizations confront directly as a central piece of a procure-to-pay (P2P) rollout strategy. We should never assume that change management is something that “just happens” with business users (and suppliers), even if a new process or technology is inherently better, easier-to-use or faster than an older one. But how do you get front lines to really use tools consistently?
Supply chain and procurement organizations are aware of the benefits data analytics can provide, but recent research has shown most companies lack a clear strategy on applying the data to make better business decisions. Often, organizations are bogged down in deciding exactly how and where to use supply chain data and how exactly it will provide value for the organization.
The success of a new procurement technology adoption has a lot to do with the organization’s behavior. Getting members of a procurement organization onboard with the new technology and ensuring they are willing to change their daily habits and processes is key. But it can be a difficult task. We reached out to Barb Ardell ask her about her preferred method for working with companies trying to implement new procurement technology.
One could argue that users can put up with a poorly designed application if it allows them to accomplish their given task, especially if that task only happens once in a while. However, in this day of newer, faster and shinier, technology can become yesterday’s news if a user finds a better experience elsewhere. Here are a few keys to ensure that technology innovation will not just improve your software offering, but also help the end users it’s intended to serve.
In part 1 of this series, I discussed the rationale for the Procurement-IT research study that I’m running in conjunction with the Institute for Supply Management, in preparation for the upcoming Global Procurement Tech Summit in Baltimore March 14–16. For most readers of this blog, I don’t need to explain the importance of having Procurement and IT being aligned, but if you agree that outsourcing and digitization (especially in the cloud) will continue as major trends, it’s a foregone conclusion. But, let’s see what procurement practitioners have to say, based on the first 150 validated responses in our data set, which is over 200 and growing.
Spend Matters welcomes this guest post by Santosh Reddy, of GEP.
Being a consultant, I travel quite frequently and, weather permitting, prefer to drive to my client’s location over taking a flight. I’ve clocked well over 15,000 miles in the last 12 months. But as much as I like driving, it does get boring, and I make up for it by observing driver behavior and drawing analogies. This article is a collection of a few such lessons I learned drawing these analogies.
Category sourcing has been one hot, trending topic around these parts as of late. Our downloadable e-book and preview webinar on category management have been wildly popular and we are concluding our coverage with this comprehensive, must-attend webinar: Supercharging Category Management: Free Yourself from Siloed Sourcing to Unlock Breakthrough Value. Join us tomorrow, Oct. 22, at 9 a.m. CDT, for what will surely be a lively discussion as Pierre Mitchell, chief research officer at Spend Matters, is joined by Mickey North Rizza, vice president of strategic services at BravoSolution, to discuss going from simple category sourcing to category management 2.0 in just nine steps. Register today!
Contingent workforce procurement is on a collision course with digital transformation. As in many parts of the economy, industry segments and business functions, digital transformation has equated to structural changes and the emergence of new technology-based business and process models that require new management perspectives, expertise and processes. A good example of this is what has happened in music recorded for entertainment: music distribution went online from physical media sold at brick-and-mortar retail locations and the entire supply chain for music production was also restructured. As everyone knows, similar change has occurred in books, video and retail sales in general, and we needn’t stop there. Contingent workforce management has thus far been relatively untouched by this kind of digital transformation.
Spend Matters welcomes this guest article by Somdipto Ghosh of Zycus.
Inside every procurement department, this paradox is apparent: While the organization realizes the need to embrace new technologies to transform its practices through automation, the fear of uncertainty and the natural reluctance to change causes transformations to become time-consuming, if not a failure. While there is no secret elixir of success, following Kotter’s 8-step change process will ensure that there is a method to all the madness.