How to get more value out of existing procurement technology

There’s a new Compass research paper out from my colleagues at Spend Matters US.

It’s titled “Surround Strategies” to Get More From Existing eProcurement and P2P Investments.

And that’s a pretty clear description of what it’s all about. It covers the ways in which organisations are making legacy investments  in procurement technology more effective and user-friendly by “surrounding” them with new technology. The overall effect is a greater return on the original investment, and improved overall procurement performance.

Don’t think this is only for the procurement “techies” amongst you. Something that struck me on reading the paper was how procurement technology is increasingly central to wider procurement strategy and delivery – it’s no longer a nice-to-have or something tacked on to the overall strategy. Technology is fundamental to functional success.

So, perhaps most  importantly, the paper highlights how organisations have used these improvements to drive step-changes in procurement performance and credibility. Much of that comes from enhanced technology usability, which in turn drives user acceptance, compliance (to standard processes and contracts) and ultimately, the reputation and credibility of the procurement function. And that’s something every procurement professional cares about.

The paper balances a combination of research, solution analysis and creativity in coming up with five strategies organisations can pursue to surround solution investments from the likes of SAP, Oracle, PeopleSoft, Ariba and Basware in the P2P sector. These different strategies are:

  1. Invest in a new user experience layer that creates a usability buffer and potentially adds new capability
  2. Augment existing eProcurement or P2P investments with third-party tools or solutions in targeted areas that improve the basic capability of the system itself
  3. Invest in complementary technology that goes beyond original capabilities
  4. Work with a third-party solutions provider that will provide technology and more services-driven capabilities
  5. Purchase new solutions that gradually consume their hosts

As well as going through these options in more detail, the paper also contains a number of useful (anonymous) case studies, looking at real life examples of how organisations have implemented these approaches. We’ll come back to that in a later post, but if you want to learn more about how best to surround current implementations to extract additional value, download (free on registration): Surround Strategies to Get More From Existing ERP, eProcurement and P2P Investments.

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