SciQuest NextLevel: Dispatch 2 (Lessons From Stanford/Driving Adoption Without Mandates – Part 2)

In the first post in this series, we started to look at Stanford's procurement environment and the steps it successfully took to drive P2P adoption in a purchasing culture where compliance was optional (for us corporate types, I know this is hard to imagine). In this follow-up post, we'll look specifically at what they did to accomplish this feat, and some of the results they realized in the process. To start with, procurement leadership outlined a number of key objectives and tactics to put into place, starting with an overall program charter aimed at "influencing users." At the same time, they also decided to launch and ramp programs with key suppliers while focusing on high-volume areas and informing all users that had ordered from these suppliers/categories in the past 12 months that there was a better way of operating going forward. Thus began an outreach program to end all outreach programs (candidly, I've never heard of anything like it, but the results, as you'll see, speak for themselves).

This outreach took the form of a range of instructor-led training programs that took various forms -- on-site/in-person, via live WebEx, via recordings. To accommodate schedules -- not to mention lazy researchers, professors and administrators -- the procurement team held education and training sessions both in the morning and afternoon across campus and made it a point to keep all of these programs "short and on point." During one particular period, where the team conducted 65 live events during an eight-month period across a range of departments and schools, procurement leadership witnessed a 70% jump in dollars going through their SciQuest/Oracle environment and a 30% jump in the number of overall transactions.

It's interesting to note that the procurement organization did not onboard or enhance the profile/catalog details of any new or key suppliers added during this timeframe nor did they engage in any additional behavior outside of what they had done educationally in the past. Rather, they credit the large uptick that pushed them past the tipping point for spend under management entirely to targeted live events designed to drive awareness among potential users.

In other words, it's critical to take the "e" out of eProcurement when it comes to driving awareness and enthusiasm for automated P2P systems and environments. No doubt both private and public sector procurement organizations can both learn from the exceptional results Stanford realized from simply getting in front of users on an accelerated basis, making training and education ubiquitous, to-the-point and even fun (as we'll see in the final post in this series).

- Jason Busch

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