Transformation Promises of P2P Systems and Fad Diets

Spend Matters welcomes a guest post from Mark Schaffner of Verian.

Beware fad diets and P2P systems that promise total transformation by following a painless plan.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, 55% of all weight-loss claims suffer from "strained credibility.”  The fad diets formula is predictable.  Dieters shift their food intake to a mix of fat, carbs and protein that miraculously burns fat – with no hunger or exercise.

P2P systems can suffer from “strained credibility” as well. The predictable promise is that by rapidly deploying an easy-to-use P2P system, employees will miraculously rack up big savings by finding the best deals – with no process changes or supplier consolidation.

The National Institute of Health estimates that dieters can expect to regain two-thirds of their lost weight within a year of completing their diet plan, and regain all of their weight and more within 5 years. Companies that view final system implementation sign-off as the last step of their P2P transformation often see the same results as fad dieters.

If companies really want to transform their purchasing process, industry analysts frequently discuss five common behaviors of successful transformations:

  • Automate the P2P process to gain visibility and control
  • Centralize and consolidate purchasing power
  • Leverage purchasing power in key categories to get better pricing from fewer suppliers
  • Drive employees to contract suppliers and ensure contract pricing is being honored
  • Use reporting to identify ways to avoid consumption, use lower-cost alternatives and  gain efficiency

Like eating less and exercising more, the strategy doesn’t sound fun or easy but works every time.

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