Thursday, 14 March 2013

Mobile: Embracing Digital Procurement Strategy

Recently we have been discussing some of the potential impact of Digital and the need for a Procurement Strategy which embraces the digital opportunity.

We have discussed the high-level strategy and Cloud but in this blog I wanted to discuss Mobile.

Recall the recent past when, if you wanted to check your emails, you needed to be in front of your desktop. Remember how liberating it felt when you were able to pick your emails up through your Blackberry/iPhone/whatever.

Digital means we no longer need to be linked to a desktop to access our eProcurement systems. Nor do those other colleagues who would have perhaps had to complete paper records for subsequent data  input. With Quick Response (QR) reader codes you can go straight from mobile to the main platform in seconds without so much as keying in a single digit. But you don't need QR codes to benefit all that is required is a mobile device.

We now have apps on mobile phones, for example, which enable shopping cart requests to be approved remotely faster and at less cost which in turn improves P2P time.

Mobile means transaction costs are reduced and productivity is increased.

But mobile is also concerned with the device flexibility. Your mobile phone, iPad, tablet, and laptop can all access your eProcurement systems. Indeed the concept of BOYD (Bring Your Own Device) stretches that flexibility even further with the employee providing their own device at their own expense, at the service of the firm.

Organisations can clearly reduce investment costs through BYOD but how long will employees be willing to cross-subsidise the firm? What happens when you want low paid employees to also BYOD, yet they don't have one - will it become a condition of employment that someone BYOD? What happens when the device is lost or corrupted yet the device is still linked to you platform? Whose insurance covers the BOYD if it is lost or damaged in the course of work? Could this flexibility increase the risk of fraud? Your procurement strategy needs to address these issues but more specifically how you can improve productivity and reduce costs through 'mobile'?

On the downside, it may also be worth remembering your ruined nights out and holidays as a result of picking up emails when, with the benefit of hindsight, you shouldn't have. 

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