Monday, 9 November 2015

Let Procurement's internal customers drive eProcurement Strategy

For a number of years I have seen P2P briefs which include reference to internal stakeholders desire for an 'Amazon like' user experience. Exposure in domestic life to how easy the 'electronic shopping experience' can be through the use of Amazon has raised individuals expectations of what the procurement process could be within the business environment. Having said that, even with that domestic experience, it still surprises me when Procurement staff tell me that the 'AsIs' process for Requisition to Purchase Order takes on average two weeks - my response is "Why aren't you aiming for two hours max?". What I see and feel on the ground is evidence that internal customers are pushing for change as opposed to Procurement staff shaping driving the change.

I have also met opposition from Procurement staff to the use of eAuctions. However, when you ask the individuals concerned if have they used eBay - the 'lights go on' and you can start to help them understand how eAuctions could deliver benefits in a business environment. In parallel, I've discovered that internal customers of Procurement have a greater appetite for the use of eAuctions than their Procurement Team.

Tonight I was delighted to see an advertisement on television for MyCarNeedsA. Perhaps some of you have been aware of this site for some time, regardless, it is a domestic electronic RFP solution. The domestic car owner specifies what work is required for their car and bids are then invited. I'm sure, given what I have outlined above, you will not be surprised that I have experienced opposition from Procurement Teams for the use of eSourcing tools. So I am delighted that internal customers of Procurement will now have an opportunity to experience eSourcing within a domestic environment and then hopefully push for their adoption within the business environment.

We have recognised for many years that individual's domestic experience influences their work expectations.  Of course there are many understandable reasons why Procurement staff may want to oppose the use of eProcurement tools but I find it disappointing that Procurement are not pushing harder for improvement and adoption of what are now basic tools.

Procurement should encourage internal customers to cry louder for the transfer of domestic eProcurement tools into the business environment. Procurement should see the domestic tools as part of a skills development plan. Yes, why not let Procurement's internal customers drive hard for an eProcurement Strategy. Would that not help Procurement?

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