Everyone has bad habits, but for procurement, bad habits can put a major dent it in the ROI of your sourcing tools. That’s because strategic sourcing is complex and challenging – success requires more than fancy software purchases. You must have a plan in place to measure how well (and how much) your team is using the technology.
At 30,000 feet, answer these questions to drive improved adoption:
• Have we trained everyone? If the answer is no, or the training was year’s ago, chances are that the team isn’t leveraging the full functionality of your tools and are leaving significant efficiency and savings on the table.
• How many of our sourcing events are run through the system? Tools like eSourcing generate maximum results when used on a continuous basis.
• Is usage increasing according to plan? When usage stays flat, it’s a sign that ongoing training and skill development is necessary.
But even at 30,000 feet, you still can’t see all the details. This level doesn’t say much about increasing supplier value, maintaining transparency or increasing efficiency. Without better visibility into the sourcing process, procurement can’t uncover the problems they need to fix.
Your next level of questions could include:
• How can the sourcing process uncover more spend?
• How can the solution map directly to monitoring regulatory compliance?
• Why aren’t category managers using the solution to maximize supplier value?
This entire post could be a list of questions to ask and what you could uncover. Adoption measurement is a tall task, so don’t go-it alone. Make your procurement team active participants in the process – share what you’re learning, have honest conversation about their concerns and limitations, and showcase why adoption matters. Don’t just do it once – adoption measurement should be an essential aspect of continuously improving procurement overall.
Because here’s the lesson I’ve learned: Best of Breed Sourcing and Best of Breed software adoption programs are strikingly similarly. Procurement cares about realized savings, not what’s negotiated. The same is true for common supply chain tools like spend analysis and contract management – ROI is only maximized when your team uses them correctly.
Paul Martyn is VP of Supply Strategy at procurement and sourcing specialist BravoSolution