Implementing an e-purchasing solution is different every time. There is no single recipe for success. Here are some questions you should ask before diving in.
Define the progress you want to make
Implementing an e-purchasing solution can help mature your purchasing operations. The organisation, objectives and culture of your business can be evaluated by the degree of coordination, sharing, centralisation and delegation of its purchasing functions.
- Where does your business fall on the scale ?
- Where would you like it to be ?
Get the management team on board
The purchasing department collaborates with users, finance, accounting and sales departments, and of course suppliers. Any project that affects it affects the entire company. Buy-in from top management and the board of directors are key to the project's success.
- Does top management back the project ?
- Are business units willing to participate, for example in the pilot phase ?
- Are the users the ones asking for change? Will they accept the change ?
- Who will be the project's best allies and how can you mobilise them ?
Plan the transition
Bigger transitions will require more time if they are to last. While the central component of the project is the technical and functional configuration of the solution, its implementation and deployment may require multiple stages or phases.
- What stages are required for what kind of impact ?
- And on what functions (purchasing, procurement, inventory, etc.) ?
Choose your infrastructure
Depending on your business's capacity and IT organisation, you may choose to host dedicated infrastructure in-house or partially or fully outsource the service.
- Is IT management involved far enough upstream of the project ?
- Should you invest in your own in-house solution or do you prefer an on-demand service ?
Manage the transition
You can only improve what you can measure. Track the performance of your purchasing functions using various indicators (see the purchasing function dashboard). Which indicators you choose depends on the project's end goal.
- Are you trying to grow the company?
- Reduce the number of products?
- Improve negotiations with suppliers?
- Improve individual purchaser performance?
OXALYS TECHNOLOGIES consultants are here to help you answer these questions.