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Why Procurement technology is not, in itself, the answer!

Why Procurement technology is not, in itself, the answer!

In recent months, the amount of articles and blog posts written about the positive impact on procurement technology has grown exponentially.

If you believe the hype, then procurement technology is the answer to all of your problems!

Got a bad back – go invest in the latest procurement technology and you’ll be jumping around in no time!

Ok, I may be getting a little too flippant with the bad back analogy but you hopefully get what I’m talking about.

So the big question is: Is Procurement Technology the Answer?

And I’m here to tell you right now that, in itself, the overwhelming answer is NO!

[bctt tweet=”Why #Procurement technology is not, in itself, the answer!”]

Don’t get me wrong, technology can play a significant part in your future success but it is an enabler, not the answer!

I’m sure that you read stories about technology projects failing, or costing much more than the original estimate. Most public sector technology projects tend to end up like this and if you’re not careful, this will be the outcome of your investment in procurement technology.

Why do I say this?

Well, for the last 25 years, I’ve been working on technology enabled change projects and that experience has highlighted the significant challenges, often ignored or underplayed, that have a massive impact on the success (or otherwise) of the project.

I’m often heard saying – the easiest thing in the world is to put the ‘icon on the screen’ – it’s significantly more difficult to get someone to ‘click on it’”

[bctt tweet=”“the easiest thing in the world is to put the ‘icon on the screen’ – it’s significantly more difficult to get someone to ‘click on it’”]

And in a nutshell, there is the major issue.

To get ‘someone to click on it’ you need to have managed the change effectively and taken the people with you.

Moreover, you need to have streamlined the operational processes and removed the inerrant inefficiencies before you automate them.

Not to mention the need to take your supply chain partners on the journey and work with them collaboratively to ensure that the technology can interface effectively with theirs.

These tend to be undervalued as the momentum for technology integration takes pace and often investments are approved based upon fanciful return on investment estimates.

That’s why 75% of all projects fail to deliver the expected return!

So, before you dive head long into the ‘technology must be the answer’ hype, step back and develop a real plan of action that will;

  1. Review and streamline the existing (manual/ automated) processes operating within your business already
  2. Consider the impact on your supply chain partners and engage with them in the design and development stage
  3. Integrate a formal change management approach and engage with all stakeholders early in the process and frequently thereafter to ensure that you can effectively embed the technology
  4. Identify how you intend to monitor the project and the delivery of benefits after the technology has been delivered.

By doing this, you will not only get the ‘icon on the screen’, you’ll get your people to ‘click on it’ and most importantly, you’ll ‘deliver the benefits’ that procurement technology promises.

In my book – the C.O.S.T. Optimization Formula, I cover off these four elements in much more detail. You can download a Free copy now by clicking on the link below;

http://tonylockwood.com/lp-costbook-gift/

How To Set Yourself Up For Procurement SUCCESS in 2016

How To Set Yourself Up For Procurement SUCCESS in 2016

Are YOU subconsciously diluting the value that you deliver in your Company?

The overwhelming reality is that you’re probably doing just that right now!  It’s a fact that most procurement activity never maximises the value delivered to the bottom line.

Do you agree?  Why do you think that’s the case?

Well it’s not because you’re procurement activities are flawed.

Neither is it, that your negotiation skills are not that good!

In many cases, the deals that you have negotiated are all set to deliver significant bottom line value!

[bctt tweet=” Bottom Line Value Is Determined By ………….!”]

In companies, procurement success is much more determined by YOUR ability to manage four key elements than anything else.

Your ability to manage the desired change. Your drive to optimize your operational processes. Your management of your core supply chain relationships and Your capability to accurately track benefits – these are the ultimate deciding factors.

So I’ll ask the question again:

Are YOU subconsciously diluting the value that you deliver to your company?

Do you get frustrated that the business works against the contracts that you’ve negotiated?

Are you finding that you’re being challenged by your CFO that stated savings are not being realized?

Are your supplier relationships suffering because you’re constantly being challenged to get lower and lower pricing?

Don’t worry, you’re not alone!

It is a fact that most procurement managers are operating in a state of frustration that is compounded by the fact that most don’t believe that they have the where with all to do anything about it – it all feels ‘out of their control!’

Have you ever thought this? Are you thinking like that right now?!

How Can You Ensure That You Deliver Maximum Value in 2016

As we head into the final third of this year, you’re probably starting to think about 2016 and what you need to improve in the next 12 months.

These five stages should help you get the most from their planning process this year. Moreover by integrating the four core elements mentioned about (we discuss these further below), you will be able to maximise the value that you deliver in 2016;

  1. Identify lessons from the past 12 months: Start by documenting lessons you’ve learned over the past year and the key objectives that you’d like to continue concentrating on through the next 12 months. You’ll need the previous year’s strategy and plan, functional dashboards, and corporate-level information on business needs to help you do this. Review the results to date, talking through key successes and failures, along with their root causes. One common mistake made by procurement teams is to simply continue with a modified version of the previous year’s plan. Instead, make sure you’re putting business results (saving money or making money) first, which may mean taking a different path than the one originally intended.
  1. Think about internal and external risks and opportunities: Look at the biggest challenges and the biggest opportunities for both the company and your procurement function. For this step, bring external and internal data to the table, including details of industry trends, news stories, or opinions from external consultants, as well as the corporate strategy, mission, and vision.  Activities to carry out during this phase include evaluating industry trends, scenario planning, and recording business partners’ strategic priorities. This last task can help you avoid the pitfall of concentrating only on traditional procurement tasks (like negotiating and securing supply agreements) at the expense of the other ways Procurement can help (like innovating with suppliers or exploring collaborative cost-cutting ideas).  Upon completing this stage, you should have a preliminary list of strategic priorities and alternatives, as well as a set of assumptions on Procurement’s strengths and weaknesses and external trends, such as supplier safety or quality issues in the news.
  1. Establish priorities: Next, use your initial list of strategic priorities from the previous stage to choose a core set of strategic initiatives and alternatives, using details from last year’s projects, your internal and external analysis, and your business partners’ strategic plans.  Work with internal partners and teams to develop targets and goals based on your strategic priorities, evaluating the risks and opportunities of initiatives you’re considering.  After this stage, you should have a prioritised list of strategic initiatives for the coming year, along with a business case supporting them.
  1. Communicate to business partners: Your next task is to build buy-in for your strategic plan and identify opportunities to work together with business partners to achieve it.  You’ll need to develop messages that link Procurement’s strategic priorities with the goals of internal customers, and then communicate these priorities to them. Always demonstrate how your strategic priorities will benefit the enterprise as a whole.
  1. Set your budget and structure: The final step is to set up a budget, organisational structure, and execution plan to turn strategy into action.  Once the organisational structure is in place, allocate resources across activities. Then, communicate priorities to your teams. The final output should be a trackable budget, team assignments, and clear objectives for your staff. Make sure to build flexibility into your plans so you can adjust should needs change.

[bctt tweet=”Procurement Success Means Different Things To Different People”]

Although, I’ve titled this post “How to set yourself up for Procurement Success”, I fully accept that success means different things to different people. My definition of success may well be completely opposite to yours.

BUT, that’s absolutely fine.

The important thing is, that however you define success, you have a clarity around what you need to do to achieve it

How Do You Prevent The Dilution Of Value?

I’m sure that you’ve been in situations when the value that you delivered to the company was diluted due to operations not adopting the new contract or suppliers, or your suppliers not being able to provide the promised innovation due to a failure of your internal processes.

The list is endless – I’m sure that you’ll have a lot of ‘war stories’ yourself.

However, it’s one thing to identify the cause, it’s something completely different to actually do something about it.

The fact that you’re still here reading this post means that you’re ready to find a solution. But, I’m sure you’re starting to think about what I’m trying to sell you and worry about the amount of time that all of this will take to put right – time that you just haven’t got, right!

I know exactly how you feel.

Many of my clients have felt exactly the same.

But what they have found is that my approach enables them to deliver significantly more value to their organization than they have typically been able to do previously.

That’s why I’ve created an Advanced Training for you and I want you to have it for Free.

You can get the full scoop here, but here’s a “big picture” look at what’s covered:

  • We start by exploring the four core areas for Procurement Success!
  • Next, we explore your each area in more detail and discuss proven ways to adapt these core philosophies into your Company!
  • Next, you get to try an insight into the core tools and techniques required to maximise the value that you deliver.
  • Finally, you will organise yourself for success by creating a detailed action plan that will ensure that you’ll maximise the returns achieved in 2016

The training itself is delivered via three videos that I’ll send to you over the next three days. Each is around 20/30 minutes long and focused on guiding you to implement the approach into your company right now.

Here’s How To Get This, FREE.

First, go here and request it.

Just enter your name and tell me where to send everything and it’s yours.

Like I said, there’s no cost.

So if you’d like to ensure that you can guarantee your future Procurement Success and Maximise the Value that You Deliver to your Company, get this free training now.

See you at the training

Tony

Don’t even think about commencing a new procurement exercise without reading this article!

Don’t even think about commencing a new procurement exercise without reading this article!

So you’re about to kick off a new procurement exercise. 

What are you trying to achieve?

The answers that I tend to get after asking this question are varied but can be summarised in 3 words “To Improve Performance”.

This may be achieved through reduction of unit costs by x%, negotiation of additional discounts based on achieving volume of £y, or more often through improved specification of requirements.

So what would you say if I told you that you are more than 75% likely to fail to deliver on this objective?

Would you still go ahead?

At this stage, many respond “no, obviously not!”

However, today, there will be a significant number of projects kicked off where the project leaders will be blissfully unaware of this scary statistic.

So, what can you do to ensure that you don’t become just another statistic?

What do you think is the main cause, that results in such a high percentage of project failure?

After studying this very issue across hundreds of companies, the #1 reason identified is a failure to effectively manage the necessary change to behaviours, processes and skills required to ensure that the benefits can be realised.

[bctt tweet=”The #1 reason behind project failure is a lack of effective change management”]

Why do you think that Change Management is so important?

I believe that it’s because without really understanding how you are going to manage the change across the business, you are heading downhill rapidly and any benefits that you think you can deliver will be significantly diluted if you don’t effectively manage the change across the business.

Within Procurement, you’ll hear the term “maverick spend”.

What do you think is the main cause of ‘maverick spend’?

Put simply, ‘maverick spend’ is the result of an individual or groups of people not following due process and utilising alternative sources. Typically, this is a result of those individuals not ‘buying in’ to the change in suppliers/ process/ products etc.

Their lack of compliance reduces the potential benefits achieved.

An example of this was seen recently within a client organisation that I’ve been working with that had changed suppliers after negotiating better rates. The catalogue of products provided both ‘branded’ and own brand products and the focus of the savings was to drive the uptake of the own brand lower cost options.

However, a significant number of their people simply carried on buying the ‘branded’ option and the potential cost savings were significantly diluted.

Why did this happen?

As always, there are a number of factors but one of the main issues was that the rationale for the move to ‘own’ brand products hadn’t been ‘sold’ into the business. Furthermore, budgets hadn’t been changed to reflect the potential savings and local management were more focused on budget compliance rather than anything else.

As such, as long as the business areas managed their costs within their budgets, no pressure was applied. As a result, there was no local pressure to migrate to ‘own brand’ products!

There’s an old management theory that I passionately believe still holds true – “People do what gets measured”

[bctt tweet=”People do what gets measured!”]

As such, you need to ensure that any change that you are looking to make within your company is properly reflected within your core performance management structures.


This is a relatively simple example and in most cases, the change requirements are more complex. Rarely does a solution only involve one area of an organisation. To deliver the benefits, many associated changes may need to be defined and implemented to solve a specific business problem or deliver specific benefits.

 fig3

 Figure 1 – Potential Catalysts for Change

Even the introduction of a new supplier may involve the definition of new processes, changes in skills and changes in behaviours to deliver the benefits that the business needs.

As I mentioned earlier, 75% of all projects fail to deliver their stated benefits!

There are many reasons for this shameful statistic but common ones include;

Lack of Business fit

  • No-one wanted to use it
  • It didn’t work the way we needed it too
  • No one could make their mind up what they wanted.
  • What we got was not what we asked for.

Governance

  • It cost much more than planned and was very late.
  • It got out of control and we stopped it.
  • The scope implemented was much less than the scope we set out with

So how do you get control around change management?

How do you minimise the risks associated with this critical area?

My 6 stage C.H.A.N.G.E. Accelerator TM provides you with a proven framework;

 fig4Figure 2 – The C.H.A.N.G.E. Accelerator

Let’s take a look at each of these areas and highlight some ways that you can minimize the impact of change across your Organization.

1. Control & Governance

One of the more common reasons for organisations failing to deliver change is a lack of governance across the change process. I’m sure that you’ve come across the old saying “a failure to plan is a plan of failure”

[bctt tweet=”A failure to plan is a Plan of Failure!”]

So why is it so unusual for a change process to be effectively planned?

There are two essential elements to ensuring control and governance around your change initiatives. Firstly, you must ensure that you have clear leadership – strong and visible sponsorship from one of the top executive team, creating a compelling vision for the future.

This will establish the purpose and direction whilst the second essential – programme management – will ensure its delivery.

You need to create a focused strategy for change, prioritised on economic benefits for the business.

[bctt tweet=”Create a focused strategy for change, prioritised on economic benefits for the business “]

Base the strategy on objective analysis rather than on the sum of current management opinion.

Employ strong project management and work to a recognised project lifecycle, installing project teams with the right balance of change experience and business knowledge.

Create a structured approach to change programmes and insist the structure is followed. I’d encourage you to consider incentives for key personnel based upon completion to time, within cost, and to agreed (benefit-based) deliverables.

Finally, proactively manage interfaces within your company and work across functional boundaries to ensure that risks are fully understood and actively managed.

One of the most successful change programmes that I have been involved in resulted in the complete transformation of a high street Bank, moving it from laggard to industry leader in the space of 5 years.

How was this achieved?

The Chief Executive at the time lay down an absolutely clear vision and mandate to the business and his senior leadership team – “to deliver a billion by the millennium”.

Everybody in the Bank was clear of what we were trying to do and how we would all benefit from the transformation.

Moreover, every Thursday morning at 10am, we all knew where the Senior Management Team were because part of the Governance Structure was a formal Change Management Group (CMG) and each week, the CMG sat and reviewed progress, took decisions on key components of the change and communicated to the rest of the business.

Having presented to the CMG on numerous projects, I knew that I’d get one of three decisions;

Approved – now go and deliver it.

Rejected – move onto the next project

Deferred – you need to provide specific extra information for us to make a decision

This approach was so empowering and ultimately over delivered on the benefit case, delivered the change quicker than expected and mobilised a highly productive team that had absolute clarity in what they were doing.

2. Honesty in Communications

Let’s make one thing clear – nobody likes change!

The initial reaction is to feel threatened by change – what will the impact be on me? How will I be affected? Will I lose my job?

The impact of this is that most people initially shy away from accepting change.

So how do you mitigate against this. Well before I answer that, let me ask you a question;

Why do you think that people react in this way?

Why do they feel threatened?

In most cases, it’s because they don’t know what the impact of change will be. How are they going to get to know? Well, that’s easy to answer isn’t it – from you.

Be open and honest and communicate frequently with your full team – let them know what’s happening, let them know the reasons for the change and where possible provide early reassurance for them.

When this isn’t possible, be open and honest and explain what the potential impact of the change will be and how they will be affected. More importantly, how you intend to manage the change and keep them updated on progress.

Often leaders refuse to do this, thinking that the team will become demotivated.

Yes, there may well be an impact but it is one that you can actively manage, which is not something that you can do when the demotivation occurs as a result of a lack of communication and scare mongering that will inevitably go on.

So, be honest in your communication, be open and be proactive.

[bctt tweet=”A Lesson in Change – be honest in your communication, be open and be proactive”]

Success is based largely on trust – do your team trust in what you are saying – by being open with them, and communicating with them frequently, you will maintain and indeed build this trust.

When you don’t communicate, people tend to feel that you are holding something back and trust is broken. Once broken, it is extremely difficult to get back.

3. Alignment to Business Needs

When change is aligned to a clear business need, the change is much easier to embed. Alternatively, when the perception is that this is not the case, then reaction and disruption will more than likely occur.

When developing the initial specification, be clear to actively engage with the ultimate users across the business. Let them feel an integral part in the design and final selection – they will have much more ownership of the change that you are looking to deliver and be much more supportive if they have been actively involved from an early stage.

This is equally as relevant to the wider Supply Chain partner team. A support services client worked extensively with a wide variety of independent service providers, as well as a direct labour force.

Much of their work was conducted on behalf of public sector organisations and over the last few years, the pressure to deliver more for less has been intense. After reviewing performance metrics across both the direct labour force and the external delivery partners, we identified significant variances across productivity and realised that by moving everyone to the ‘average’ would deliver a significant financial benefit.

At this point, we could have simply looked at the best performing teams, found out what they were doing and then ‘told’ the rest to copy. However, I always found that ‘tell’ mode doesn’t work.

Instead, we pulled together a small working group made up of both direct and indirect team members and set them a task to assess the differences between good, average and poor performers. We positioned this with the external parties as a way to help them to become more efficient and thus more profitable – again creating a Win Win scenario.

Over a period of 6 weeks, the working group not only reviewed performance, but pulled together a best practice guide and developed a training and communication plan.

[bctt tweet=”Over a period of 6 weeks, the working group not only reviewed performance, but pulled together a best practice guide and developed a training and communication plan.”]

They ‘owned’ the delivery, they felt that they had designed the output and over the next 6 months, performance across all aspects of client delivery improved at a faster rate than ever before.

4. Nurture & Engage

All too often, change is ‘communicated’ and then a tick is placed in the ‘delivered’ box. Have you seen this within your company?

I certainly have – there have been so many instances where a new supplier arrangement has been negotiated and implemented. This process may have taken a significant amount of time to complete, yet the launch and ongoing engagement across the business is often neglected, resulting in an inconsistent level of adoption across the business.

One such example occurred recently in a client – a significant amount of effort had been expended to review and ultimately select a new provider of basic products – you know the type – high volume, low price items.

The cost to change, in terms of business interruption and risk associated with the change wasn’t insignificant and the company laboured to make the final decision to change. But ultimately, they agreed to change vendor.

A significant amount of planning had been undertaken within the head office environment and a reasonable amount of communication issued to update the business of the change of vendor.

However, all of this was one-way communication – tell mode and not surprisingly, many people simply didn’t listen and take notice.

Upon the date of change, all hell broke loose across the business and ‘suddenly’ as far as the operational team was concerned, their existing supplier(s) had been ‘switched off’ and they had no confidence in the vendor selected.

What they were really saying was that they didn’t want to change, but what came out was their frustration!

Establish a well structured, focused communication strategy with appropriate interventions at all stages of the project lifecycle and constantly review communications for effectiveness.

[bctt tweet=”Change Lesson – Establish a well structured, focused communication strategy with appropriate interventions at all stages of the project lifecycle and constantly review communications for effectiveness.”]

Create ownership within the business for the change and ensure that there is sufficient business input at all stages, enabling the business to participate actively in the design of the change.

Don’t forget to proactively manage your key Stakeholders by knowing who’s affected and how it will affect them. Involve every layer – create a network of committed champions, as well as local transition teams, to extend the change team’s work and set expectations appropriately.

5. Goals & Objective

At all times, you need to be outcome focused – you need to know what is required – by whom/ by when etc. and you need to focus on demonstrating benefits.

Do you know what success for the change would look like?

Is this vision shared?

Do the whole team understand this clear definition of success?

You will find that those individuals that are not supportive of the change will try to find evidence to suggest that you are failing to deliver the agreed benefits. As such, it is essential that you develop a clear benefits realization plan, one that can track those benefits right back to the bottom line.

The banking example that I mentioned earlier – that had a clear goal didn’t it – to generate a billion by the millennium!

How easy is it to evaluate progress and ultimately success of this goal?

Yes, I agree that it isn’t always that easy, but don’t ignore this step. Always crystalize in your mind exactly how you will demonstrate success and put in place clear milestones to monitor progress.

[rad_rapidology_inline optin_id=optin_1]

6. Embed the Change

You may have done all of the above, but until you can honestly say that any change is fully embedded within the company, it is highly unlikely that you will be able to demonstrate delivery of full value.

The degree to which you embed the change will determine the ultimate value that you deliver to the business, so how do you go about it?

First and foremost, lets define what we mean by embedding change.

Embedding change requires people to consistently and permanently adopt new practices, behaviours, skills or capability. Remember embedding takes time and you must be prepared for an on-going cycle of development.

[bctt tweet=”Change Lesson – Embedding change requires people to consistently and permanently adopt new practices, behaviours, skills or capability”]

Prepare people for the change and support them through the change by making training appropriate and timely.

One essential, often forgotten is to realign employees’ KRAs and KPIs measures to desired new performance standards.

Change management isn’t easy and is often overlooked. However, get it wrong and your savings or amount of value created will be significantly reduced.

Let me illustrate this still further with a real life example. A few years ago, I was working with a client that managed one of the major utilities in the UK. Whilst completing a different programme, I got to know the Major Contracts Director really well. He ran a team that managed around £300m of annual contracts – these contracts were awarded to just 6/7 large-scale sub contractors.

Over the previous 12 months, the Contracts Director, let’s call him Andy had brought in one of the Big 4 consultancies to help him to redesign the Engineering Period Contracts (EPC) – this resulted in the framework being changed to a ‘Gain share’ arrangement, whereby individual jobs were given a specific price and if the contractor was able to deliver the jobs at a cheaper rate, they would retain 50% of the savings.

At the other end of the spectrum, should the contractor costs be greater than 102% of the agreed price, they would have to shoulder the extra cost themselves.

The expectation was that, given the upside, the contractors would be ‘incentivized’ to deliver the work in the most cost effective way and overall costs would decline.

Makes sense doesn’t it.

The company is protected by the maximum exposure whilst the contractor is able to maximize their profits by delivering individual jobs at a cheaper rate that the ‘agreed price’.

So why do you think I got the call from Andy asking me to go and help him to understand why his costs had risen?

Well, when I concluded my review of what was happening on the ground, it became clear that the necessary change management hadn’t been completed.

The Contract Managers were ‘operational’ in mindset rather than commercial and the Contractors had quickly realized that as long as they delivered to around 98/102% of the agreed cost, everything would get signed off and the occasional job over budget would be discussed at length and in the majority of cases, an agreed overspend would also be signed off.

Within 2 months and after a lot of sweat and focused effort, I, along with a small number of colleagues coached and mentored the Contract Management team and over the next twelve months delivered over £30m of savings.

Within the C.O.S.T. Optimizer Programme TM, we dig much deeper into the C.H.A.N.G.E. AcceleratorTM and provide you with proven models, tools and techniques to enable you to make sense of and deliver organizational change.

For those organizations that require more detailed support, we offer an Academy where for 6 months we work closely with internal teams to help them understand, apply and benefit from the C.O.S.T. Optimization Formula. The Academy includes a really valuable Mastermind Group where non completing organizations work together to learn and develop the processes together. Find out more here

 

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8 steps to deliver margin gains by improving your P2P process

8 steps to deliver margin gains by improving your P2P process

As companies are seeking to move beyond procurement into fully deployed supply chain systems, there are significant opportunities to widen their margins by improving efficiency in their procure-to-pay cycles for many of their contracted services.

We typically find that major challenges where field associates are working from manual or electronic systems, requisitioning onsite services for maintenance or other activities, to ensure that the information is captured effectively. In addition, further challenges exist to ensure that the proper service level agreement is fulfilled, the correct price is charged, the purchase order is transmitted correctly, the invoice matches, and finally, that the supplier is paid the correct amount for the actual services delivered.

The impact of these challenges is additional processing costs, often hidden in the overall ‘central’ cost/ management cost budgets. However, these costs can be reduced and in some cases removed altogether and the great thing is, is that any savings fall straight to the bottom line and increases your margins.

In re-engineering the procure-to-pay process, we recommend that you apply the following 8 stage approach:

1. Secure top management support for the initiative and budgeting for the project. Develop a list of key benefits and deliverables that will occur as a result of the improvements. Document the cost of leaving the system “broken” in its current state.

2. Map existing processes and problems with the P2P cycle. Identify where the breakdowns are occurring and why they are occurring.

3. Understand the needs and requirements of the various user groups. Many of the people involved — maintenance, planning, project management, suppliers, accounts payable, buyers, etc. — have specific issues that prevent them from using the existing system. Also, many of the specific sites may have issues that need to be considered in designing the new system.

4. Team “redesign workshops” should be used to bring together key subject matters experts from each of the business units. Suppliers should also be invited to attend and participate, as they may have solutions they have adopted with other customers that may prove to be efficient and simple to use (i.e., why re-invent the wheel?).

5. Explore existing technology solutions with your ERP solution, as well as bolt-on applications. Map out the business requirements, and ensure they are aligned with the technology solutions that are available. Begin to estimate cost of deployment, and ensure that adequate planning and due diligence is taken at this step.

6. Following the workshops, define the new process and begin to pilot using a planned technology. Ensure that it takes place in a “real” environment, with actual non-trained users involved in the pilot, before cutting over to the next process.

7. Train and deploy other users based on the new processes and systems. Be sure to make the training appropriate to the specific functional unit and user groups.

8. Monitor, update, and improve the system, ensuring that catalogs are kept up to date. Hold periodic meetings with suppliers and user groups to solicit input and identify problems with the systems.

As technology and business requirements evolve, the P2P cycle will probably need to be revisited from time to time to ensure it is meeting the needs of internal customers, and that suppliers are satisfied with the system.

Once you have established a standardised P2P process, you are able to measure the key metrics and implement a continuous improvement approach.

I have helped many clients to widen their margins through improved P2P processing. For a no obligation discussion with one of our consultants, to see how you could benefit, call us today on +44 (0) 161 408 4614.