Authored by Emily Chandler
eSourcing has become essential in best-in-class procurement organisations. Strategic sourcing improves efficiency, communication, and consistency – all of which are highly regarded in any organisation. As companies implement an eSourcing solution to take them to the next level, often all of the emphasis is placed on negotiating the best price or having all of the bells and whistles of functionality.
A tool however is standalone unless the organisation sufficiently allocates dedicated resource to drive adoption and best practice.
What I have found in my experience is that those organisations which have developed high levels of eSourcing adoption often have a dedicated specialist or team of specialists (depending on the size of the organisation) supporting the change process and implementation. Not only are they platform super-users, but they act as a focal point for the intersection of e-Sourcing process and category knowledge, ensuring smooth running of events, minimising stakeholder resistance and ensuring best practices are shared and adhered too. Typically they build and develop all of the necessary process documentation and communication materials including case studies - all of which helps to build confidence. They track eSourcing programme performance metrics against contractual KPIs, adoption, and the original business case to identify risk. Central eSourcing teams can also support configuration work, coach and encourage both communities of buyers and suppliers to adopt the new process.
Building a successful eSourcing programme takes commitment from a number of different stakeholder groups and more importantly time. You can quickly launch an eSourcing solution by purchasing a software tool, issuing logins and running a few projects. But it will not overcome some the resistance of change within the stakeholder community as they fight to retain their incumbent suppliers. "Yes, but my supplier has been supplying me for years..." You can run lots of projects, identify high cost potential savings, but unless you have implemented those savings, you have gained nothing.
By taking a little more time upfront to think through your approach, and to implement adequate levels of support and internal motivation, you can successfully rollout an eSourcing programme in very little time relative to the scope of the overall programme and the benefits that having it in place will help you to achieve.