18th November 2016

Future-Proof Your eProcurement Investment



Future-Proof Your eProcurement Investment

There is perhaps no sadder sight in sport than a past great, a legend of the game, playing on when they should have retired a season or two earlier. Struggling on beyond their years, deceiving themselves that they have still ‘got it’ when all around them can see the inevitable truth: the new young talent makes them look slow and past their sell-by date. Time waits for no one!

Likewise, technology is in no hurry to slow down or pay any respect to the innovators of yesterday. Sky and BT paid enormous sums for the Premiership football rights, while tech savvy fans now choose to live stream matches at a fraction of the cost of a monthly subscription. Oracle and SAP were late-movers when it came to moving their customers from on-premise solutions to the cloud, and now the high cost of migration, change management and licence fees are making more agile, cloud-native solutions look far more attractive.

The currency changes before you get to the till… 

In eProcurement, things are no different; the pace of technological change often means that by the time a new system is specified, built and launched, many of its ‘cutting-edge’ features are out of date. The all singing, all dancing Daddy of Tech can very quickly become the Grand-daddy.

These systems are often too rigid and stifle agility. As a result, some areas of your business will not get serviced sufficiently; functions such as demand forecasting will be missed and the company still won’t have a solution for complex spend categories like Capex and Marketing. And, during that long implementation period, key members of staff will have jumped ship through sheer frustration at the lack of processes in place to deal with this type of expenditure.

We recently came across a large pharmaceutical company who were starting to implement a company-wide e-procurement solution which was designed to manage about 80% of the company’s indirect expenditure. Now while this would be a big step forward in terms of compliance and visibility, it will take 18 months to roll-out, and in the meantime those spend-categories that make up the “out-of-scope” 20% have been told to sit on their hands and wait until this project is completed – even though there are complementary solutions out there (like our very own Geneus) that will immediately support categories like marketing and capex and are designed to operate as a standalone cloud solution and can then be easily integrated with the new e-procurement platform once it has been rolled-out. Solutions like Geneus can be implemented in a matter of days and will generate a healthy ROI in months – systems-integrators and corporate IT have got to adopt more agile, flexible mind-sets if they are to retain talent and out-perform the market.

You say Pareto, I say Potato

In some ways the above scenario is a great example of the 80/20 rule – The IT team and the consultants are satisfied that they’ve carried out a great job and the new system beautifully covers the basics (80% of the business requirements) but the complex business requirements (the remaining 20%) require a separate, agile project stream.

There is the assumption that these types of project, with highly complex requirements, take a long time to scope and implement. As I said earlier, this does not have to be the case.

A complementary solution like Geneus immediately improves visibility and compliance over complex categories and enables effective supply chain co-operation. Rather than being stuck with outdated technologies, this agility gives the business a competitive edge.

In this age can you afford to tell teams to wait 18 months or would you rather be generating value and encouraging innovation in a matter of weeks? I think I know the answer.

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