Like any application that is implemented into an existing process, there are ways to “grease the wheels” and propel a better ROI. With an e-Sourcing app, this is just as critical to build momentum. So, how do you get this needed boost? I am glad you asked:
- Executive endorsement: This is extremely important and I have seen it on both ends of the spectrum. As you might expect, if all the chain of command is in lock-step, there will be less resistance and opportunity to willfully ignore the tool. If the executive signs off but then never mentions anything to the team about results or strategies, it is perceived as non-important. Anyone who is a parent can relate to consistent messages and unified fronts to make sure things get done according to plan.
- Understand the problems and deliver internal solutions: Find out where the issues are. There might be people that do not want to veer away from Excel because of supplier familiarity and protected formula fields. No problem, take those people aside briefly and show how that can be done within a tool that integrates seamlessly with spreadsheets. Iasta trick: show them how they do not have to cut and paste responses from Excel/Word into a separate worksheet to read side-by-side! (Admit it, you know you spent a day doing that before).
- Start safe and grow visibility: The first reverse auction run in a company is likely to be a monumental event with huge visibility. Pick something that you can define easily with plenty of suppliers and lean on your e-Sourcing provider to coach every step of the process and be available to keep everything smooth. After you save 25%, find the techno-nerds and let them get the first shots and running on their own. The buzz will grow and spread. Once you have a nice group internally endorsing it, find other ways to get the word out like special newsletters or private case studies.
- Tie usage to goals and track it: Use the management reporting features to track what is being done, how much is being sourced and saved, and who is really using it. Make sure people have compensation rewards that can be tied back to the tool and its success. Keep this information very visible for everyone to know about until it is normal business.