In Part 1 of this post, I discussed some of the shortcomings to rely on a Proof of Concept as the main decision point to select a particular suppliers Spend Visibility solution. If you decide a POC is required as part of your selection process, below are some suggestions as to how to most effectively conduct the POC as part of your overall selection process.
Some “Pros” of Conducting a Spend Data Classification Proof of Concept
- Allows sourcing people to throw data over the wall and see who responds.
- Enables companies to see their data reflected in vendor Spend tools, and companies can see how they would interact with their own data.
- Provides an idea of the vendor classification capabilities to a standard classification schema, like UNSPSC.
A Better Process
- Don’t do a POC too early in the selection process, and as a key selection event focus, or you may miss larger approaches to Spend Data Classification that better match your company sourcing programs. Not just UNSPSC classification, but also sourcing category classification that will support your organizations sourcing programs.
- When you provide company data, focus on areas that may provide new opportunity, which helps everyone focus on the best job possible (savings opportunities are good).
- Do a POC to see your data in the vendor tool and prove it out, but define a realistic (but meaningful) sized data set.
- Focus on the vendor classifying to your Sourcing category structure, not just UNSPSC or other.
- Allow for a hands-on workshop to review the classification process and see full blown vendor capabilities for the long haul. It is through these workshops that enable you to really see what goes on “behind the scenes” and separate out fact from fiction.