How Buyers, Suppliers, and Stakeholders Drive eSourcing Adoption


It’s easy to get caught up the “go live date” for your eSourcing software implementation. Many procurement leaders believe their team will be empowered to succeed simply by turning on a tool. However, that is not the case.

Michael van Keulen from VF Corporation (a Selectica client) shared some best practices and advice at eWorld London for groups who are rolling out new eSourcing software. Michael shared some key elements from VF Corp’s successful eSourcing technology adoption that included:

  • Developing an engagement strategy
  • Rolling out key metrics from the beginning to measure adoption
  • Focusing on three important groups needed to ensure the success of the new technology (buyers, suppliers and internal stakeholders)

Today, I’ll dive into how you can better partner with your own team, suppliers, and internal stakeholders to drive eSourcing adoption.


As buyers, it’s absolutely critical that you make sure senior management knows and communicates the benefits of the tool to other areas of the business. Here are a few tips for working with your senior management and internal stakeholders:

  • Start with quick-wins and low-hanging fruit to help your team achieve sourcing credibility. Pursue easy categories that are not brand intrusive.
  • Demonstrate value beyond cost savings by improving standardizing by using templates and explaining how ease-of-use generates time savings.
  • Participate in any training programs or Webinars that allow your team to become highly knowledgeable about the tool. Your ultimate goal should be to create a Center of Excellence that embraces best practices through people, process, and technology.
  • Share your successes with leadership on an on-going basis. Recognize early adopters of the software and explain how departments can start benefiting from sourcing projects.


Supplier resistance can be a large obstacle in the sourcing world. Be proactive about supplier resistance and make sure they realize it’s not all about price. Here are a few ways to help overcome supplier resistance:

  • Develop non-price factors as part of your Supplier Performance Management (SPM) and sourcing programs (this is on our Procurement Resolutions list for 2013).
  • Buyer Adoption = Supplier Adoption. You can’t expect your suppliers to utilize technology in the appropriate way if your buyers aren’t doing so. Make sure both buyers and suppliers are properly trained and engaged with the tool. Reference FAQ documents and help guides when needed.
  • Communicate your sourcing strategy with your suppliers. You should both understand important goals and initiatives over the coming year.
  • Schedule follow-up emails and calls with your suppliers. This doesn’t apply only to the awarded supplier(s). Give and accept feedback from suppliers who were not awarded business if possible as well.
  • Utilize 360 supplier reviews to incorporate their feedback wherever appropriate.

Internal Stakeholders

Ensure your internal stakeholders and leadership understands the business value that strategic sourcing brings to the organization beyond just cost savings.

  • OVER-communicate results and success stories.
  • Invite stakeholders for better collaboration. Do not remove your stakeholders from the process. Combine their knowledge of the category with your buying knowledge.
  • Explain how using the appropriate eSourcing technology will centralize, streamline, and provide visibility into buy processes across the organization.

What advice do you have for procurement teams who are looking to drive eSourcing adoption across their organization? Comment below or tweet us @Selectica_Inc or @iasta.

Chad Hinen is an Enterprise Business Specialists at Selectica. If you have any questions about eSourcing technology and adoption, SmartSource®, SmartContracts® or SmartAnalytics®, connect with Chad on LinkedIn, follow him on twitter @iasta_chadhinen, or send him an email at

* Download this paper to learn how Procurement professionals are demonstrating value to their organizations by reducing costs and increasing profitability with spend and sourcing systems that share savings information with financial executives and other lines of business.

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