A blog by Spend Matters yesterday caught my eye, as it’s a topic that’s very top of mind here at Determine: the procurement technology user experience – or UIX. Coming hot on the heels of the Spend Matters’ E-Procurement SolutionMap, it’s a perfect time to look at what source to pay UIX really means and why it matters. More importantly, look at some of the many ways we optimize it on the new 17.3 Release of the Determine Cloud Platform.
Source to pay UIX: It’s all about the user base.
Constantine Limberakis, VP of Product Marketing at Determine, is going to be deep-diving into the Determine Cloud Platform 17.3 Release in an upcoming series of blogs. He will explore the new features and enhanced functionality of each solution, both how they relate to UIX and achieving business results. In this blog, we take an introductory look at the UIX concept.
As the Spend Matters blog states, UIX is much more than just a pretty screen and an inviting interface. But first impressions count, so having a clean, attractive and well-organized user portal is not just a trivial afterthought. Google baked this science into people’s consciousness by the sheer weight and momentum of their online presence. That’s why Google Material Design principles shape the way users access our SaaS source-to-pay solutions on the Determine Cloud Platform: they work, beautifully.
Constantine explored the rationale behind using Material Design concepts in an informative blog series. He points out that the value of our unified platform – shared master data and metadata, business process management tying together workflows, modular solutions and more – is based on seamless access. In other words, creating a tactile experience that encompasses whole unified feel in navigating from one place to the next. And being able to do it across devices.
Translating user experience to Platformance.
Spend Matters notes that part of the impetus for establishing standards and criteria for what constitutes UIX came out of their new SolutionMap series (in which we ranked as a Value Leader across five personas). Ease of use, learning curve, functional and business user experiences and what they call “touchless” features – e.g., automated – are some of the areas they will define.
Based on those, what follows are just some of the solution highlights in our 17.3 Release:
Determine Core – Email reporting allows users to schedule reports that can be received on a specified schedule (daily, weekly, etc.), and accessed across devices. Report Maker authorization allows users to edit a report and select the frequency and the format of the document in the email. Imagine executives and managers who are constantly out of the office but need to be kept in the loop regarding spend, budgeting, approvals, etc.
Supplier Management – Suppliers are critical partners in any business. As such, having as much capability as possible regarding supplier information and performance helps ensures the suppliers you have are the ones you want. To that end, users can promote the scoring of all types of supplier questionnaires (external, internal or linked only with the supplier invitation form), and have those scores linked to metrics directly within supplier scorecards. This provides supplier managers/owners real time access to supplier risk and performance by way of their scorecard and overall supplier profile.
Contract Management – User experience is very evident in the ease and seamlessness of workflow. Consider contract creation, where prescribed steps along the approval path can either enhance or disrupt the flow. That’s why we’ve integrated the DocuSign console directly within Determine Contract Lifecycle management. Users can easily insert tags and preview the contract before it is sent for signatures, and approvers can execute contracts right within the contract project in Determine. No need to open a new program – it’s all right there.
Procurement – For procurement teams, the amount of events and transactions that occur on a constant basis mean any speed and ease enhancements have an exponential effect. With Blanket POs, supplier invoices for specific amounts and time periods can be managed without the need for receipt creation for each order. This enables supplier invoices to be easily matched and automatically be deducted from the blanket PO, greatly accelerating the receiving and matching process for recurring needs like expendable goods.
As we like to say, even the best solutions are useless if nobody uses them. That’s why Determine is continuously pushing new boundaries on the UIX front, to make all of our SaaS solutions easy to use, but also as effective as possible in terms of achieving business results. Stay tuned for a detailed exploration of the 17.3 Release enhancements for each of our solutions from Constantine Limberakis in his upcoming blog series.
If you’d like to see how the Determine Cloud Platform will change how you think about UIX, schedule a demonstration.