December 1, 2020

Procurement IS, still a lack of adoption

By Patrick Chabannes

For 20 years, Purchasing Departments have been deploying solutions for digitizing their processes and data to manage risks and contribute to their company’s performance. In spite of numerous efforts by software publishers, integrators and Purchasing, the adoption of digitalization solutions is still at a very early stage. Decryption.

The guilty party, the Purchasing IS publisher, has found it all.

The publisher often assumes, on behalf of all, errors in the conduct of the project upstream or downstream of its responsibility. That said, editors too often make the mistake of offering the same graphic user experience to all users thinking taht they can resolve the adoption’s issue with Virtual Assistants. You know the old FAQ that has become ChatBot, one more techno layer promised with the inevitable artificial intelligence. The only solution, which would certainly require more work with their customers and more business understanding, would be to offer occasional users – businesses, contributors, approvers and suppliers – an interface radically different from that of frequent users: a 100% mobile interface and their needs in two clics.

The Core Model is all too often a lowest common denominator

The integrators, subject to the constraints of the application, of their customers’ desires, of budgets and schedules, end up implementing a Core Model like the LCD (PPDC) of our childhood; and this lowest common denominator of forgetting the occasional users, absent by definition from the design workshops, without whom, very often, the process, equipped to be useful, makes no sense. Only by identifying upstream the expectations and changes in business gestures of these populations – trades, contributors, approvers and suppliers – will the integrator be able to add the solution for their service to its Core Model, and thus anticipate change management.

Old Process + New Technology = Very Expensive Old Process

Readers of the Purchasing Department, your organization is of a complexity sometimes turning to absurdity that your external resources, editors and integrators, can neither understand nor anticipate. Make them understand that, thank God, you know the conditions of success of a project repeated over and over again throughout consultant’s powerpoint’s, and, in good conscience, identify with them the risks assumed of deviations from the ideal in order to find shared workarounds and renunciations.

Working differently to work together

In any case, your project will have to find at least a sponsor offering a vision and authority, an alignment of processes integrating each type of frequent users (Purchasing, Accounting, Control) and occasional users (validators, quality, applicants, experts…), a specification pointing out the essential priorities of your business, a choice without overweighting the economic leverage, a project with a business case, this beneficial external view, and instead of a training plan, a change management of business gestures of each of the audiences.

The Go Live of the technological platform does not mark the end of the project but its true beginning with two major axes:

  • Accompany in time the change of business gesture of your populations to make them benefit from the contribution of technology to the performance of all,
  • Continuously realign the platform configuration with the evolutions of your company, your business and your users.

Lectori salutem, Patrick Chabannes
“The mind likes what confirms its knowledge better than what contradicts it.” Gaston Bachelard.