E-procurement: the key steps to a successful project and reduced costs

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Online procurement, or e-procurement, is a popular concept these days because of the benefits it brings. But to reduce costs and make a success of your e-procurement project, you need to adopt specific strategies. This will enable savings to be made and themanagement of purchasing and commercial relations with suppliers to beoptimised. This digital transformation project should not be taken lightly, so in this article you will find the key steps for implementing a digital e-procurement strategy in your company:

1. Setting clear objectives

To begin with, as with any project management, e-procurement involves defining precise goals. Setting these objectives makes it possible to refine your project for greater success. But to do this, you also need to respect a few points about these objectives. They must be :

  • Realistic in terms of the resources your company is prepared to provide.
  • Measurable in terms of the deadline set for achieving them.
  • Communicated to all internal and external contributors to the project.

Establishing these objectives is an essential first step to consider. The project begins at this point. Of course, there may be additional objectives that evolve as the project progresses.

2. Having pilot partners

Subsequently, an e-procurement project is much easier to carry out if you have committed, well-targeted partners. On the one hand, in-house teams with a dedicated project manager and control over information such as purchasing volumes over the period and in-house tools already in use. Secondly, reliable suppliers and service providers who respect all the contractual deadlines, because there is no room for error at this stage of the project. They will help you to correctly define the procedures for digitising your processes by actively participating in the project.

In addition, these partners must enable you to test the information system before implementing it. This means that they must have sufficient credibility to demonstrate the results obtained from previous IT projects, with a view to demonstrating significant before-and-after results.

3. Improving links with suppliers

It’s important to note that your project will have much greater impact if e-procurement is well adopted by your suppliers. There is a risk that your IT project will quickly fail because it is not supported by your stakeholders. Of course, the contribution of the first partners will have a major influence on the complete dematerialisation of the purchasing chain. This helps to establish a purchasing strategy that will benefit both suppliers and companies.

However, the involvement of all these suppliers can never be taken for granted. That’s why it’s vital tooptimise your relationships to build trust with suppliers. And communicate to them the positive effects of this type of project: fewer errors, time and processing savings, reduced payment times.

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4. Possibility of having different channels

From the outset of your e-procurement/digital purchasing project, you need to target the channels available and used by your organisation. This will enable you toanticipate any constraints andavoid the risk of error. Your ability to multiply the number of channels gives you a better chance of extending the possibilities of your purchasing process. But you also run the risk of adding unwieldy layers to the process. So it’s up to you to study the scope of the project carefully.

Each channel can take a different form depending on your needs and those of other companies. But the most important thing is to always have the option of integrating them into your project. Integration, for example, is a strategic issue, because it optimises the management of your internal processes.

5. Improving communication

An in-house e-procurement project, like an IT project, requires a great deal of effort and time. Everyone involved needs to be skilled in order to keep upthe pace. That’s why communication is a major factor that can make all the difference to the success of a project and its adoption.

Including internal and external collaborators can also save on implementation costs. Sometimes simple ideas put forward by these players can add a great deal of value. Involving everyone in the decision-making process is therefore one of the most effective ways of achieving success.

In addition, motivating everyone is a key element in achieving success. Improving communication therefore plays a crucial role in maintaining the trust of the suppliers who work with you.

6. Keeping existing relationships intact

As your project progresses, you must not neglect the contribution of all the stakeholders. You will still need several partners to complete your e-procurement project. For the moment, the most important thing is to consider the suppliers who are already working alongside you. Keeping them is essential if you are to continue with your project, and is one of the most important keys to your success. This will enable you to perfect your supplier management andimprove cost reduction. Take advantage of this development to improve your processes and the overall administrative management of your company.

In short, the choice of platform used will be the first strategy to adopt for a successful e-procurement project. Apart from that, the choice of partners will also be a parameter not to be neglected, not least because it will determine your credibility. Weproc is perfectly placed to help you with all these steps, and to take charge of them quickly and efficiently, as explained in this article.

 

Want to learn more about our procurement management software Weproc? Contact us or request your free 15-minutes demo below!


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