Think Like a Captain When Implementing Your Procurement Solution

Careful preparation is required to implement a new procurement system, and this caneasily be compared to a long journey you have to foresee carefully. Like the sea captains of old, Corey Roberts, P2P Project Director at CACI, recommends anticipating and being prepared for any danger in order to keep the boat afloat during the journey. Of course, a true P2P system is not only about Procurement. Changes to key spend processes and policies affect many departments. All good captains keep their crew in mind and know that everyone is on the same boat.

All Aboard!

Before starting a project, the procurement team needs full support from the executive team. This helps if and when obstacles appear. And like the old sea captains, file your ship’s log and reports regularly. Corey suggests setting a schedule of regular briefings with key executives before setting sail.

Plan The Route: Define Objectives and Goals

All smooth journeys have clear objectives, and so do successful P2P implementations. What are the pain points? What challenges are you trying to overcome? What activities should be handled by the software, and what end results do you expect?

Once the objectives are set, start to associate tasks and establish logical project phases. Segmenting a large implementation is necessary because even a simple solution can’t be deployed globally across all regions and departments all at once. At Ivalua, we have seen large global organizations such as Whirlpool use a staged deployment in order to get all teams acclimated to changes with multiple phases for sourcing,  P2P and supplier management.

Assemble the Crew: Identify Stakeholders and Resources

The best captains know the best sailors increase their odds for success. To implement the perfect organization the procurement captain needs to build the perfect team, find individuals with strong cross-functional skills and also include ERP functional and technical specialists. Legal, accounting, finance, IT and many other departments also have a stake in any new procurement system, so the procurement captain needs to keep everyone in the loop. Corey suggests procurement “use the stakeholders to your advantage: they can explain their needs and help sell the solution to their teams.”

Corey has other tips about how to chart a successful procurement implementation voyage, and you can catch his presentation – and meet with a few Ivalua crewmembers – at the Ivalua NOW Customer Summit, and at Procurecon Indirect West in Phoenix. For more information, click here.

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