Implementing eProcurement Catalogues in a Challenging Environment
To the initiated, it’s a no brainer. Catalogues allow you to filter strictly what people in your organization can buy and from whom. The purchasing process is slimmed down and the cost of purchasing, as well as the cost of purchases reduced.
But for many of the initiated, they may well have seen catalogues deployed in “easy” environments. A bank for example. No direct goods as such are bought. The easy categories like stationary represent a significant proportion of spend. Oil and gas – lots of MRO spend and very high IT budgets means that they were amongst the early adopters. An investment in SAP made over 10 years ago pays dividends today in terms of building best practice business processes.
But what of the more difficult environments? Take a medium sied company with an archaic ERP system. Take an industry that doesn’t necessarily lend itself to tidy efficient processes. Miners for example. Sure they, as an industry have bought into the concept of eProcurement and market places but how does a man down a hole order spare parts online? How do you order high specialist raw materials like concrete from a construction site? And how do you change hearts and minds of the dinosaurs in such demanding environments.
This is where we need to go right back to basics. Don’t assume that established best practice will work uniersally. Go back to the fundamentals of why eProcurement and catalogues and restrict the categories that are targeted.
eProcurement is still a good idea in demanding environment. Whether 2010 is the best time to invest is a rather more difficult issue.