An old friend of mine is the acting Procurement Director for a pretty large and interesting organization, whose business combines elements of services, retail and property management. He called me a few weeks ago and said “Can you answer a simple question? Should we invest in a single source to pay technology platform, or develop a best of breed approach”?
He is highly effective CPO, but a man who likes action, decisions and directness. So unfortunately, I had to disappoint him and say that the question might sound simple, but my answer would not be quite as straightforward. Before I could attempt to respond, I needed to ask him some questions. What was he hoping to achieve? What stage of maturity is procurement at in the organization? And what is the current position in terms of already installed software?
So, having first disappointed him I then persuaded him to engage me for a very expensive, six-figure, two-month consulting assignment to answer the question (only joking… ) I was tempted but instead I tried to help him get his head around the major issues and possibilities. But he is far from unique; this is a question that many organizations are asking today, and to answer it effectively does require some knowledge and some thought.
But there is a trend, without a doubt. Even if there is already individual elements of procurement software in place in areas such as purchase to pay, spend analytics, and sourcing, organizations are thinking about the benefits of joining up their processes and technology with a more holistic (and yes, this is one case where we are allowed to use that over-exposed word) approach. But even if it is does seem to be an attractive option, it is worth understanding exactly why it should be worthwhile; what is the business case and what benefits should you be able to realize?
So these are the topics we will cover in the forthcoming Real World Procurement webinar. It’s a topic that can get very “techie”, but we’ll be looking at this much more from a business approach, and we won’t assume huge prior knowledge in our brisk 20-minute session. However, the aim is to discuss a range of content, so we can be useful both to those who are just beginning to look at this, and to others who may be well-advanced in their thinking. And of course we will make sure we have time for questions and discussion.
You can register for the webinar here. See you on February 28th!