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Success of transformation rests on relevance

e-procurementLeadership procurement technologyTalent and LeadershipTechnology ImplementationTransformation+-

Procurement Leaders invites Hannu Kilpeläinen, product marketing manager at Basware, to talk about the importance of relevance to any transformation effort.


If you want people across your organisation to follow new processes you have to take into consideration their needs. Regardless of whether the change is to comply with policy, set new internal standards, or simply to make everyone’s lives easier, user adoption is vital to uptake and ultimate success.


For example, implementing an e-procurement system. In order to get everyone using the system, it is critical to build relevance to the daily work lives of its users into the processes supported by the system, and to demonstrate how it will truly make a difference to them.


With this in mind, businesses must be able to understand and overcome the most common barriers in the adoption of any new tool, which include:

  • Failure to communicate the value of the system– Employees who don’t understand why they have to follow a process or use an e-procurement system, or how they add value to the process, typically find ways to circumvent it.
  • Making it inconvenient to use the system– If your workforce is on the go, they will need a system they can access remotely, or they will find a way around it.
  • Delivering poor results to the employee– If the user receives poor quality products, costly products, the wrong products, or delivery of those products too late to be useful, the e-procurement system loses credibility.
  • Creating system interaction that is complex or confusing– If the system doesn’t speak the user’s language, requires them to understand complex procurement practices, or doesn’t present the information they need, they will give up and become more resistant to change.
  • Excluding key participants in creating new processes– Building systems and processes around employees, without their input, is a recipe for disaster and will guarantee an uphill struggle for on-boarding.

These barriers to collaboration and success exist regardless of the tool or process in question. To overcome traditional procurement management challenges, businesses must make the process as relevant as possible to a person’s role, department, category of spend, and industry. Instead of trying to force people into a mould with a system that caters to procurement or finance, businesses need to understand the nuances of each user and deliver a system that is easiest to use in their natural work environment.


No matter what the processes, relevance and uptake go hand-in-hand with ROI. Key considerations for implementing new technologies need to include the fact that today’s users expect technology to deliver convenience in ways that feel personal. Enterprise software systems should be no different. With a rising workforce of millennials, companies need to rethink the tools they provide to employees.


In addition, workflows should be customisable and simple to use with obvious efficiency – relevant workflows not only include all of the appropriate people in the process, but also remove users, steps, and tools that are unnecessary. This will also ensure stability, so that processes are consistent, regardless of turnover in leadership roles.


The key to success of such a project will always be making it as relevant as possible to the people that use it. Ultimately without employee advocacy, any new technology can be a lost investment.


The only way to guarantee success is to ensure that the value of the system is clear to the users and that they understand how to reap the value in their daily work lives.


Hannu Kilpeläinen is product marketing manager at Basware


This contributed article has been written by a guest writer at the invitation of Procurement Leaders. Procurement Leaders received no payment directly connected with the publishing of this content.

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