Digital transformation in procurement – selecting an implementation partner. Article 3/3
At this stage of your digital procurement journey you will already have:
approved the adoption of a cloud procurement solution (Article 1)
selected the right cloud procurement solution (Article 2)
The next step is to select the right implementation partner to ensure that the solution is designed and adapted to your organisational and IT requirements.
With most technology solutions, implementation of the solution is performed by multiple business partners. Selecting the right partner for yourself should be based on a few criteria:
Is the partner certified as an implementer of the technology solution?
What experience does the partner have in your industry?
Is the partner local with local expertise and resources? Can it provide you with contactable references?
What support will the partner offer after the implementation?
What experience does the partner have in integration of the solution?
Is the partner open to what will work for your business, or are they going to force a cookie-cutter implementation on you?
Does the partner have experience in making an international software product work in your region, with your local requirements?
Once these are satisfactorily answered, you should consider whether additional competencies are required such as change management, training, policy changes, and process and organisation redesign. These are critical to the success of the implementation. They can be performed by your organisation, guided by the partner, or implemented entirely by the partner. In our experience, spending the effort, time and money to prepare the organisation for such a move is critical to its success.
Whether it is done by your organisation, or your partner, the minimum we recommend to ensure success is:
process design – documenting the process changes
policy redesign to ensure affected policies make way for the new way of working
In a regulated environment, job profiles should be revised to ensure stakeholders understand changes to their roles along with KPIs. Dependent on the extent of the change, the operating model may need an entire revamp.
The next step is to take a huge breath and start the process. It won’t be as scary as you think! Unpack software terminology methodically; follow the steps, and embark on your digital future.
Leigh Weimer is a principal consultant at Supply Chain Partner where she focuses on digital business transformation in sourcing and procurement. Being a lateral thinker with the ability to analyse problems, providing and implementing workable fit‑for‑purpose solutions, she is passionate about assisting clients during this process. Leigh is equipped with an MBA and a 20-year track record across multiple sectors: manufacturing, mining, pulp and paper, health, retail, petroleum and chemicals. Her expertise ranges from inventory and warehouse management, strategic sourcing, and procurement.