Any new eProcurement solution should be designed to bring benefit to both buyer and supplier, which is why here at Wax Digital we place an enormous importance on ensuring our clients achieve supplier adoption perfection before the implementation stage of our web3 eProcurement and eSourcing software.
Even when meticulously planned however, there is always the possibility of resistance to process change, which is why we have summarised below six steps to help you achieve supplier adoption success.
1. Careful roll-out
The process of rolling out a new system to suppliers must be carefully considered. A phased approach is the norm, with some buyers opting to implement by business unit, starting with your HQ for example, or some opt to select best aligned/tier-1 suppliers first to attain the greatest level of investment in the system from the beginning.
2. A firm but flexible approach
In the initial stages a phased approach to rollout should be planned ahead and suppliers should be involved in this process, with any charging structures also detailed at this point. Consider that some suppliers may need to be handled more flexibly than others and it is in your best interest as well as theirs that you research what is right for the suppliers you want to preserve.
3. Consistent communication
Communication of proposed and delivered changes to suppliers must be continual, consistent and engaging to help smooth the transition process. Utilising a range of communication methods at the different stages usually works well, while continually highlighting supplier benefits throughout any communications serves to keep suppliers at ease with the transition.
4. Clear and present ownership
Assigning ownership, sponsorship and responsibilities ensures that everyone involved has a clear understanding of the aims and objectives and can steer the right course to completion. It is critical that executive sponsors, key supplier contacts and relationship owners are engaged and buy into the process well in advance.
5. Rationalise with reason
Insight into supplier efficiency through existing purchasing data is essential in order to successfully rationalise suppliers. But when do you make the critical decision of which suppliers to move forward with? Having the ability to rationalise at the outset will benefit the smooth running of this part of the process, with fewer resources.
6. Effective support and management
Guiding suppliers through the process and being there if and when they need assistance will achieve a smoother and more efficient change with higher supplier satisfaction and loyalty. Allocating dedicated email and online helpdesks successfully channels all supplier issues and enquiries to trained and available staff to avoid any costly interruptions for the core procurement team, while creating interactive user guides will enable suppliers to help themselves.
We hope that you find these six steps to successful supplier adoption useful, if you’d like to find out more about ensuring successful supplier adoption download the Supplier Adoption Whitepaper.