Choosing the right procurement software solution for the organization is not the easiest task. Even after the trials, lengthy negotiations, and all the other tasks that go into making the software selection decision, things might still go wrong, and organizations are saddled with expensive solutions that they cannot use adequately, which leads employees to go back to their tried and tested methods. To avoid such a situation, we have identified 4 common mistakes that organizations would have to avoid while choosing the right procurement solution for themselves.
Buy-in from employees and managers:
Every so often, we see that decisions are forced by top management onto the lower management and line employees without really considering their opinions. Oftentimes, it is the employee who will have to use the software every day who will have the most to say regarding the decision of whether to get procurement software at all and, if so, the different features of the software that will be useful in their day-to-day operations. If senior management simply goes ahead and gets the software deployed without considering the employees’ views, it might turn out to be a case of fixing what’s not broken, and employees might have to waste time rather than save time with the software.
Therefore, even though it is the top management’s idea, it is essential to get buy-in from the middle management and the employees who will be using the software before deploying the solution. It might even be a better idea to provide employees with the option and let them come up with the idea to deploy the software by themselves.
All extras included:
If the cost of the software is one thing, it becomes an entirely different thing to deploy all the extras that are necessary. These extras include the cost of deployment, the cost of maintenance, the cost of training, and so on. If organizations only consider the cost of the software, they will then be surprised, if not shocked, when the eventual bill comes with all the extras included. Therefore, it is a good idea to consider all the extras and get them included in the initial bill itself. It is even better to deploy a software solution that is easy to use, one which does not require extensive training, which, apart from costing more, also takes more time to use.
The best option to use is online procurement management software, which has no maintenance costs, and the cost of upgrades is included in the original cost of the software, which is automatically patched up. Furthermore, training costs are minimal, and are not usually charged extra.
Bells & whistles:
Every software comes with a fair number of bells and whistles, features that are not strictly required but are nice to have. These features often waste more time than they save, and make the software prohibitively expensive, which could lead to many firms deciding that the software is not worth it. Therefore, it is essential to consider each feature and check with the employees and managers as to whether it is definitely required or if it can be done away with. One of the advantages of online software or SaaS solutions is that they are built in modules, and as such, modules can be removed or added as per the wish of the user. This saves costs for the organization.
Lastly, one of the more important mistakes that organizations make is to not consider their legacy applications while deploying newer solutions. The procurement process involves steps such as receiving invoices, checking them for inconsistencies, getting the invoices approved, sending them for payment, and storing invoices and other records securely. Organizations might already have deployed either online or on-premise solutions for different steps such as payments, approvals, or storage. For payments, the solution used is accounts payable software, for approvals it is done through signature software, and a document management system for storage. If the online procurement software solution needs to offer the best returns for the organization, it needs to communicate automatically with the existing solutions; that is, it needs to be integrated with these solutions. Therefore, while deploying the solution, organizations need to verify beforehand whether the software will integrate with the existing solutions and then deploy the solution.