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Making a business case for technology investment for procurement

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As the lead responsible for transforming your business’s procurement system, you face exciting but challenging times. There’s never been more opportunity to revolutionize your business function, and yet chances are that your senior management is wary in the face of volatile and unpredictable market conditions.

This is where Rosslyn has the resources and the techniques to help you build your business case for investing in procurement technology, and creating a resilient, cutting-edge procurement operation that can handle today’s global volatility.

Start by building the high-level business case. For this, you need to lay out the benefits if your plan goes through - and the risks and lost opportunities if it doesn’t.

You may want to run a PESTLE analysis of the Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legal and Environmental externalities affecting your business.

References such as Rosslyn’s White Papers can be excellent resources to make the case, as well as strong testaments to “The High Cost of Bad Data” and other warnings for late adopters, such as Rosslyn’s webinar on “Safeguarding your Supply Chain”.

This can be an excellent lead-in to establishing actual user requirements within your procurement process, focusing on the business’s immediate needs and pain points. Rosslyn provides guidance on this with resources such as the White Paper on “How Can Enrichment Help Procurement Teams?.

You need to include all affected departments and teams, not just your own people and the C-suite. This may include external stakeholders such as suppliers: it certainly should include any constituency you want to buy in to the plan. Requesting demos of solutions such as Rosslyn’s Data Extraction or downloading Rosslyn’s guide to Rapid Data Extraction may help pin down the right options.

With the big picture drafted and business needs established, now you can consider the alternative systems and software packages and decide which one best fits your needs. Once again, Rosslyn’s downloadable guides to different software suites, backed up where necessary with demos and case studies, may help fine down your choices and confirm the business case for them – as well as getting the users on board for your plans. For easy-to-digest guides to the technology choices, look at concise briefs such as Rosslyn’s Data Sheets and Product Sheets.

Now is the time to build the case for change. Map it out: create the roadmap for investing in technology, processes, data and people. This will give the C-suite a clear idea on timelines, budgets, etc., and nothing can do more for your credibility and conviction than that kind of clarity and transparency.

Usually, senior management will be looking at four areas: quantifiable cashable benefits, non-quantifiable cashable benefits, non-tangible benefits and costs. Make sure you have answers in place for each, and if you need examples on how to do it, a case study such as this may be what you need.

In fact, get good case studies to back up all your plans. A good example of successful digital transformation in disruptive times speaks exactly to the challenges and potential facing procurement right now, and Rosslyn’s case study of Air France KLM is spot on.

Once the case for change has been made, and the decision-makers are on board, start planning for the coming benefits and business improvements. You may be due to realize cost savings, improve profitability, ease cash flow, grow market share, build revenue, increase competitive advantage, and even enhance reputation; but don’t just wait for the improvements to come to you.

Implementation is always going to be one of the biggest challenges once the business case has been made, and you need to stay on top of that process to make sure that the benefits doo flow through to their targets as expected, and that the business is ready to capitalize on them and build out further.

It’s a never-ending journey, but Rosslyn is there with resources to help you every step of the way.