Top Tips for E-Sourcing Success

Thursday, January 17, 2019

How is e-Sourcing applied within the end-to-end procurement process?  What approaches are being used to implement e-Sourcing programmes?  How are they being managed and what are the key benefits for Procurement teams?  We share some tips, given by procurement professionals attending CASME’s first London RoundTable of 2019, that are especially useful for other organisations navigating the implementation journey.

E-Sourcing tools can add significant value to Procurement by helping to ensure compliance, traceability, governance and transfer of knowledge.  Delegates recommend holding information on a central system, rather than category managers’ emails, so that questions such as ‘why was that contract amended?’ can be answered months or years after signature.

The challenge for Procurement is to integrate the tools which help the sourcing process into the wider enterprise systems.  Usually a range of different tools is necessary for the various activities including contract repository, document signing, RFx processing, communication, spend analytics and supplier relationship management.

Stakeholders often need persuading to support Procurement’s use of e-Sourcing tools.  Training, automation, use of dashboards and an effective change management process will help to secure support.  Although productivity improvements will happen eventually, these are often not immediate, so it is advisable to initially focus on other benefits when developing the business case.  Case studies of other successful e-Sourcing programmes can be helpful to sell the concept internally.

E-Auctions are just one part of e-Sourcing; but unless established within an organisation, they tend to be unpopular and make stakeholders nervous.  Procurement teams can be hesitant at removing traditional, face-to-face negotiations which are often judged to require a buyer’s skills to gain the right result.  E-Auctions demand upfront planning and are possible when an accurate definition of the requirements is documented without ambiguity, and there is competition in the marketplace.  Conducting mock e-Auctions and supplier training is therefore essential. 

The e-Sourcing RoundTable series will continue in New Jersey, Shanghai and Melbourne with dates in March 2019. CASME members can register their interest by logging in to the subscriber-only Resource Centre. To find out more about CASME RoundTables and apply for a complimentary place contact us.

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