PROACTIS Blog

eProcurement - Ease of Use (Spend Control Demystified – Part 8)

Charlotte Sutton
Charlotte Sutton,
PROACTIS
eProcurement technologies needs to be used by the majority of people in an organisation in order to identify, capture and control expenditure on all goods and services.
eProcurement technologies needs to be used by the majority of people in an organisation in order to identify, capture and control expenditure on all goods and services.

It is all too easy to find eProcurement technology that seems to be everything you could ever think of, but will your staff be able to use it, easily? And how long will it take, and how much will it cost to train up new users and new staff?

Just how many screens does the application have and how many do you have to use, just to enter and review information?

We are all used to using Windows, but most people use a fraction of the functionality, reflecting how many companies do not invest in formal training. Usually this means that you can’t find out if an application can do what you want to do, or if it can, where the bit you want is hidden.

On the other hand no one ever got trained in the use of the ‘web-browser’. It is simple and intuitive. If anything is underlined and your cursor changes to a ‘hand’ you know you can drill down or ‘hyperlink’ to associated information. Better still, you know that you can go back to where you were just be clicking the arrow buttons. The browser user interface is systematically replacing the way application software is presented to the user. It is much easier to use than Windows.

Ease of use is fundamental to the successful adoption of an eProcurement system. The simpler it is, the higher adoption rate and the lower the associated cost of training.

Mistake: Not fully investigating how easy the application is to use. If the user is required to open and close lots of applications and windows to add or retrieve a piece of information, the chances are that they will not do it when the system goes live.

Tip: How easy is it? If you follow a transaction through from inception to completion and count the key strokes/mouse clicks, you will get a pretty good idea of whether or not ‘ease’ is the appropriate term.

Next to come in this series…Pedigree or Mongrel?