User Adoption: A Critical Success Factor for any eProcurement Project

Charlotte Sutton
Charlotte Sutton,
There is no doubt that if an eProcurement system is not adopted by everyday users it will fail to control spending for the organisation. If users can find an easier way to satisfy their business need than by employing the eProcurement system they should use, they will.
Most user interfaces are focused on the transaction, not the user. Most workflows demand too much thought to be classified as automatic. Few eProcurement systems allow transactions to be reduced to a simple click order for occasional users.

It's simple – if an organisation doesn't address the reluctance of most people to change what they do today, it will not realise the benefits of a successful Spend Control strategy. Users will still have to manually fulfil their needs, managers will have incomplete visibility, executives will still have reduced control and the whole organisation will still suffer as savings are missed.

And yet encouraging people to adopt an eProcurement system that really is easier and more effective should be a no brainer. There are a range of capabilities that help address the issue of user adoption, for example:

Highly Intuitive Interface

The eProcurement system should utilise an inductive buying interface that delivers the most intuitive and compelling user experience. Each process should be presented in a way that represents a real-world experience for users and utilises metaphors that are readily recognised.

Mouse clicks, windows and scrolling should be minimised with well-designed ergonomics. Useless clutter should be removed from the desktop, shortcuts made available where practical, searches assisted by progressive selection, and the option for each user experience to be personalised wherever appropriate.

Inductive Buying

Corporate procurement standards and rules are often too complex for occasional buyers to remember or understand. Historically, contracts with vendors are held in a different place than catalogues and any potential suppliers are left in the telephone directory or the back of someone's memory. For an eProcurement system to be successful, it should lead the buyer through an assisted process to help them through the corporate rules and present them with the various sources to satisfy their expression of need.

Such assistance isn't limited to company-specific options. The user may be led out into a virtual world with the option to include external eMarketplaces and even specific vendor websites.

Transaction Ownership

The eProcurement system should have each expression of need – whether a simple requisition, a fully completed order or a request for quotation or tender – owned by the originator. All issues during its lifetime will be returned to the owner – whether a query from the authoriser or a troubleshoot on an invoice – using electronic workflow. The physical movement of paper is eliminated by the electronic transfer of the process; streamlining business workflow, clearing bottlenecks and resolving problems by the easiest route – the originator.

Find out more about how the right eProcurement system can automate and transform business-critical processes across your organisation.