The Biggest Failure of New Procurement Technology: User Adoption

By David Moyer, EVP - Global Customer Success, Proactis

You’ve just launched a new procurement solution – you invested a significant amount of money and spent a great deal of resources and your time to implement your existing data and processes. You know by using this solution, it’ll produce significant amount of benefits, including happier employees.

You send out a “go-live” email to your internal users and are excited to see that employees embrace the new technology and how happier they’ll be because you just made their lives a lot easier - right? Maybe not.

After kick-off you notice that no one appears to be using the new processes or system. With so much to gain, you would think that employees would have anticipated this date. Why? The biggest failure of procurement automation: employee adoption.

So how do you avoid this dreaded adoption conundrum?

We have a handful of user adoption strategies that will help ease the transition to a new system and increase your employees become champion users.

Build Excitement: Act Like a Marketer
This is one you can start well before the “Go-Live” launch. It’s all about communicating the benefits – marketing the new approach. Showcase the benefits repeatedly. You need to ensure you highlight that a new process or system is easy to use and emphasize the time savings that will be achieved once the process becomes old hat. If it seems too complex to use, then employees will just choose to not use the system or approach. Don’t over complicate it! Launch a ‘go-live’ event. Offer a Q&A session. Or conduct lunch and learn webinars. Really build it up – consistently. It’ll go a long way.

Set Specific Goals & Communicate Results
Communication, communication, communication. It’s the foundation to success. Highlight the goals in a simple, easy to understand manner and what you’re planning to achieve by rolling out a new procurement solution. Then (here is the kicker) actually track how you’re performing against those goals. Most of the time communication stops after sharing the benefits. Follow through and share the results. Showing progress might even create that competitive environment among users and allow super users to evolve out of your progress report efforts.

Invest in Training
The solution is no good if no one knows how to use it. Train staff on essential aspects of the new system before the go live date. Don’t overwhelm with the full extent of systems capabilities. Keep it simple. Base training on user levels so you educate users on what they need to know, recruit advocates and identify super users. Eventually, they will become future trainers or teachers.

Reward Good Behavior
This goes hand-in-hand with Set Specific Goals & Communicate Results. Recognize those individuals that are moving up in their level of adoption. Implement a point-based system or award fun activities to the most engaged group. No matter how small the success is – communicate and congratulate!

If you are implementing a new procurement solution or have already launched a new system user adoption is key to a successful strategy. Don’t let it be the pitfall and biggest failure of your project. Use the above tips to create a successful adoption process.  

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