Challenges & particularities of implementing an e-procurement solution in the mid-market

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In part 1 of this blog series we tried to shed some light on how mid-market companies can improve their procurement function by implementing an e-procurement system, and we shared an overview of this market segment.

Now lets have a look at some of the challenges faced by SMEs when it comes to their procurement organisation and the particularities of running an e-procurement implementation project in this market segment.

What challenges are mid-market companies facing?

Let’s call it how it is, not all mid-market businesses have a mature procurement organisation. Some might not even have a dedicated procurement team in place. Implementing an e-procurement solution is going to help mature your procurement function and implement a healthy procurement process for the whole organisation to follow.

One of the challenges when embarking on such a journey is demonstrating to the business the need for implementing a procurement solution. The benefits are quite obvious, however, for SMEs the investment might be quite serious, as funds tend to be tighter compared to enterprise businesses. Therefore having a strong business case can significantly improve the chances of your project and help the business understand why it’s worth doing it. When it comes to building a strong business case it’s recommended to work together with both:

  • Your implementation partner – because they have experience of working with other similar companies and can help you formulate a compelling business case

  • Your software provider – many of these providers organise valuablee workshops to help their customers build a strong business case and configure a solution designed to address their needs

When talking about challenges we also need to consider that many mid-market businescompanies grow through acquisitions. This can mean multiple ERP systems, which may or may not be properly integrated, and old outdated systems. An e-procurement solution is going to help implement a single procurement process for the whole group.

Particularities of implementing an e-procurement solution in the mid-market

A lot of the particularities of implementing an e-procurement solution in the mid-market revolve around cost, time and resources.

An important aspect to consider is that an implementation project in this market sector needs to be cost-effective. However, an advantage here, with certain e-procurement solutions, is that mid-market companies can achieve value faster from their implementation with no impact on the success of their overall implementation.

Besides cost and time, we need to mention resource availability. Mid-market companies tend not to have a lot of spare resources. This is why it’s important to work with an implementation partner with previous experience in this market sector. This will enable them to tailor the implementation to the fact that they might not have the same resource as a large organisation.

 

If you want to learn more about running an e-procurement implementation project as a mid-market company reach out to our procurement experts at procurement@xoomworks.com. We’ll be happy to answer all your concerns about building your business case, facing challenges during the implementation or the implementation process itself.