Many things have been written about the importance of choosing the right procurement system and implementation partner when it comes to successful Source to Pay implementations. At Xoomworks we believe that choosing the right procurement system is just as important as choosing the right implementation partner, this is why we developed a guide to help you cut through the confusion and offer a clear view of the evaluation of systems and implementation partner for your S2P solution.System Selection Framing your procurement visions and clarifying the purpose of your project are considered essential when selecting a Source to Pay solution. The main reason is that these will enable you to develop your technology procurement process, including the criteria by which you assess responses to your RFP. As the goal aimed is to select a solution that will meet your various requirements, without adding unnecessary complexity, we will show you 3 steps to follow when deciding on a Source to Pay system:
- Solution Blueprint: Engage with your stakeholders to build your Solution Blueprint, starting with the existing architecture and process flows. For more details on what this should include, have a look at our How to Build a Successful Source to Pay Solution Blueprint.
- Request for Proposal: The Solution Blueprint will enable you to define your requirements in an RFP. The RFP should be based on desired outcomes, rather than specific functionality, as there are often different ways to achieve goals. The RFP should invite bidders to define how they can drive success in your organisation. Stakeholders should be encouraged to focus on needs, rather than wants, and on process rather than design. RFP questions should invite the vendor to explain how they can meet the requirement with their solution.
- Evaluating Solutions: Evaluation of the solutions should be based on a combination of standard ‘hygiene’ questions to the provider; company health, experience, references and technical expertise, and how their solution meets your requirements. It is particularly important that sufficient time is provided to the vendors to present their solution and responses.
Partner SelectionHaving set out the vision for your Source to Pay implementation, selected a product to support your target operating model, you will need an implementation partner to assist in the implementation of your solution. Selection of the right Systems Integrator (SI) is critical to the success of your project. There are a number of factors to take into account when assessing candidates, including:
- Experience of implementing S2P cloud solutions: The key consideration when assessing an SI’s experience is if it is relevant. It is important that the SI is familiar with the product that you have selected and has a track record of successful implementations, but also to have knowledge about the vertical market or sector that you operate in.
- Evidence of success and references: Reference sites that have used the SI before should be provided to you, and given the opportunity you should speak to them about the experience. It is essential to ask probing questions of these reference sites, as well as assessing what went right. Establishing what an SI could do better, as well as what your own organisation should focus on, will increase the likelihood of a successful outcome.
- Professional Methodology: You should be walked through the candidate SI’s proposed approach, and receive details about the tools and methods it uses. The methods should cover all elements of the implementation project, not just the technical delivery. To discover if it is a fit for your organisation and its culture, you should assess their ways of working.
- Cultural Fit: Compatibility of cultures between the two parties is the key to success for many projects. Cultures should be aligned at two levels, the organisation and the individual team members. Culture compatibility is also one of the most difficult to assess in advance, although there are three proposed areas to consider: attitude, aptitude and agility.
- Cost vs. Value: It is important to consider the same elements are being compared, when assessing the costs associated with vendors proposals. GSIs with more offshore resources may appear cheaper but you need to assess the effectiveness of those resources before committing.