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How to avoid 4 common Source to Pay implementation pitfalls

by | April 6, 2016

Ian Dagg, Director of Xoomworks Procurement Consulting, has identified 4 areas that he believes are most commonly overlooked during  Source to Pay implementation projects.

During his 18+ years of Industry experience Ian has seen organisations stumble over these key focus points again and again. Make sure to learn from their mistakes and streamline your organisation’s implementation journey:

1. Clear statement of work

How to avoid 4 common Source to Pay implementation pitfalls - Clear statement of work

Most customers underestimate the volume of work and skills required on their side, and overestimate what the vendor will do, leading to considerable delays in project delivery. A clear statement of work and an honest, realistic view of what resources need to be made available is an absolute must.

Commonly the customer will need to make sure that:

  • Data is cleaned and consolidated
  • Technical integration work is developed
  • Support services are in place
  • Relevant people are trained

Without this, an Implementation partner can’t do their job and timelines and relationships are challenged.

2. Momentum after go live

How to avoid 4 common Source to Pay implementation pitfalls -Momentum after go live

Many organisations don’t recognise that go live with a S2P solution is day one, you now need to ensure you deliver the benefits projected. It is important to highlight and reiterate what has been achieved already, understanding the initial ROI and benefits gained and then drive continued gains:

  • Drive user adoption through continual reporting, identifying areas of the business that are not using the system properly and problem solve any issues.
  • Maximise spend under management by getting as many people on your new system, as soon as possible, with ongoing training and help desk facilities for new end users, and a continued on boarding strategy for suppliers.
  • Fully realize the increased process efficiencies by assessing the resources you have in house, and ensuring you are utilising them effectively.
  • Make sure you  have an efficient and well structured update process, that checks functionality post go-live, ensuring you are always running the latest version of your chosen S2P solution, and your ROI will continue to improve.
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3. Having a SaaS mentality

How to avoid 4 common Source to Pay implementation pitfalls - Having a SaaS mentality

Time and again senior stakeholders become ‘Hung-up’ on wanting a solution which is a 100% fit for their organisation. The latest generation of Cloud based Procurement solutions have been built to reflect best practice, they can be configured to your organisation’s requirements but the processes and functionality are relatively fixed.

You need to accept that the Solution is only likely to be a~90% fit to your business process, and much time can be wasted deliberating, and over engineering processes when one of the main benefits of a SaaS solution is that it is entirely possible to design a basic working solution for people to see within a week (Benefits of SaaS products explored further in the article “How Software as a Service affects your Procurement projects”).

Freeing up time from traditionally lengthy initial design phases means that projects can be rolled out faster and more time can be focused on driving user adoption through change management.

4. Choosing the right implementation partner

How to avoid 4 common Source to Pay implementation pitfalls - Choosing the right implementation partner

The skills available from your chosen partner must meet your requirements. To make sure you have a partner that fits your organisation and can deliver what you want it is important to ask yourself the questions:

  • Is it better to work with a software provider or with a third party consultancy?
  • Does the partner you have chosen to work with have a credible, experienced project team in place?
  • Do they have referenceable clients that relate to your business, whether that’s by industry or merely the scope and size of the organisation and project?
  • Can you really accept an agile methodology to implementation or is your business too large and complex?

Cultural alignment is key and often overlooked, you need to decide whether you are comfortable with a small agile company or would prefer a larger partner and approach. A good implementation manager, with a combination of product knowledge and project management skills, can make a huge difference to your outcome. Software companies may be well versed in the product, but may not always be capable of rolling out a complex solution and embedding it within your business.

For more information……

See our thought leading whitepaper “3 stages on a successful Source to Pay implementation Journey” which identifies the key areas you should be focused on during a full implementation life cycle, in order to maximise ROI, efficiency benefits and user adoption.

Download Whitepaper