Once you’ve established that it’s time to move to a cloud solution for procurement, (Article 1) you need to research your options. The options can be overwhelming. There are multiple solutions on offer which all promise similar outcomes. The first step is to find a solution which has credibility in the marketplace. Gartner’s Magic Quadrant research includes annual evaluations of software solutions. This is a good place to start. Something not normally stated in Gartner’s reports but which should definitely be taken into consideration, is whether there is support in your country for the technology solution.
Shortlist the solutions recommended by Gartner for your requirements. Be clear about what solution you need. Procurement modules can be implemented separately or as a whole, generally as source to pay or procure to pay. The source-to-pay solutions would cover a wide range:
- sourcing in order to put a contract in place
- contract creation and lifecycle management
- procurement call‑offs and once‑off buys.
To ensure the solution works, you would need a supplier registration portal and a supplier portal. This is built into the solution, but you’ll need to double-check whether it’s included in your license fee.
We recommend that you map the end-to-end process of what you require before evaluating systems. Make a wish list of everything you want the system to do; think what is absolutely critical for your organisation, and what is a ‘nice to have’. What are the features and functions that the technology offers versus value creation? The return on investment could be evaluated, but basing an ROI on the manufacturer’s claims is too simplistic. References from local companies would be a far better source of truth.
Future plans for improvements should also be considered. Will the software enable you to mature over time? Gartner’s analysis is a credible source for longevity plans of software providers.
After considering the above, you will be ready to request formal proposals from the technology partners on your shortlist.