The most common response when discussing Spend Control with senior business executives at seminars and public speaking venues is: “Yes! We really must do something about it …'
But the real world then invades as they arrive back at the office and the momentum is lost.
What is required is a decision, made at board level, to start the process. But where should you begin? The thought of restructuring the entire organisation around the principles of “end-to-end” Spend Control and eProcurement as part of its DNA can sometimes be daunting.
The first step should be to understand Spend Control in more detail. Perhaps senior management should attend an ‘Executive Briefing’ that could take as little as one hour, but will deliver a clear understanding of the key aspects of Spend Control.
Once the basic understanding exists, the most common next step is to decide which aspects of the business could most benefit from automation. (The answer is invariably IT spend).
Get a few ball park quotes to help set a budget, make a decision to pick a small number of potential suppliers that offer the solutions from within the main vendors.
Then stick to the timetable and make a decision!
No budget, no time scale.
If neither a budget nor decision date has been set, then the chances of a decision being made with the enthusiastic support of your CFO and commitment to the project is significantly reduced. Equally, if both criteria are met then your chosen supplier will actively support you.
Tip: Be PreparedWhen you start meeting potential suppliers, be aware of how many questions they are asking about your current business issues and practices. The more searching questions you are asked (and respond to), the better the potential suppliers understanding of your business and the more likely they are to be able to help.