Daily Archives: July 14, 2010

What’s the ROI of Online Collaboration and Communication Technology?

It’s hard to say, as it depends on what the technology is, what it can do, and how readily (and often) it’s embraced by your people, but it’s probably worth it. Video conferencing reduces travel (which not only takes up time, but costs money at an average of over 1,000 a trip per person), online document sharing reduces wait-times (when you have to rely on mail or courier), and online inter-enterprise information sharing reduces issue resolution time (as compared to phone and fax tag).

If the tools enable collaboration, and you use them with the intent of collaboration, they certainly have ROI, as evidenced by this recent article in Talent Management on What’s Your Return on Collaboration?. According to the article, an implementation of an online meeting and conference solution at SAP generated the following returns for the company:

  • a reduction of the average meeting time by 20% which reduces the average amount of time an employee spends in meetings each week by over an hour and a half
  • a reduction in meeting start-up time by over 85% which can save another hour a week if an employee has to attend between 7 and 10 meetings
  • a reduction in travel costs by over 33% which is generally more than what you will save if you just negotiate better rates
  • a 4-fold increase in collaboration attempts — when it’s easier to try and work with someone than work alone, collaboration happens

Now, this is only one case study, but it’s still impressive. Make it easy for your employees to work together, and they will.

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A Hitchhiker’s Guide to e-Procurement: Requisitions, Part II

Mostly Harmless, Part III

Previous Post

An introduction to requisitioning.

In the last post, the requisition was defined as well as the information requirements that were associated with the requisition. This post will address some of the associated challenges of the requisitioning process, some associated best practices, and the benefits that could be expected from an appropriate e-Procurement solution.

Common Challenges

  • Creation Time

    It can take a considerable amount of time to create a multiple line item requisition when a user has to manually look up vendor codes, ERP/MRP codes, product codes, prices, etc.

  • Statement(s) of Work

    If the requisition is for temporary / contract labor, it can be a time-consuming and challenging process to construct the right SOW that will enable the vendor to identify the right resource.

  • Routing

    If the correct department / budget / product codes aren’t used, it can be difficult to route the requisition to the appropriate approvers.

Best Practices

  • Integration with core data systems

    ERP, Vendor Master, Catalogs, Punch-Outs, Marketplaces, and Networks.

  • Templates

    For standard BOMs, SOWs, and other regular purchases that can be quickly completed simply by filling in quantities, hours, and the few bits of information that vary from order to order.

  • Budget-Based Approval Process

    Requisitions are automatically routed to the appropriate budget manager if the request is beyond or outside of the budget.

Potential Benefits

  • Reduced Man-Hours

    Which frees up buyers to focus on more strategic cost-reduction tasks.

  • Faster Processing

    The right information not only gets the requisition to the right approver faster, but provides the approver with all of the information she needs to make a decision the first time.

  • Better Specifications and Statements of Work

    The use of templates written by experts will standardize and improve the requisitioning process.

Once the requisition is finalized, it begins the approval process, which is the subject of the next post.

Next Post: Approvals, Part I

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