Daily Archives: August 29, 2012

Relative to Procurement Tools TCO

Rant on blogger, rant on along
Rant on buddy till the day is through
Rant on brother, sister too
Rant on momma like I asked you to do
And rant on fellow blogger, rant on (Rant On!) 

Today’s guest post is from Ron Southard, the founder and CEO of SafeSourcing Inc, a provider of SaaS e-Procurement solutions.

The single most significant obstacle to improvement, whether personal or professionally, is indecision, so my rant this month is relative to companies that suffer paralysis through excessive analysis when it comes to making a decision about using e-procurement tools. Too many times companies spend excessive amounts of time trying to understand or figure out procurement tools and their TCO, ROI, and CBA etc. instead of just making a decision to try something.

It really is that simple to just DO something! Make a decision already!

It is just so easy to get started with these tools today, that the above will become obvious almost immediately.

There are way too many buzz words and acronyms being thrown around when trying to decide on an e-procurement platform. As such, companies waste way to much time and money trying to understand the complexity of these tools rather than the simplicity they create in helping you and your team in executing your job.

Way too many retail companies spend way too much time meeting, talking, planning, evaluating, designing, trying to implement and then complaining about their procurement solutions. They also spend way to little time DOING. Many of these companies do not have the procurement tools, personnel or the collective capacity driven by both in place in order to compete with the big category killers in any industry (you already know who they are). So here’s a unique chance to DO SOMETHING, ANYTHING. Because the more you talk, plan and evaluate the more behind you will get. And here’s another unique thought, KNOWING is not DOING! Just make a decision.

Just because you have heard about all of the tools available to you today in the form of SAAS, IAAS, PAAS or AAAS (also none as XAAS) all delivered via the CLOUD, does not mean you know how to use them or the strategies required to make them a recurring part of your sourcing strategy and tactics. That is why they all end in the letter (S) which stands for service. And you better believe that service is defined differently by almost every solutions provider in the e-procurement space. The tools are at least 80% the same across the board, and will all drive results. The best results however will come from the companies with the best services attached to those tools. Tools that make customers say, “No one else will do the things you do for us”. The good news is that the CLOUD and all of the AAS’s mentioned above simply means that you can begin as soon as tomorrow. And, there is very little risk. So why do all of the analysis? Just make a DECISION to do something.

It’s really not that hard. Here’s what you need to do. Find a cloud based e-procurement solutions provider with all of the AAS procurement solutions and ask for three references (CEO or CFO). If the references come back as excellent, give the provider a category or two to source for you ASAP. They will probably agree to not charge you if you don’t save at least the cost of the event (cost neutral). The chances are you will see significant results in less than two or three weeks and the payback (see title) will astound you. If it doesn’t, you can turn them off (a benefit of the cloud) and begin with another immediately (another benefit). Perhaps you could even have a bake off with two or more solution providers. It’s just that easy.

If you don’t use e-procurement tools today, you are way behind the curve. The early adopters have done moved on to more sophisticated offerings. This is now a regular part of how they run their business. The good news is you can catch up quickly (another benefit of the cloud and XAAS). Don’t let the clouds and financial acronyms and all the AAS’s get in the way of a decision. Just make a decision.

See. It’s really pretty easy.

Thanks, Ron.