For Global Procurement You Need a Global Platform

As per our post from a couple years ago, Procurement is Global. Platforms should be Global. Truly Global. in order to be of use to a truly global organization.

And, furthermore, as we also pointed out, the platform is only of use if it is adopted. This latter point is key. And we’ll focus on this in our post today as our last point addressed the key steps of a global rollout.

So, what are the key steps for a global adoption?

6. True Multi-Lingual Support
While your key business managers will speak English as it is the global language of business, your average worker won’t, or at least won’t speak it well, and since the most successful platforms are used by more than just senior buyers, you want everyone — including the warehouse worker who accepts the stock or the maintenance worker who keeps the inventory or the AP clerk that makes the local payments — to be able to use it easily. So it needs to support every language used by your organization. We know that no S2P platform supports every language out-of-the-box, but the best ones make it easy to add new languages through auto-translations and easy overrides where the translations fail.

7. Localized Workflow Support
Just like languages differ, so do workflows. Sometimes it’s due to local operating practices (with regards to how a local buyer buys, or inventory manager choose to interact with the systems), and sometimes its due to local regulations (in terms of invoice acceptance, processing, and payment processing). Either way, it should be simple to tweak the workflow by locale for as many locales as you need.

8. Varying Levels of Automation
In some offices, senior buyers and other approved users can spend up to a threshold with no approvals required, so the requisition should auto flip to a PO which should be auto-flippable to an invoice when the supplier sends a shipping notice which should be auto flipped to a payment approval when the warehouse worker records all parts received. In other offices, approvals, or at least hold periods (where managers can choose to intervene or not) will be required. Some buyers will be comfortable with auto-buys to replenish MRO and tail-spend categories (from catalogs or automated auctions against approved suppliers), others will want to manually do everything. The system should support this.

9. Fully customizeable dashboards by user by screen/module
Everyone should be able to see what they want, how they want, when the want. And they should have lots of easily adjustable templates to start from.

This isn’t everything, but it’s a key start. We’ll be talking about platforms more in the months to come, as platforms are going to get us to full Procurement 3.0 and next generation platforms will bring about Procurement 4.0 in the latter part of the next decade.