As we’ve mentioned in previous articles, digital transformation has practically become an imperative for companies. Even more so in the purchasing function, where optimising processes, improving efficiency and reducing costs offer great advantages.
However, for many organisations it is still an unresolved issue. In 70% of cases, these initiatives fail to achieve the defined objectives, according to a study published by Boston Consulting Group in 2020. With this in mind, every company must ask itself what the key to success really is and what it must do to make its digitalisation process successful.
In this article, we’ll talk about the most common errors and propose some recommendations for carrying out a successful digital transformation project. Take note of these ideas.
In general, when launching a digital transformation initiative, problems occur when a tool is purchased that doesn’t meet the specific needs of the purchasing department or the company in general.
If a company invests in advanced purchasing management software, but does not analyse its internal processes beforehand, regardless of the software’s quality, it may not have a substantial impact on productivity and staff may not even use it. In fact, approaching change from a purely technological approach can generate all kinds of problems:
As we can see, these frequent errors are not due to the software itself. Rather, they are due to other aspects that should be considered but are often overlooked. At NTT DATA, with our OneProcurement capability, we are experts in meeting the needs of any Chief Product Officer and we have developed our own methodology with which it is possible to avoid these problems.
Now that we’ve seen the most common errors, we can conclude that adopting a holistic approach is essential when defining the digitalisation strategy. To do this, we must not only take into account purchasing processes, but also those processes of the other areas involved. This includes a consideration of operations and their interaction, technical and training needs, integration with internal systems and other tools, optimisation of existing processes, etc.
Therefore, in order not to miss anything and ensure that our strategy is comprehensive, we recommend paying attention to the following aspects.
Support from the company’s most senior levels is essential for the success of any initiative. Without the approval and direct support of leaders, the project cannot be considered a strategic priority, will not align with corporate objectives and will lack adequate momentum and resources.
Clear and meticulous planning is crucial in any case, but if it’s a transformation at an international level, even more so. Establishing a global model is essential to address the particularities of each country or region of application. This model must also take into account applicable regulations and other local differences.
In many cases, the planning phase does not truly take into account the implementation phase, and yet this can be decisive. A communication, training, monitoring and change management plan must be defined that addresses all the key aspects to implement the digital solution.
To ensure the correct application of the defined strategy, it’s essential to have a multidisciplinary team that brings together all the necessary expertise. These professionals must not only have technological knowledge, but also a firm understanding of strategy, processes and operations.
This last aspect is essential, since analysing and measuring the results, calculating the ROI and applying the necessary adjustments will allow us to promote continuous improvement. In addition, it will help us to present any achievements to the rest of the company and continue to count on the support of managers.
In short, it’s important to consider multiple aspects when defining a transformation strategy, since only then will a comprehensive approach be achieved. The selected solution will also be adapted to the specific needs of the company.
At NTT DATA, we have the best software and a team of experts to make the process as quick and simple as possible. Get in touch with us to find out how we can help you accelerate and optimise digitalisation.