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OK so YOU have finally decided to stick your toe in the e-procurement water! NOW WHAT?

March 25th, 2010

The retail industry has been a little bit more slow getting started with e-procurement than have other industries and as such much of lower tier one and tier two do not use the products or quite know how to get started. Even the big guys are sourcing a smaller percentage of their spend than other industries.

First and foremost to getting this process right is to select a solution provider or partner that knows what they are doing and is willing to hold your hand during the early part of the process. The plan for each company will be somewhat different as we have discussed in a number of previous posts. There is however a general order to things that will offer the best opportunity for success.

1. You need a strategy
2. You must complete a detailed discovery
3. You must understand how to set up events even if done by your provider.
4. You must have a quality process and extensive database for sourcing suppliers
5. You must clearly communicate how events will be run or executed to all involved parties
6. You must review the process for sustainability and adjust as necessary

As mentioned above it is incumbent upon your e-procurement solutions provider to be able to assist you in completing these tasks in a reasonable period of time. You should be checking the background of the team and their leadership that will be assisting you to insure their understanding of the retail industry such as operations, technology, procurement, warehouse management, logistics, transportation, loss prevention, store management and other functional areas of your business that will be sourcing products and services.  Retail is about detail and detail will improve quality, reduce costs and insure success of your new e-procurement process.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

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