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5 tips for a successful procurement process for your digitalization roadmap

Over the years, GCP Consulting has developed a strong expertise in the management of the procurement process of digital solutions:

  • Such as the definition of a digital transformation roadmap, with the implementation of an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), a CRM (Customer Relationship Management), an ECM (Electronic Document Management), and many others.
  • And this, both in the private sector and the public sector, which is much more regulated
  • In close collaboration with the Purchasing department and all other departments impacted by the digital transformation.

This expertise was born from a strong observation: changing information systems or implementing a digital roadmap in a more general way are not part of the core business of a traditional purchasing department. These types of conversions occur on average every 10 years and are not usually part of a company’s typical purchasing catalog.

5 tips to facilitate the procurement process

Based on our experience, we have identified 5 tips to follow to facilitate the procurement process related to a digitalization roadmap, and we wanted to share them with you :

1. Separate the purchase of digital solutions from the purchase of raw materials or various services.

The purchase of digital solutions within the framework of major business transformations requires knowledge that is very different from that required for traditional business purchases, such as the purchase of raw materials, the purchase of support services or subcontracting, and contracting related to gas, water, electricity, or the Internet, for example. Given the investment required for the implementation of digital solutions, the objective is to implement a sustainable and scalable solution, for several years or even ten years. This means that the frequency of purchase renewal is relatively low and therefore does not allow for the development of a strong internal experience, except when the digitalization roadmap is spread over many years, which allows internal resources to be increasingly autonomous in the purchasing process if it is progressive.

2. Launch a digital roadmap procurement process with a business case and with the strong support of top management

Launching a digital transformation roadmap generally implies the implementation of several digital solutions over a period of several years, knowing that some solutions are the prerequisite for others. This means that a series of projects will take place in parallel and/or sequentially, with difficult periods in terms of absorbing the project workload, doubts about the future solution and even resistance to change, with large budgets to be committed. If the roadmap has not been decided on the basis of a business case allowing to evaluate the tangible return on investment and the intangible benefits of the roadmap, the merits will be regularly questioned. It is also very important to have strong sponsors who are convinced of the added value and interdependence of all the projects, to continue to motivate the teams and keep them on track. One thing is certain : if the top management is not convinced, the teams will not be either.

3. Initiate a solution-oriented call for tenders, with a thorough needs analysis

When we arrive on implementation projects, without having been involved in the procurement phase, we see a very common mistake: selecting a solution without having analyzed the needs beforehand. This mismatch between the real needs and the chosen solution is not always felt at the beginning of the project, which implies a lot of time, money and energy when we have to go back and start from the beginning, or worse, when we have to customize the solution excessively to fit the needs, which makes the evolution of the solution much more complex and costly This is why GCP Consulting starts the procurement phase with a precise analysis of the needs, through workshops covering all the processes concerned, the analysis of the existing tools and the necessary interfaces, the inventory of the data to be taken over, etc., and this, without orienting the choice of the future solution.

Furthermore, the list of requirements, in addition to being structured in a coherent and understandable way for any digital solution integrator, must be prioritized between mandatory, important and optional requirements (in other words, the MUSTs, WANTs and NICE TO HAVE) to avoid the ” open bar “It’s all too common when users have to express their needs.

4. Submit a harmonized bid form for all bidders

Whether it is a public or private contract, the “PRICE” award criterion is key for companies who all want to obtain the best quality-price ratio through the call for tenders. In order to do so, it is essential to be able to “compare apples with apples”, which is why GCP Consulting is setting up a harmonized bidding form that allows you to align and compare offers in terms of their quality, in terms of the proposed schedules, but also in terms of the associated prize-giving.

5. Involve key resources in the definition of needs and the evaluation of offers upstream of the implementation project

Defining key users among internal teams is commonly established as important for a digital solution implementation project. However, these key resources are sometimes not identified and involved early enough in the procurement phase. This can have several negative impacts such as a bad description of the needs, a too superficial evaluation of offers, a questioning of the chosen solution without their involvement, …

In addition to a better ownership and a stronger support of the project by these key resources, involving them in the procurement phase will allow you to maximize your chances of selecting the right digital solution and the right integrator, with an important motivation of your key users who will feel real drivers of change, not spectators.

In summary

GCP Consulting offers you a line of services ” Procurement ” based on a sharp expertise and a personalized approach in order to :

  • have a strong business case and sponsorship
  • supervise key resources both in the definition of needs and in the evaluation of offers
  • to ensure that the solution meets your needs
  • choose the most suitable integrator
  • optimize the budget thanks to our support in the negotiation and contractualization phase.