If you have ever read Stephen R. Covey’s, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, you are familiar with the following story:
There's a guy who stumbled into a lumberjack in the mountains. The man stops to observe the lumberjack, watching him feverishly sawing at this very large tree. He noticed that the lumberjack was working up a sweat, sawing and sawing, yet going nowhere.
The bystander noticed that the saw the lumberjack was using was about as sharp as a butter knife.
So, he says to the lumberjack, "Excuse me Mr. Lumberjack, but I couldn't help noticing how hard you are working on that tree, but going nowhere."
The lumberjack replies with sweat dripping off of his brow, "Yes... I know. This tree seems to be giving me some trouble."
The bystander replies and says, "But Mr. Lumberjack, your saw is so dull that it couldn't possibly cut through anything." "I know," says the lumberjack, "but I am too busy sawing to take time to sharpen my saw."
In a moment of clarity, what if the lumberjack decided, “Yes, I will stop and sharpen my saw.”
"Sharpening" Technology Capabilities
In order to do so, the lumberjack must recruit a team of “saw sharpeners” to evaluate the nature of the saw, provide the correct sharpening tools, determine the scope of the sharpening activities and gain approval to sharpen the saw.
The sharpening project could take as little as three days, but would likely extend to about a week. What choice would the lumberjack have by then? Clearly, he would have to continue trudging through the log with the dull blade.
Does this sound familiar?
All too often, both enterprise and eProcurement software seem to suffer from this exact dilemma. In reality, companies generally have good intentions with their promises to improve efficiencies, address more operational goals, and drive better user adoption. However, the problem is that first-generation eProcurement software does not provide easy access to the means necessary to fine tune, or “sharpen” functionality.
Wouldn’t it make more sense to provide the lumberjack with the necessary tools to sharpen his own saw quickly and on the job, so he can get back to doing what he does best?
This concept is exactly what drives BuyerQuest’s focus on making our software “business enabled.”
Our business-enabled functionality allows administrators to easily configure our system without the need for internal IT or BuyerQuest involvement. Using BuyerQuest, your managers have the agility to maneuver strategically so that the software works for you, instead of you working around your software.
Business enabled isn’t simply marketing spin at BuyerQuest; instead, it’s a core tenet of our platform. Here are a few examples of how BuyerQuest’s business-enabled software can be “sharpened,” and how this provides a way for the solution to increase and evolve as it is administered within your enterprise.
5 Business-Enabled Product Features
1. Configurable Home Page.
The entire page is configurable. Procurement can easily change the order of widgets and templates (and even update colors and fonts). All widgets reside individually and can be shuffled according to preference.
Home page sliders can also be revised in real time. Sliders feature prominent calls-to-action and are often used in negotiation with suppliers (e.g. feature a specific supplier if they’d like to offer a deal on shipping). A bonus: CMS blocks allow free form messages to be added to the home page and elsewhere.
2. Product Boost.
An administrator can now manipulate search results for the end user with product boost. By clicking the “boost” button, the product will move to the top of search results. You can use product boost to polish the overall buying experience and refine search results. How? First examine your behavioral analytics (most popular search terms) within BuyerQuest and match future search results with relevant, top-choice products.
3. Editable Approval Flow.
Normally, IT is involved with any changes to approval rules or business workflow. In BuyerQuest, administrators can simply click into the admin panel and update workflows in real time based on if / then logic. Approval rules can be applied quickly and easily, and allow for more control over purchasing within the system.
Beyond an editable workflow, administrators also have the power to approve all vendor changes to catalogs before those changes hit the market.
4. Customizable forms.
Whether it’s facilities management, onsite catering, or permit acquisition, one size does NOT fit all when it comes to service orders. Each service has different requirements and details. With BuyerQuest, administrators are provided with a blank canvas to create powerful, configurable functionality for any form. Organizations have the power to build unique services in the way they should look.
5. Product Bundles.
To streamline regular processes, administrators can create bundles for future use. For example, an administrator can pull from catalog content to create a new hire bundle. These bundles might include a laptop, notebooks, phone, accessories and any other necessities for onboarding. In the future, HR can order a full new hire bundle with the simple click of a button. Even better, the bundles can be comprised of items from multiple suppliers in one single end product.
Empower your procurement team with more agile, strategic technology. With BuyerQuest, procurement teams can focus on bottom-line impact.
Interested in exploring the business-enabled experience? Request a demo today.