Purchasing is no longer a centralized process involving a team of buyers. Everyone is a potential buyer at a company. Whether it is purchasing Marketing services, buying a replacement part for a piece of machinery, or procuring a corporate laptop for a new employee, buying happens throughout the organization.
Companies with complex, antiquated purchasing processes and technologies cannot expect that employees will simply follow the purchasing process. When it comes to processes and technology, users will find workarounds to cumbersome processes, and in the case of procurement, that means off-contract spending and lost savings.
Many procurement organizations have realized that applying a business to consumer (B2C) mindset to purchasing can be a critical component to driving high levels of on-contract spend. Procurement teams must treat their corporate users as customers. This means creating a user-friendly buying experience, encouraging feedback, and looking for opportunities for improvement.
Easy to Use Interface
As we often discuss, leveraging B2C-like technologies such as BuyerQuest for procure-to-pay simplifies the buying process for the user while retaining all the purchasing controls necessary to ensure compliance. Casual users are experienced at making purchases at home and have come to expect an easy to use interface when buying at work. An intuitive, B2C-like interface helps to ensure that purchasing is made within the procure-to-pay system and takes advantage of negotiated contracts.
A quick, contextual search with "fast as you type" result sets of goods and services specific to user role and geography can extend the B2C experience for users. When each user has an experience that is specific to them with only relevant information, the need for user training is nearly eliminated. Effective search capabilities reduce maverick and off-contract spending by only returning goods that the user is allowed to purchase, preventing inadvertent/non-approved orders and costly returns
Much like the B2C buyer, eProcurement users need a way to provide feedback on their shopping experience. Using a measure such as Net Promoter Score Tracking, i.e., asking a single question helps determine overall satisfaction while engaging the user. Often additional comments can be provided and the user’s activity is tracked at the time of submission so that procurement can understand and improve the buying experience.
Analysis for Behavior Trends
Understanding how users in the organization are buying helps ensure that procurement is providing the products users need. For example, how often are users “bouncing” from the site -- meaning they visited a single page and did not interact. A high bounce rate could mean that the user was confused from the start and likely switched to an off-contract method to buy.
Procurement's buyer community is technically savvy at making purchases via B2C websites. By taking advantage of those skills and engaging corporate users as customers through B2C procurement technology such as BuyerQuest for procure-to-pay, the procurement team will see improved user adoption and engagement, leading to higher levels of on-contract spend, cost savings, and improved analysis capabilities.
Learn more about BuyerQuest procure-to-pay.