Examining Success Factor for Implementing E-Tools

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<p><strong>Tempe, Ariz. &mdash; Aug. 2</strong><br />How do you get the most value from the e-tools available to your organization? </p><p>When you couple the multiple uses for e-tools with varying agendas that each segment of the business might have, the supply management professional must set some priorities about using e-tools and the resources they require.<br /><br />E-tools were the focus during a recent CAPS Research Critical Issues Partnership Event, at which some of the issues discussed were:</p><ul><li>The drivers and value proposition for e-tool initiatives.</li><li>Examples of the most common tools being employed.</li><li>Setting priorities for e-tool projects and lessons learned from e-tool implementations.&nbsp;</li></ul><p>Most of the companies that were represented at the partnership event reported the drivers for implementing and using e-tools included: </p><ul><li>Cost management.</li><li>The complex requirements being levied on the supply management organization both internally and externally.</li><li>Risk mitigation.</li><li>Cross-functional applicability.</li><li>User benefits.</li><li>Return on investment (ROI).</li></ul><p>But the best tools in the world won&rsquo;t be effective unless they are used properly &mdash; user compliance and change management are important to the success of implementation.<br /><br />The CAPS Research report provides examples of large global firms that have had some success with e-tools. </p><p>Tools have been used for supplier analysis and spend analysis, contract management/approvals, electronic ordering and invoicing, SOX requirements/reporting and e-sourcing/e-auctions.<br /><br />When setting priorities about e-tool purchasing and implementation, some common practices that author Roberta J. Duffy details are to: </p><ul><li>Consider the global impact.</li><li>Align the project with current executive focus.</li><li>Examine current processes and systems.</li><li>Identify gaps.</li><li>Prioritize for the greatest potential benefit.</li><li>Consider who will ultimately use the tools.</li><li>Consider the impact on suppliers. <br /></li><li>Make sure someone owns the process.</li></ul><p><br />For the firms attending the CAPS Research event, some lessons learned from e-tool implementation include: </p><ul><li>The importance of thoroughly examining current processes.</li><li>Knowing your own limitations.</li><li>Ensuring data are accurate.</li><li>Engaging all parties during training and education.</li><li>Considering what specific issues might arise as a tool is implemented worldwide.</li><li>Ensuring compliance and buy in.<br /></li></ul>

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