Stereotypes in procurement automation

In my opinion, the purchasing process is the least automated part of business. What are the most common procurement automation stereotypes you know? We’ll get to debunking them later, but right now let’s take a look at the list of stereotypes.

I’ve come up with:

  1. We do everything in Excel, it works just fine for us. We don’t need any tools in procurement.
  2. We’ve got everything automated already, perhaps a little too much so. We need to enable a reverse process (it’s not always clear what is meant by this: reverting to horses instead of cars, or what?).
  3. Why do we need to buy professional cloud software? We can develop it from scratch in as little as two months. Our IT pros are pretty handy and we’ve got the processes nailed.
  4. We need procurement software to be integrated with our ERP system, we want it to move mountains, deliver us the moon, hug us when we feel sad-  essentially for it to take care of everything for us, while we stand back and admire it from afar.
  5. E-sourcing? what is that? We use several ETPs (Russian electronic trade platforms) – this solution works just fine.
  6. Is buying services via an e-sourcing tool a good idea?  It can only be used for sourcing products with very clear specifications. It’s a different story with services, so we’d better do it ourselves, manually, the good old-fashioned way.
  7. I can’t/won’t be able to make a case for automation to our boss, he doesn’t get why it’s necessary. There’s no budget allocated toward it.
  8. We do have some sort of global system in place, but truth be told we don’t use it all that much, it’s not mandatory/adapted/relevant for Russia
  9.  In Russia, automation of procurement won’t work; there are too many specific categories ― it’s a complicated market. Suppliers won’t make any entries, since they aren’t accustomed to working with the system.
  10. Why should we pay for an e-platform? Suppliers (bidders) should pay, since they’re the ones that want to win the business.
  11. It doesn’t matter what our current process is, let’s just go straightforward with TO BE and get the software implemented as soon as possible.
  12. We don’t want changing the system process; we have an optimal process in place and we want to fine-tune the software for our process.
  13. To automate, you first need to build a perfect process. Otherwise, it all will grind to a halt after automation.
  14. Procurement automation? We’ve got SAP ERP / SRM / 1C already. That’ll do us.
  15. Procurement automation should be initiated and handled by the buyers if they require it (comment from a CEO/CFO).

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