Technology has a way of making us act irrationally at times. As consumers, for example, we tend to want the latest tablets, smartphones and even gaming systems before we even know why they’re superior to the version we currently own. In other words, we want it because it’s new, not necessarily because it’s better.
The same is true in the business world, particularly with regard to mobility. Many business decision-makers (in this case, those in the procurement department) are eager to leverage mobile procurement without fully understanding the benefits – of which there are several. Of course, those of us here at Vroozi highly recommend a mobile-first approach to procurement, but we want companies to adopt it for the right reasons. Namely, for the incredible benefits it provides.
Here with a few of those benefits is Scott Graham, a writer for dynamicbusiness.com. His recent article on the benefits of eProcurement for SMBs could just as well have been written about mobile procurement. Take a look at his five benefits below (in italics) followed by our own commentary.
Defines your policies: A good Purchase-to-Pay system provides a pre-designed framework to make it easy for you to define your authorisation policies and procedures.
Confusion and ambiguity are the mortal enemies of the procurement department. A mobile-first procurement platform eliminates this confusion by providing the same experience for every employee (not just those in charge of purchases) on all of their devices.
Easy to use: Make it easy for staff and they will use the solution – unlike a clunky ERP procurement solution. All staff want to be able to do is to purchase things as easily as possible without having to thing about authorisation or coding.
We couldn’t agree more. A procurement solution can have all the greatest features and functionalities, but if it’s difficult to use, it’s all for nothing. Since it was developed to work on a different screen sizes, with no compromises in terms of functionality, mobile procurement gives employees the ability to handle any task, any time.
Authorisation is easy: Good Purchase-to-Pay systems make it easy for managers and authorisers to approve or reject expenditure. This can be done quickly and effectively anywhere and anytime via any web portal.
And to that we would add “via a mobile device.” In the era of BYOD and telecommuting, it’s imperative for managers and executives to be able to approve, track and modify spending requests on-the-go, nt just when they are in front of a computer screen.
Provides visibility: Everything is captured electronically and everything is visible to the people who need to know. So employees can check the status of a request to purchase and see where it is in the authorisation process. Managers and executives can see a complete history of all relevant activity.
This is not a feature exclusive to a mobile-first procurement solution, but it is a feature nonetheless. Without accurate data – data that is readily available – the procurement department is flying blind.
It’s okay to want the latest gadget – just as it’s okay to want a mobile-first procurement solution for your business. But it’s important to want it for the right reasons. So now that you know the benefits, the next step is to make it a reality. Here’s a good place to start: