Procurement professionals understand the importance of managing supply chain risk. But, the process of selecting the right software to manage this risk can be time-consuming and complex. From endless vendor meetings to reviewing proposals, the process can quickly become overwhelming. In this blog post, we will discuss five ways to save valuable time when buying supply chain risk management (SCRM) software.
- Avoid Group Think If Possible
Groupthink is a well-documented phenomenon that occurs when a group of individuals make decisions based on conformity and maintaining group harmony, rather than objective analysis of the available information. When it comes to buying enterprise software, groupthink can be particularly dangerous. In a study* of 31 organizations that had recently implemented enterprise software, researchers found that groupthink was a major factor in many of the implementation failures. The researchers found that the implementation teams tended to be overly optimistic about the software's capabilities, often failed to consider the opinions of outside experts, and did not adequately challenge each other's assumptions. Ultimately, the teams made decisions that were not in the best interest of the organization, leading to costly implementation failures.
We suggest you time box your decision and share it with your potential vendors. Sharing your timeline builds trust you will need later down the road. At FRDM we always ask who is the decision maker. When the buyer doesn’t offer an answer, it tells us they are not ready for a supply chain risk management solution.
- Remember There Is No Silver Bullet
At FRDM we always say no one wants more software, they want more solutions. We sure do. It's easy to fall into the trap of thinking that there is one perfect solution to your supply chain risk management needs. However, this is rarely the case. Every organization is different, and what works for one company may not work for another. It's important to remember that there is no silver bullet solution to supply chain risk management. While every vendor will tell you they do everything, sometimes it takes more than one solution to get it done. You may need both ESG Risk analysis and supply chain mapping. Focus on finding a solution that meets your specific needs.
- Avoid Issuing RFIs
Request for Information (RFI) is a document used to collect information from vendors before issuing a request for proposal (RFP). Many vendors will not respond to RFIs because they are such a risk of time. While RFIs can be helpful, they can also be time-consuming and often lead to an overwhelming number of responses. RFIs usually communicate to the vendor that the buyer doesn’t know what they want. Many vendors will increase the contract price based on all sunk costs into the sales cycle. This leaves potential great vendors out, and other vendors more expensive than needed. Instead, consider conducting market research to identify a shortlist of vendors that meet your criteria. Consider how you would describe the jobs you want done. We suggest looking into the jobs-to-done-theory to help this process out. This will save you time in the long run and help you focus on a smaller pool of vendors.
- Consider A Proof Of Concept (POC)
A Proof of Concept (POC) is a trial run of the software before making a final purchase decision. This can be a helpful way to see the software in action and assess its capabilities. Instead of relying solely on vendor demos and presentations, a POC can give you a firsthand look at how the software will work within your organization. At FRDM we do a lot of POCs to help the customer see how their spend data will work inside our supply chain risk management software. Show not tell is our sales mantra. This can ultimately save you time and money in the long run.
- Don't Rush The Decision-Making Process
While it's important to save time when buying supply chain risk management software, it's equally important not to rush the decision-making process. Rushing into a decision can lead to costly mistakes down the road. Take the time to carefully review proposals, conduct due diligence, and involve all stakeholders in the decision-making process. This will ensure that you make the right decision and ultimately save you time and money in the long run.
Buying supply chain risk management software (SCRM) can be a time-consuming process, but it doesn't have to be overwhelming. By avoiding groupthink, remembering that there is no silver bullet, avoiding RFIs, considering a POC, and not rushing the decision-making process, you can save valuable time and make the right decision for your organization.
If you are in the market for SCRM software, consider FRDM. We work with Fortune 500 companies and government agencies to measure, monitor, and mitigate risk and run supply chains in line with their values.
*[Source: Markus, M.L. & Tanis, C. (2000). The enterprise systems experience—from adoption to success. In Zmud, R.W. (Ed.), Framing the domains of IT management: Projecting the future through the past (pp. 173-207). Cincinnati: Pinnaflex Educational Resources, Inc.]