Purchasing IS: 6 steps for successful implementation


Are you planning to establish a Purchasing Information System (IS) but uncertain about where to begin? The implementation of a Purchasing IS can encounter various obstacles, such as employee resistance to change, lack of ROI measurement, or inadequate solution selection. How can you increase your chances of success?

In this article, Lemon Learning provides a comprehensive guide to setting up your Purchasing IS in six practical steps. The topics covered include conducting an inventory, selecting the appropriate solution, change management support, deploying the Purchasing IS, software training, and measuring ROI. By following these steps, you can enhance the likelihood of a successful implementation.

Step 1: Conduct an inventory

The initial step in successfully establishing a Purchasing Information System (IS) is conducting an inventory. This involves assessing the current situation of your company and understanding its needs, as well as those of your employees. To gain clarity, consider the following questions:

  • What challenges are driving the implementation of a Purchasing IS in your company? (e.g., enhancing order processing security, improving purchase tracking, facilitating communication)
  • What primary requirement should the Purchasing IS fulfill? (e.g., harmonizing purchasing processes such as P2P, S2P, simplifying purchasing management, etc.)
  • Who will be the primary users of the solution? (e.g., purchasing department, suppliers, etc.)
  • What are the significant deployment challenges? (e.g., large-scale deployment, software training, etc.)
  • What factors will contribute to the long-term sustainability of your Purchasing IS? (e.g., maintenance, Purchasing IS training, user experience, etc.)

By precisely identifying the existing needs of your company and employees, you can deploy a solution that truly aligns with your requirements. Additionally, addressing the needs of your users is a crucial aspect for successful adoption of the Purchasing IS. Therefore, this step holds utmost significance!

🍋 Lemon Learning tip: Work as a team

Are you considering implementing a Purchasing Information System (IS)? Get your team involved! To ensure a successful deployment, it is necessary to engage all individuals affected by this project. But who should be practically involved?

  • A project team: This team ensures a smooth implementation of the Purchasing IS. They will be responsible for managing the project comprehensively, including drafting specifications and collaborating and communicating with various stakeholders.
  • Management: The support of management is vital for the success of any project. Engage your management team to encourage employee buy-in and support.
  • End users: Your end users are the key to guaranteeing the adoption of your Purchasing IS. By involving them from the beginning, you mitigate the risk of resistance later on and increase the likelihood of a successful implementation.

Step 2: Select the most appropriate Purchasing IS

Are you familiar with names like SAP, Oracle, Ivalua, Synertrade, Jaggaer? While these Purchasing solutions are widely used in the market, the best Purchasing IS for your company will be the one that best aligns with your specific needs. Therefore, it is crucial to conduct an inventory before moving forward. The first step is to determine the type of Purchasing solution you desire.

  • An e-Purchasing solution: This solution aims to centralize data and facilitate the management of an organization’s expenses.
  • An e-sourcing solution: This solution provides access to various modules such as online tenders (e-RFI / e-RFQ) or online auctions.
  • An e-Purchasing solution: This solution automates procurement processes.

After considering the questions and choosing the type of solution, it’s important to evaluate criteria that will guide you in making the best possible choice for your organization. Here are a few key criteria to consider:

  • Price of the offer: Is it within your budget?
  • Simplicity of the Purchasing IS: Is it easy to integrate, deploy, and use?
  • Features: Are the features relevant to your business and users?
  • Support: What level of maintenance and support is offered?
  • Scalability of the offer: Can the offer accommodate your organization’s growth?
  • Geographical coverage of the offer: Can the Purchasing IS be deployed in all areas of your business?Customer references: Are there numerous and reliable customer references?Considering these criteria will assist you in making an informed decision when selecting the most suitable Purchasing IS for your organization.

In addition, your chosen solution should address software-related issues such as scalability of content during updates, customization of IT support, and improvement of data entry processes to enhance the efficiency of your Purchasing IS. To further refine your selection, you can also utilize online comparators.

Step 3: Support the transition

What if we informed you that implementing software is not just about the technical aspects, but also about effectively managing change? The success of adopting a purchasing tool relies on addressing challenges such as low software usage, tool-related frustrations, and resistance to change. Consequently, change management and digital adoption are central to the implementation of a purchasing tool. To foster the adoption of your Purchasing tool among your employees, it is crucial to prioritize communication and provide support to address their inquiries and concerns.

  • Why are you implementing a Purchasing tool in your company?
  • How will you go about setting up the Purchasing tool, including implementation, training, and transitioning to the new system?
  • What benefits will your employees experience as a result of this change?

These are essential questions that require clear answers to provide your employees with the visibility and understanding they need to embrace this transition confidently. However, to ensure the long-term adoption of your Purchasing tool, it is equally important to cultivate a new corporate culture that prioritizes digital transformation.

🍋 Lemon Learning tip: Embrace a digital culture

Not all employees have the same level of proficiency with tools, and their individual digital competencies may vary. It is important to provide support to each employee to enhance their digital maturity. One effective approach is to foster a digital culture within your organization. The goal is to demystify digital technology, promote digital adoption, and foster a culture of embracing change. By placing digital at the core of your corporate culture, you can minimize tool-related frustrations and provide a more positive digital transformation experience for your employees.

Step 4: Deploy the Purchasing IS

It’s time to proceed with the deployment of your Purchasing IS! This involves three distinct steps: configuration, testing, and deployment.

  • Configuration: This step enables you to address the issues identified during the inventory by customizing the settings to meet your specific needs.
  • Testing phase: During this phase, you can fine-tune your settings further, ensuring a smoother deployment and increasing the likelihood of success.
  • Deployment: This encompasses both the initial deployment and the ongoing maintenance of your Purchasing IS, ensuring continuous optimization of the system.

But that’s not all! To encourage the adoption of your Purchasing IS, you can also rely on integrated support within your solution.

🍋 Lemon Learning tip: switch to embedded application support

Did you know? According to Econocom – IDC, 53% of users lack support when working outside regular office hours, and 61% of them express a desire for such support.

So, why not consider an alternative solution? Introducing Lemon Learning’s embedded application support: integrated support within your Purchasing tool, available 24/7, that enables you to proactively address issues related to your Purchasing IS. From improving data entry to push notifications, Lemon Learning provides continuous assistance throughout the deployment of your Purchasing IS. The benefits? Reduced support needs and costs, enhanced adoption of the purchasing tool, improved team efficiency, and, most importantly, more time for critical tasks!

Step 5: Train employees in the Purchasing IS

What would software adoption be without proper training? Now that your Purchasing tool is successfully deployed, it’s crucial to provide training for your employees. Training in the Purchasing IS is essential as it directly impacts the utilization of your Purchasing tool and, consequently, its ROI. From customization and content scalability to the simplicity of the learning process, software training comes with various challenges. So, how can you effectively train your employees in using your Purchasing tool?

🍋 Lemon Learning tip: Empower users with in-app training

Training employees directly from their Purchasing IS? Absolutely! Whether it’s mastering purchase invoicing functionalities, order management, or even tracking tender calls, your employees can learn by doing with our interactive guides accessible in real time. And guess what? You can also create guides for your suppliers! The result? Users retain what they learn through practical, efficient, and self-guided training.

Step 6: Measure and adjust

ROI, you say? Absolutely! Measuring the return on investment (ROI) is a crucial step in the implementation of your Purchasing tool. To assess its effectiveness, you need to define performance indicators. Here are some indicators to consider:

  • Cost reduction
  • Average order cost
  • Average order processing time
  • Operational efficiency
  • Number of tenders

However, ROI analysis also serves another purpose: adapting your Purchasing IS. By leveraging the data, you can make informed decisions and ensure alignment with the evolving needs of your users.

🍋 Lemon Learning tip: Evaluate your ROI with Learning Analytics

Lemon analyze is a tool designed to utilize data for enhancing training programs. How does it relate to your Purchasing IS? By collecting and analyzing data from your solution, you can customize training for the Purchasing IS based on user needs. Want to know the most accessed guides, common errors, or preferred formats? With Lemon Learning’s statistical functionality, you can uncover user journeys on your Purchasing IS (guide consultation rate, popular formats, etc.). The result? Informed decisions that align with user needs, fostering long-term adoption of your Purchasing tool. The ultimate goal: sustainability!

From inventory to deployment, including training, you now possess all the necessary tools to successfully establish your Purchasing IS! While implementing a Purchasing IS in a company can be challenging, solutions like Lemon Learning exist today to expedite the adoption of your Purchasing IS through interactive guides integrated directly into the software. The added advantage? Our solution seamlessly integrates with any online tool, whether it’s from the market or an internal system!

Sarah C

Sarah oversees all things inbound marketing, exploring the many business uses and topics surrounding digital adoption. Her previous experiences include B2C and product marketing in the social listening space, uncovering emerging industry trends.