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What Users Want Making People the First P in P2P

Procure-to-Pay (P2P) initiatives that flounder when it comes to the all-important metric of user adoption rate or the percentage of potential users that are actually using the P2P system and process as implemented can usually point to a lack of usability as the one key missing ingredient and the reason they struggle to exceed average performance of just about 50% user adoption. Focusing on what end-users want from the outset and keeping the user shopping experience at the forefront throughout, can help P2P program managers design-in a process that will lead to world-class P2P user adoption of 80-90% or more.

Mandates Work Up to a Point

According to research from the Gartner Group's 2012 E-Procurement By the Numbers report, 88% of organizations they surveyed about their e-Procurement programs mandate that employees must use the e-Procurement system for all (22%) or at least some types of indirect spending (66%) a mere 12% adopt a laissez-faire approach to adoption in which users are encouraged, but not required to use the e-Procurement system. Despite the resounding support for mandatory system usage, most organizations are still very concerned about making the systems more user-friendly. Consider that the same survey respondents said that Improved Ease of Use was the top area in which they'd like to make improvements to their current e-Procurement system. Which begs the question: If you can make adoption mandatory, why is the user experience so important? The answer is that mandating usage only works up to certain point. Many eProcurement implementations plateau at only about half the number of users targeted for adoption because their lack of usability means that they are only able to retain the frequent, power users who eventually adjust to a non-intuitive shopping experience, while infrequent, casual users, those who may only need to requisition something once a quarter or once a year find another way to complete their purchase outside the system.

Benchmarking from the Aberdeen Group's 2010 Effective e-Procurement found that on average, 16% of all transactions that start in the e-Procurement system actually get completed outside the system, meaning that well-intentioned users seeking to comply with mandated usage, regularly give up and take their transactions elsewhere when they find the process too cumbersome.

Guided Procurement: Helping Users Find What They Want

According to Spend Matters, A P2P Implementation Guide: Avoid the 'Dumb Ways to Die,' Compass Series Report from February 2013: Helping end-users find what they are looking for and what the company would like them to find (i.e., preferred suppliers and items/services with associated preferred rates) is the essence of what effective eProcurement is all about. It is about fail-proofing the process to guarantee that those needing something are directed to the right suppliers via the right 'process path'. .this makes the process easy to use AND easy to monitor/control.

Going beyond mandates to focus on users and specifically helping users find what they want is the right prescription to overcome anemic P2P performance. Zycus' Next Generation Guided Procurement System innovation think of it as a GPS for P2P closes the compliance blind spot that exists in First Generation P2P tools for off-catalog requisitions, which account for 1/3 or more of all requisitions in a typical P2P deployment and as much as 50% or more of total spending, enabling:
n n n

Broader spend coverage, More spend and process compliance, and Higher user adoption.

If items or suppliers can't be found with keyword or attribute searching, then a good place to start is with spend categories to find preferred (or even just approved!) vendors by category, continues the Spend Matters report. In one example, we have observed some companies that are explicitly mapping spend categories to P2P buy/pay channels and associated systems to send ('guide') users down the right channel. But how do you find the right spend category? You auto-classify the search when it happens. Zycus' real-time auto classification has numerous strong supporting scenarios here.

The oft-used term Maverick Buying connotes a willful act of non-compliance by end users in spite of organizational decrees or mandates of system usage. However, as the Spend Matters report points out, user malfeasance isn't usually the root cause of non-compliance, rather the inability of procurement (and IT) to create an environment where it's very easy to do the right thing and not so easy to do the 'wrong' thing. So what then are the key aspects of usability What Users Want that makes it easier to do the right thing?

What Users Want

For better or worse, the usability expectations of most potential B2B (Business-toBusiness) users have been set by their experience as consumers. While procurement professionals may be content or at least grudgingly accept an enterprise style user interface, casual users see themselves as on-line shoppers and expect the same type of rich, engaging, and intuitive on-line experience as when they buy at amazon.com or other consumer sites. The challenge for Procurement organizations, seeking to achieve lofty user adoption targets of 90% or better, is to balance the need to enforce the complex business rules pertaining to approvals, accounting, and categorization that don't exist in the B2C model, while masking that complexity from end users. With the end goal of achieving widespread user adoption, organizations planning to deploy or enhance existing e-Procurement programs facing adoption challenges, would do well to focus from the outset on these key usability features that matter the most to eProcurement users the three things users want:

Make it Easy





n Search catalogs by whatever method feels right to the end user


category, keyword, supplier, part #

n Broad selection from multiple approved vendors n Filter search results by price, supplier, manufacturer n View Item details with rich product images n Compare products side-by-side with all relevant selection details:

long descriptions, attachments and specifications, ratings and reviews or certifications

Make it Quick

Procurement Work Flow

Alan Sales Assistant Pending

Bob Sales Manager



I'm Done

Save Draft | Cancel

n Remove the guesswork and keystrokes


add to cart items auto-classified to correct category code, UOM, GL Account

n Speed through checkout with just one click


default all ship to/bill to information from user profile so that fields only have to edited on an exception basis

n Reuse, Reduce and Recycle


saved favorites lists and shopping baskets reduce or eliminate time to search for frequently ordered items and enable users to share lists across the organization

n Faster, More Transparent Approval Process


provide preview of workflow approval process at checkout and e-mail status updates throughout

approvers review and approve or reject requisitions from within e-mail notification including smart phones - without logging into P2P application

(Don't) Make Me Think

Help the requester select the right category Category specific G-form captures details

Screw driver
Pick a category from the list below or search "screw driver" in all items Wrenches and Drivers Power tools Anchors Screws


Electric Pneumatic Hydraulic


Narrow nose for unaccessible places


Forward and Reverse Drive

Incumbent supplier for the category Power tools Enriched item description Correct Category Coding Preferred Vendor Routing
Total Records : 2 Supplier Name Grainger Inc. Black & Deck Co. Preferred Contracted Actions Yes No Yes(View) No View Details View Details

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Suggest the right suppliers to the requester

n Guided Buying to steer the user through requisitioning for non-

catalog items (including services)


Auto-classify request based on user's search term Provide wizard interface to complete category-specific form with pre-populated required attributes and specifications

Suggest approved vendors specific to category Automatically invoke specific workflow approval process required for assigned category

Default accounting instructions from assigned category and shipping/billing information from user profile

About Zycus

At Zycus we are 100% dedicated to positioning procurement at the heart of business performance. For more than a decade we have been the world's most trusted leader in Spend Analysis. With our spirit of innovation and a passion to help procurement create even greater business advantages, we have evolved our portfolio to a full suite of Procurement Performance Solutions Spend Analysis, e-Sourcing, Contract Management, Supplier Management, and Financial Savings Management. Behind every Zycus solution stands an organization that possesses deep, detailed procurement expertise and a sharp focus on being responsive to customers. We are a large 600+ and growing company with a physical presence in virtually every major region of the globe. We see each customer as a partner in innovation and no client is too small to deserve our attention. With more than 200 solution deployments among Global 1000 clients, we search the world continually for procurement practices proven to drive competitive business performance. We incorporate these practices into easy-to-use solutions that give procurement teams the power to get moving quickly from any point of departure and to continue innovating and pushing business and procurement performance to new heights.


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