As a procurement consultant, one of the major activities that need to be addressed when deploying e-procurement is the departmental approval process. In an attempt to help customers understand the importance of process re-engineering, examples, and case studies can help supply chain servicesshow the benefits of blowing up the approval process and rebuilding them from the ground up.
If your client is open to re-engineering their approval processes, providing sample flowchart examples of previous customer business practices and efficiencies gained from re-evaluating their approval procedures can help stimulate new perspectives when running brainstorming sessions with team members.
If they care to come off of paper-based purchasing processes, it can be a tougher process unless you have a director-level executive that can challenge the team to design and build new procurement solutions.
Some examples of procurement engineering methods that can be successful are:
Invite a manager to the session – Many buyers and departmental based workers tend to be so entrenched in the current business rules, they have difficulty in getting themselves to re-think the process unless they are starting from a clean sheet of paper. A Manager level executive who is not intimate with the lower level steps can help determine if business rules are being supported or not.
During mapping sessions, using the Swimlane format can help breakdown the various parts of a complex process into organized “lanes” that allow anyone to track the entire process. Helping the team analyze this process using a Swimlane configuration enables them to logically follow the sequence of steps, specific rules within the “procure to pay” process.
Challenge the team by helping them understand why they currently do things in their approval cycles. Sometimes the reason behind the traditional rules is simple” We have just always done it this way.”
The goal of the engineer is to help the customer re-evaluate their business processes rather than trying to “Pave the Cowpath”; a term used when the customer is trying to make the new system fit the broken process.
In summary, to adequately re-design and build your new procurement process, using flowchart samples from other implementations can build credibility and get the team to begin thinking out of the box. If the client can adapt and modify their processes, the new system can be made to be much more efficient in delivering to their expectations.
When re-engineering processes, it is important to identify redundancies and inefficiencies that could be costing your business dearly. Sample Flowcharts [http://sampleflowchart.com/] can be utilized to help transition the organization to a more efficient machine once you wipe out the tired old way of doing business!