Everyone makes mistakes. Just don’t make these.
You’re an experienced sourcing or procurement professional. You’ve been through umpteen sourcing events, worked across a number of industries, did tours of duty in companies of all sizes. And yet, once in a great while, you still have the inevitable forehead slap moment and the inner cry of “why did I just do that?!” It happens. Whether you’re an industry veteran or just starting out in your career, the following seven sourcing project errors — sophomoric as they seem — are common. And easily avoidable.
1) You invited the wrong suppliers to your live sourcing event. Yikes – that’s never good, but it’s definitely not the end of the world. To prevent this from happening, have at least one person from your team do a quick peer review of the project. Double and triple check the invited suppliers to make sure you have the right company name and contact information for that account. If something is overlooked during the live auction, quickly delete the uninvited supplier and re-add the proper supplier. Send separate email communications explaining the situation and move forward with a successful auction project.
2) You forgot to save your RPI project and lost everything. Wow- what a devastating loss! Train yourself to save the project you’re working on every 10 minutes. Trust us, we’ve all learned this lesson the hard way. You can never, ever save your document too often.
3) You didn’t include a business critical question on the RFI you just sent out. Sometimes questions get overlooked, especially if you’re building a large RFI or RFP. In addition to having someone on your team do a thorough peer review, make sure you leverage templates when building your RFIs. Most sourcing applications offer a template library where you can build custom templates that are prepopulated with all of the business critical questions on your RFI. Using these templates ensures consistency and saves time during the production phase of the project.
4) You accidentally deleted a project. Uh, you’re on your own with this one. Sorry. This is a total nightmare, especially if you can’t easily restore the project. To mitigate the risk of this happening, it’s best to limit the number of users who have the ability to delete projects. Make sure you set up your roles and permissions area of you sourcing solution very strategically – only super users should have the power to delete anything.
5) You forgot to turn on project management to keep a timeline available to internal and external attendees. Well, hey, at least you didn’t delete an important project, right? But it’s still important for you to use the power of project management within your sourcing projects. You can use helpful triggers and activities that fall outside the realm of your sourcing module. Utilize project management to add in activities outside the project, such as deadlines to get the project set up/dates to have internal review. You can also set up automated email triggers to remind your suppliers to complete the survey prior to deadline.
6) You didn’t publish your project or survey prior to inviting your suppliers. One simple oversight (such as forgetting to publish your project) and you’ll be getting many emails or phone calls from your suppliers about their inability to access the project. Train yourself to quality check your project prior to inviting suppliers. You’ve probably noticed that personal and peer review is a HUGE component of avoiding these nightmares. During that review phase, don’t forget to check all dates (start and end times) as well as the status of your projects and surveys. Twice.
7) You gave suppliers your direct email address instead of directing them to the project forum. Sometimes it seems easier and more personal to give suppliers your email address for questions. But what happens if you’re out of the office on the go-live date of the project? Or what if you’re unable to access your email because you’re running the live project on your computer and you shut off your email? As a best practice, always use the forum for all projects; it allows you to store questions in a centralized location. Emails gets lost, forgotten, misdirected, deleted. Unnecessarily.
Experience means to learn from your mistakes, so that you don’t make them again. It’s a powerful teacher. So is learning from other people’s mistakes, like the seven above.
If you’d like to learn how our integrated, modular Sourcing Solution on the Determine Cloud Platform provides the features, functionality and automation that will keep you from undermining your own sourcing projects, schedule a personalized demonstration.