Phase 1: Introduction to Digitalization
To embark on the digitalization of intellectual services procurement, the first step is to consider implementing a Vendor Management System (VMS). This tool promotes more structured and centralized procurement management.
However, this foray into digitalization quickly reveals limitations. While effective for intellectual services purchases, the VMS often operates in a silo. Indeed, without interfacing, it does not effectively communicate with other internal information systems such as the ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) or the e-procurement module, leading to increased administration and adding extra manual tasks. In short, a VMS without an interface is a good start but remains an easily improvable option.
Phase 2: Full Implementation and Its Challenges
The company takes a further step by implementing a more sophisticated and complete intellectual services procurement solution. This all-in-one solution promises to manage the entire Source-to-Pay process, providing increased visibility and freeing up time for high-value tasks.
However, this progress is not without obstacles. The autonomy of the VMS can create internal frictions, sometimes requiring duplicate actions. The lack of integration with internal information systems means a tedious reconciliation of data for buyers, although it is a step forward.
Phase 3: Integration with the Enterprise’s Information System
To overcome these challenges, the company turns towards integration. This involves connecting the VMS to the company’s global information system. To achieve this, Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) are used, which enable applications to communicate with each other. Their purpose is to ensure automatic data synchronization between the different systems.
Once this integration is realized, the IT prescriber searching for expertise performs the entire selection and monitoring process directly on the VMS. This means there is no longer any need to manually use the e-procurement module – previously used to generate purchase requests or obtain purchase orders. Everything is automatically completed in a transparent manner.
The integration between a VMS solution and an e-procurement tool facilitates the management of intellectual services procurement in various ways. For example, interfacing limits the errors that can be made during the harmonization of data from one tool to another. It also allows for the setting of more precise KPIs and tracking them day by day. The advantages are therefore numerous!
To go even further, LittleBig Connection has open APIs and dedicated technical teams to consider any type of integration ensuring a uniform information system. This makes it possible to:
– Automate purchase requests and the retrieval of purchase orders directly in LittleBig Rise (PR/PO)
– Synchronize Activity Reports (CRA) with other timesheeting tools
– Feed the client’s Data Visualization solutions (such as Power BI, Tableau) in real-time with the data collected by LittleBig Connection.
Phase 4: Towards the Advent of Total Workforce Management?
The final stage of this digital evolution would be the adoption of a global vision of Total Workforce Management, a flexible and agile work method prioritizing skills over statuses. Technically, following this approach would lead to the fusion of the VMS and the Human Resources Information System (HRIS) for a holistic workforce management, favoring skill over contract.
If this phase is implemented, it represents a major shift in human resources and procurement management, positioning the company for maximum optimization of its operations.
In conclusion, the progressive implementation of an intellectual services procurement solution illustrates the ongoing evolution of business practices. Each phase of this digital transition brings its challenges and opportunities. Companies must navigate with agility, taking advantage of technological advancements to optimize their processes and remain competitive in an ever-evolving market.
If you wish to embark on optimizing your intellectual services procurement, do not hesitate to contact LittleBig Connection, specialists in the field.