It's common to run into a bit of resistance when trying something new. And it's no different with eSourcing. New process can be viewed by some stakeholders as an invasion or challenge into their specific areas of expertise.
The common body language seen in these interactions include suspicious looks and crossed arms. These buyers feel, rightly so, that they are the best at what they do. Oftentimes statements from buyers like the following come up during these initial conversations and confirm their apprehension:
“So how can you help me? “
“I already get the best price.”
“I can't get the same items; I'll have to compromise for a better price.”
“You'll make me award the business to a vendor other than my incumbent.”
“I'll have to pick the low quote provider.”
All valid concerns. And these are just a handful of the misconceptions that surround eSourcing.
To dig deeper into this topic check out The [not so] ugly truth about e-sourcing: a message to buyers and Exploring 3 e-Sourcing Myths.
These statements are usually followed by, “Who else is using this process for my category?”, which is a great question and opens the door to share other buyer's experiences - an extremely powerful tool in easing a new user's mind.
Find an example of one buyer's eSourcing journey here in, How e-Sourcing Makes Sourcing Easier - a Buyer's View.
If possible, use references of actual users of the process that can speak to their specific category. These experienced users can ultimately provide a level of comfort to the buyer, allowing them to move forward with a trial of the process.
It was this very scenario that assisted us in gaining one of our biggest proponents when it comes to e-sourcing IT equipment. In this specific case, we had been working with the east coast grocery retailer for just over two years. Through the help of an outside category specific reference, they were finally compelled to give eSourcing a look. In the end, the savings for this stakeholder were so compelling the buyer believed the price was just too good to be true and decided to order the entire volume communicated in the event. At one point, the stakeholder had so much equipment on hand that the CEO of her company was walking the halls and noted the precariously leaning stacks of boxes with the equipment purchased through the auction. To this day, this fact is a source of mutual amusement when we think back to how we first started with this resistant stakeholder.
It's these success stories that reduce resistance in other areas of the organization. In one example, a door was opened with Loss Prevention after the IT stakeholder served as an internal reference.
If all else fails, here are some additional ideas to increase participation in your eSourcing program. After all, the promise of eSourcing success only comes when stakeholders view it as part of the process.
You might also be interested in: