07 October 2004 | David Arminas
Many potentially successful e-procurement systems fail when they are deployed, delegates at the eWorld Purchasing and Supply conference were told.
Daniel Ball, marketing director of managed solutions provider Wax Digital said that a user-friendly system requiring no change in the working habits of buyers is most likely to succeed.
"If people have to change the way they do their buying, the system will be difficult to deploy and get little user uptake," he said.
"You know you have succeeded if a buyer can use it once and come back in six months and remember how to use it."
Ball said that Associated British Foods (ABF), an international food, ingredients and retail group with a £4.9 billion turnover and more than 35,000 employees, successfully set up Wax Digital's e-procurement system in one day within one of the group's companies.
ABF then rolled out the system to around 20 more of its companies on the basis that no training was required.
The value of transactions through the system went up by 50 per cent a month for four months.
Ball noted that after four months, Wax Digital's system had handled transactions worth more than ABF's old system had seen in three years of use.
Overall savings for ABF were at least 10 per cent, he added.