Digital transformation is not just about technology

Many procurement teams are considering, or undertaking, complex projects to increase their digital capabilities. But they are making a mistake if they forget the intrinsically human aspects of the transformation, according to experts at a CIPS event in London.

The Digitally Transforming Supply Breakfast Briefing, held in February, heard from a range of procurement leaders who shared the highs and lows of large-scale change initiatives. They included Gavin Boswell, director of procurement at Serco, who said it was important to frame change as more than a technical shift: “If the transformation is purely about technology, it is much harder to get buy-in. It [should be] much more about the transformation of procurement overall, and how it makes a bigger contribution. Digital is just a tool for doing that.”

When undergoing a procurement-led transformation, Boswell added, it is vital to prioritise user experience rather than simply talking about increased efficiency – customers and other stakeholders should be involved in the process from the start and should be integral to prototyping and testing.

For Kate Jay, procurement lead – ERP Programme at Skanska UK, things got even more interpersonal. When she helped lead a £20 million change programme centred around the introduction of a new ERP, she worked to understand the psychology behind change and how it applied to employees – which led her both to be clear in how she communicated the change up front and to break things into two-week ‘sprints’ that were more manageable for staff.

“Normally when procurement is trying to drive change, it is doing it in isolation and that can be a battle,” said Jay. “Some people can look at the scale of the programme and it can seem overwhelming, so breaking it into smaller chunks can help.”

LATEST
JOBS
Zurich, Canton of Zürich (CH)
-
Barry Callebaut
London, York
£38,171 - £42,745 (National) £39,747 - £44,854 + £3,150 RRA (London)
CPS
SEARCH JOBS