The biggest barriers to adopting procurement technology include a preference for legacy systems and the perceived expense of new technology, according to research.
Zycus, in collaboration with Michigan State University (MSU), has published a study The Drivers and Barriers to Effective User Adoption of Procurement Technologies.
It concluded overall, procurement professionals believe technology is a useful business tool, improves personal performance, productivity and effectiveness.
The research report, authored by Tobias Schoenherr, associate professor of supply chain management at MSU, combined a survey of 144 procurement professionals along with interviews, and outlined a number of findings about the adoption of procurement technology.
By far the leading driver for organisations to adopt purchasing technology is a desire for better internal integration and visibility, the study found. The most commonly used e-procurement tools are spend analysis, financial savings management, and contract management.
The research also found the greatest challenges to adopting and implementing e-procurement include staff preferences for legacy systems, issues in change management, the demand for a user-friendly environment, a lack of time permitted to learn the new system, perceived loss of control, and technology being seen as an expense rather than an investment.
However, the research also noted additional adoption challenges can emerge once an EPT has been implemented. These include the fact the full capabilities of the system are often not realised by users, specific reporting functionality is not always offered. There can also be high supplier interface costs and data validity issues.
Companies are addressing this by implementing formal and informal training sessions, the study found.
Zycus vice president of corporate development Richard Waugh said: “There is a lot of positive feedback that many firms are already reaping the benefits of well implemented procurement technologies and that’s fantastic to hear. We have also uncovered some of the pain points around implementation which should help guide firms that are looking to implement procurement technology in the future”.