Direct contact with users has helped EDF improve procurement processes © AFP/Getty Images
Direct contact with users has helped EDF improve procurement processes © AFP/Getty Images

How EDF overhauled digital procurement with quick wins

18 June 2020

Responding directly to employee feedback helped EDF drastically improve the number of users engaging with digital procurement tools. 

Dominique Hamon, procure-to-pay project manager at EDF, told SM the firm had prioritised a series of quick wins in order to create a more B2C, user-friendly experience with its procurement system.

“The system had been running for about five years and nobody really cared about the way it worked. Nobody was really complaining about it but it just wasn't very user-friendly,” he explained. 

Hamon decided to survey 15,000 EDF employees who used the application to find out what they thought about it. 

“The results were very interesting. Most people had an appreciation of the application. But if you looked into detail, they were saying things that were bad. For instance, only 14% of the users said they could find what they were looking for.”

EDF worked with Ivalua to improve the user experience in two phases – a series of quick wins and the implementation of a new search engine. 

“We completed the first phase in a couple of months. What was very surprising is that some users were asking for features that were already in the application. We had just put the tool in place, and we didn't manage it,” Hamon said. 

“After five years, we had totally forgotten who was using the application and what we could do to simplify the user experience. For instance, we hadn't put the picture first in the catalogue. We had put lots of technical information, so we started just managing the pictures and showing it first so that people would immediately know what was inside the catalogues.”

“We did so many little adjustments, but each time we did, it was really corresponding to what people had said in the survey. It was responding to a real need and it was not very complicated to put in place. People were very happy that we listened to them.”

Implementing the search engine was a much larger project, but one that greatly improved the success of users looking for new items, Hamon added. 

“When we did the same survey a year later, about 65% of people could find what they were looking for. It's not perfect yet, but it's a huge leap that's been made thanks to the improvement of the search engine,” he said. 

Hamon said EDF planned to ask employees for feedback on the systems on an annual basis to allow users to have a say on what they need, as well as asking them to be beta testers for new functionalities.

“It means we have direct contact with the users, and the users can really guide us in our choice,” he said.

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