People whose minds have a natural inclination for streamlined processes often find themselves in operations, supply chain, or marketing management. And yet, it’s incredibly common for the disconnect between operations and marketing departments to cause businesses to suffer ROI. As businesses continue to turn to the benefits of E-procurement to streamline their Procure-to-Pay (P2P) processes, it’s the perfect time to draw a clear line to E-procurement’s impact on marketing strategy, and the common thread between E-Procurement and marketing as a whole.
Effective Marketing Relies on Clear Strategies
The parallels between standard marketing strategies and E-procurement processes are almost uncanny: an established framework for organization, a protocol for selecting and securing the optimal vendors for the project scope, and a system for reporting the accurate financial data necessary to produce a comprehensive ROI analysis. Why, then, are businesses so often spilling resources by keeping marketing and E-procurement separate? Just as with many other new technologies, it’s probably no more than a delay in communication as the operations department adjusts to the enhanced functionality that E-procurement offers.
E-procurement and Marketing Management: Beyond the Obvious
So the symmetry of process between E-procurement and marketing is clear – but how does that translate to increased ROI? Almost anyone who has worked in marketing can quickly call to mind an instance where a client issued a last-minute change of direction, throwing a wrench in the workflow. It’s practically an industry trademark! Here’s where E-procurement kicks in to protect ROI. Instead of scrambling to reconcile the unexpected resources needed with the initial strategy, the E-procurement system’s comprehensive data storage, supplier exchange, spend visibility and control allows for a smooth calibration to the client’s pivoted objective.
Integrating Marketing and E-procurement: For Better or For Worse
Although there are plenty of actions that businesses should take to increase ROI, it can be difficult to convince company decision-makers to sign-off on a major procedural shift. Before bringing in the marketing aspect, let’s throw some basic E-procurement points into the mix.
One sticking point for the data-driven is the Oracle Application User Group’s 2011 survey, which “ranked the procurement process highest among business processes most vulnerable to fraud, waste, and errors” at 32%, with the next vulnerability process being Financial Reports, way down at 20%.
Keeping up with rapid technology growth is now a central aspect of business across the board. The real-time transaction and communication capabilities over browser, desktop and mobile devices through E-procurement systems prove invaluable in a highly competitive marketplace. Considering a single cohesive system designed to ensure the instant exchanges that operations benefits from and marketing demands, the alternative no longer looks like a viable option.
Since we’ve already drawn the line to E-procurement’s impact on marketing strategy in protecting against risk factors, the final word goes to businesses experiencing or expecting rapid growth. In addition to saving time and resources, integrating marketing and operations via E-procurement sets the stage for a seamless transition when a large client is acquired, allowing the fluctuation of budget and services to be satisfied in the most effective manner possible.