In the ever-expanding world of business and technology, many companies are turning towards advanced platforms such as Coupa to integrate their business structure into the technological web that is making its way around the globe. Hiring a Coupa consultant to help with the integration is an option that business owners have, but they often doubt the value.
The Value of Consultants
Sometimes consultants get a bad rap because they are not cheap. However, smart business people look at the costs of hiring a professional for help as an investment that will most likely gain a huge return.
Some of the assets a consultant can provide are:
- Expert insight
- A fresh perspective
One of the most common reasons that a company seeks help from a consultant is that they realize having an expert in something that they are unfamiliar with cuts way down on time and resources during the learning process.
Most businesses are experts in what they do, but when it comes to the technical side of things they are not as knowledgeable as somebody that is an expert. One of the greatest keys to success is for a person to be aware of their assets and their shortcomings.
When a business owner fails to see what they lack, they will never be able to correct this issue and will continue to lack until they do. In order to fix a problem, you have to be aware that it exists.
When it comes to the extraordinary Coupa platform there are a lot of settings and details that could be overlooked by an untrained eye. If a business installs the platform but fails to use all of the tools that are available to them, they could very well lose out on a lot of money.
The Ultimate Source-to-Pay Solution
While there are some businesses that still use the old-fashioned way to handle their procurement department, many of the businesses today are using digital platforms to keep up with the source-to-pay process. Why waste money, time, and resources on unnecessary elements?
Digitizing the procurement operation will:
- Enhance and expedite the sourcing procedure
- Locate and secure quality sources
- Keep track of the contracts
- Automate much of the procurement process
While there are a plethora of companies that have the entire s2p structure dialed in and ready for maximum efficiency, there are a ton more that need a lot of help getting things situated.
This is exactly why a consultant comes in handy.
Since the Coupa platform was developed so that businesses could streamline and expand the way that they source, buy, and pay for goods and services there is a vast amount of opportunity within each implementation for every business.
Where an implementation for one business might have a need for certain aspects of the platform to be dialed in one specific way, the next business may have an altogether different setup based on the needs of the business.
A consultant will have the extra knowledge and familiarity regarding the platform that will help the business to configure the way that they use the platform in the manner that is most beneficial for them.
Sourcing the Goods and Services
One of the most important assets to a company is the sources that they have available to them. If a business depends on a certain item or service for an item to conduct business it is always a good idea to have plenty of that particular item on hand. Having a sustainable source for any type of business necessity is a must for the success and health of a company.
While the Coupa platform can help to locate and secure some of the best sources that are available in the world, the application itself will have to be informed of what parameters to look for when attempting to match perfect sources with businesses.
For instance, say that the company is a large manufacturer of flashlights that come in all shapes and sizes. One of the characteristics of these flashlights is the type of light bulb they use for illumination.
If the manufacturing company does not make its own lightbulbs for the flashlights, they would have to rely on another company to produce and furnish them with that light bulb.
Since the type of lightbulb that makes the flashlights special is not an ordinary lightbulb, the flashlight manufacturer could be at the mercy of one lone bulb manufacturer. What Coupa does is allow the company to search a huge database of potential suppliers for that particular lightbulb. When other manufacturers show up as carriers of that particular lightbulb they can all be contacted and introduced into the selection procedure. Once they are contacted, the negotiations can begin and maybe the company could end up with a better selection at a lower price.
In any event, the Coupa consultant will be able to show the company how to tell the platform where to look and what to look for while they are performing queries about potential sources.
With the help of a knowledgeable consultant, a company can save a good chunk of money by finding great deals on things from vendors they never even know exiisted.
Optimal Smart Sourcing
The Coupa platform uses artificial intelligence to take commands regarding specifics for optimal search results from the pools of available sources. When the sourcing function of the platform has been properly calibrated, the results of the available sources can be so precise and efficient that it can save the company a substantial amount of money and time for each source.
Locating the perfect sources with the perfect backgrounds and greatest prices is a function that is worth its own weight in gold, but it can only be fine-tuned by a person that really knows their way around the platform.
One of the greatest assets of hiring a consultant to lead the way into the new realm of the procurement process is that they can show the company the right way to move forward and help them to keep going in that direction without venturing from the path.
When it comes to managing all of the sources and the contracts that they make as they agree to be a vendor for the company there is no easy way to keep track of it all. Of course, a small business with only a couple of sources will not have any problems, but a large company that deals with thousands of vendors and suppliers has to be able to manage the contracts in a way that keeps everyone happy and out of trouble.
Contract management is one of the functions of the Coupa platform that many businesses fail to set up properly and end up losing out on extra deals or money-saving opportunities.
For example, not every supplier is going to be the same but many of them can offer cost cuts if certain items are ordered and paid for before a certain day of the month. If an order can be made and paid for by the 5th of the month, every month, the supplier will provide a 25% discount on all purchases, that is a big deal. Even if it were only a 3% discount and 100 of the vendors offered the same deal the total in savings would be hefty.
At the beginning of the implementation the Coupa consultant will be able to walk the business owner, or whatever person that is in charge of procurement through the process of setting up contracts and managing them.
There will be certain parameters that have to be placed within each contract so that they can be managed and kept up to date without having to go back and re-check every account each day. The platform will send alerts and reminders to administrators who will then be able to log in and take action if necessary.
The difference between a company hiring a consultant or failing to hire a consultant can be as significant as the company losing every bit of the money they invested into the plafrorm because they have to pay employees that do not know what they are doing to figure out how to make the platform work that is most beneficial for the company. Unfortunately, you can’t just Google how to set up the platform to work for your specific business with its unique characteristics and parameters.
In the end, hiring a consultant is the most cost-effective solution for implementing the Coupa platform in a way that gives all of its potential right back to the business instead of wasting it away because the company-appointed “administrator” of the program was unaware of its power.
Most of the businesses that hesitate to get help long enough end up contacting a consultant only after they have wasted thousands of paid hours trying to do it all their own way. All of th em could have saved themselves a bunch of headaches and stress if only they had just went ahead and hired the consultant in the first place.