Stay In Control With Invenio Content Financials

In the whirlwind world of media content creation, money is at the centre of everything. Unfortunately, the current systems in place for financial directors make it almost impossible to effectively manage budgets, control overspend and make effective, quick decisions for what could be the next big thing. But what if there was a complete, end-to-end solution out there that could help media companies control content budgets and drive efficiencies up, instead of down? Well, now there is – Invenio Content Financials.

Faster, Improved Decision Making

In any line of business, it is important to have all information available to you before you make any financial decision. However, in the media industry, gathering all the data you need to make an informed decision, such as profit and loss, cash flow forecasts and budget estimates, can be a lengthily process. In fact, it often takes so long that the information you need has become outdated in the time it took to reach you. This means that financial managers are not only wasting time chasing useless data, but they are unable to make quick, efficient decisions. Invenio Content Financials provides a simple and sophisticated system for financial departments to take control of spending and budgets, thanks to integrated, centralised data management. With every department using the same systems to record information, it is simple for financial directors to pull up spend reports, budgets and more in seconds, allowing them to make better, strategically sound decisions.

Greater Transparency

The media world moves extremely quickly, so one of the biggest challenges financial directors face is making quick financial decisions in order to maximise the lifecycle of their content. Without transparent access to information, this can be incredibly challenging. The Invenio Content Financials solution is built on SAP technology, providing an agile and crystal clear view of the financials from conception to release. Thanks to its cross-departmental integration systems and in-built document automation, it allows financial directors in the media industry an unprecedented level of transparency into every level of spend in the content process. Expenses are recorded centrally, with an automated approval process that compiles all data a real-time financial reporting module, which gives greater visibility and detailed cash flow forecasts.

Improved Control Saves Time And Money

In any industry, one of the biggest challenges for financial directors is control of spending. But in the media industry, this is amplified by the fast-paced nature of the business, which leaves financial directors struggling to control production budgets and manage overspending at every level. A lack of financial forecasting means expense control is almost impossible, with no controls in place for spending. But Invenio’s Content Financials solution pairs strict spending controls with automated approval and real-time reporting, to provide a much greater level of financial control at every stage of the content process. This essential step means that all other departments know exactly what their budgets are at all times, which in turn results in less overspending and less time wasted trying to generate reports and manage spend.

If you are a financial director, CFO or even a manager in the financial department of a media production company, this solution is for you. Not only will this solution address a number of frequent issues you face on a daily basis, but it will reduce total operating costs by creating a single, cross-departmental solution. This ground-breaking solution will be officially launched at SapphireNow, the premier SAP and ASUG conference in Orlando, so if you’re there please drop by the Media demo station in the Industries Campus and you will find us at booth IN167. For more information about Invenio Content Financials, get in touch with our sales team today, and we would be happy to arrange a free demo.

Future of Broadcasting Industry

Viewers are diverging while platforms are converging. What’s next in the broadcast industry?

Radical transformation has taken place over the last decade in the broadcast industry with technology now delivering content to consumers in a “whatever, whenever and wherever” experience.

The Future is Digital

Over The Top (OTT) is the delivery of film and TV via the internet without requiring users to subscribe to a traditional cable or satellite pay-TV service. OTT is central to the recent major digital disruption of the broadcasting industry. Video is now driving mainstream broadcast strategies and it’s inevitable that the future of broadcasting will be digital.

SVOD players such as Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, etc. are emerging from outside the traditional TV ecosystem and they were the pioneers of innovative business models to engage with consumers through video services.

So what’s Actually Changed?

In the digital era, broadcasting companies should strategically reinvent their offerings to move ahead of the massive shifts happening across the industry. To stay focused and competitive, it is  important to understand how the digital era has changed the key process of the broadcast industry such as consumers, technology, programming and advertising.

1. Consumers

As consumers like to view the content on-the-go and mobile continues to grow, the average consumer is watching 4 more hours of mobile video weekly than they did 4 years ago. The shift is partly because viewers prefer individually tailored content experiences, but also due to the increase in quality content created for smaller screens. Due to higher bandwidth of network and advances in technology, traditional scheduled TV watching is no longer the norm. Instead, OTT video accessible anytime and anywhere is now the mainstream. Viewers are diverging while platforms are converging. That creates challenges for the industry as it looks for new ways to meet consumer interests.

2. Technology

People are watching more television, consuming more videos, but the key divergence has been the viewing experience, which has expanded to multiple screens. As screens get both smaller and larger, the consumer experience is key to survival. As OTT rises, it’s no wonder that smart TV and connected TV video streaming devices continue to lure audiences back into the living room.

The impact of pay TV providers is broadband, which continues to provide higher profits than video. Broadband home growth driven by OTT gains, is helping to offset the higher programming costs and the decline in video revenue caused by cord-cutting. Mobile data traffic is increasing everywhere due to rising amounts of videos and users. In the future, broadband and wireless will continue to influence the content bundle with faster data speeds, lower device costs and more connected screens.

As Virtual Reality ( VR ) technology moves into the consumer space, the industry is extremely interested in its potential impact on storytelling, audiences and revenue. Media companies such as Paramount Pictures and Disney have applied marketing campaigns creating interactive forms of media. Content produced for VR permit the audience to view the entire environment in every scene, creating an interactive viewing experience. Live events and games will help pave the way for VR adoption.

3. Programming

The consumer movement across platforms has created a major change in how content is made, distributed and monetised. Hit content has become a major differentiator and an increasing source of leverage. To free-up resources to create big-budget content, networks have begun to trim selling, general and admin expenses.

Live sporting events, hit content and original, niche programming continue to generate strong viewership and rates while middle tier entertainment networks are falling behind.

4. Advertising

The ad industry continues to be dynamic and volatile. Spending on digital media has increased in social and video formats, but the technology to deliver advertising in the online TV ecosystem lags behind usage. Consumers access content through subscription based, ad-free, video-on-demand services and as these services have become popular over the years it has led to a decrease in adverting spending.

Broadcast and cable networks have been the target for advertisers because of their capability to deliver a massive number of viewers in real-time. But advertisers can now aggregate viewers of similar size instantaneously through OTT videos. Online players are developing innovative ways to entice advertiser’s interest, to reach large and different digital viewers. And these platforms benefit from real-time bidding, with better demographic targeting at a more efficient cost.

Conclusion – Understand your Market and offer Outstanding Content

Factors such as high speed internet connectivity and broadband infrastructure, smartphones and live streaming apps, social networking and cutting-edge technology have transformed the television experience from linear to an era of “whatever, wherever and whenever experience”. As OTT becomes part of consumer’s everyday life, there are new methods and opportunities to drive growth and revenue in the broadcast industry.

To stay competitive in the digital era, broadcast companies should be strategically focused to understand market dynamics, content consumption patterns, audience interests and advertiser responses. Many new forms of multimedia services become possible with the introduction of digital delivery.  One thing is undeniable –  attractive content is certain to be the key factor to stay successful in the digital era.

Making SAP Easy for Media – Part 2

Following on from our 1st instalment in this 2 part series, MESA continue their interview with Invenio to find out how they help their media customers understand the huge capabilities of SAP.
Interview by Chris Tribby

 

Invenio says that its SAP partners see savings of as much as 40%. Can you expand on that, share how the company’s solutions actually translate into real, bottom-line savings?

We helped a major newspaper group increase revenues by extending their ad-booking window by between eight and 24 hours. Our SAP solutions help their operations produce 15 million copies of a daily newspapers from 16 print locations, and to manage the financial and business operations of 25 separate legal entities.

We helped a major TV broadcaster improve its content acquisition processes across the entire broadcast portfolio, for both original and syndicated programming. Our solution helps manage the entire procure-to-pay process for 3,500-plus television programs, including series episodes, one-off programs, and movies.

We are helping a leading music publisher to standardize and streamline its global procure-to-pay processes using an innovative SAP solution that will manage over 150,000 suppliers worldwide. The self-service vendor portal and guided streamlined invoice processing has resulted in saving of thousands of man-hours in administrative tasks for the customer.

We implemented an award-winning SAP solution that offers support for financial, human resource management and management reporting for a major international search portal across their online, mobile, email subscription and e-commerce lines of business. This was one of the first SAP implementations for a pure online business.

With such a rich experience in the industry, our consultants have a head start when they start servicing our customers, resulting in better and faster issue resolution. With our experience in the industry, we have built ‘accelerators’ — pre-built solutions to address typical scenarios in media companies. This can potentially crunch the project timelines as compared to traditional partners.

Can Invenio offer some specific use cases, where media and entertainment companies made especially good use of Invenio’s offerings?

Universal Music Group (UMG) is the world’s leading music company with wholly owned record operations or licensees in 77 territories. Its business also includes Universal Music Publishing Group, the industry’s leading global music publishing operation. With the recent acquisition of EMI, Universal Music Group has consolidated its dominant position in the music market. Universal Music Group is a unit of Vivendi, a global media and communications company.

UMG has implemented a single global instance of the SAP FICO (Finance and Controlling) solution for its financial reporting. The procurement function was, however, widely distributed across various local systems. With 7,000-plus internal users involved in the P2P process working with 130,000 suppliers across the globe, the administration and control of purchasing was highly inefficient. UMG was keen to ‘outsource’ supplier data management back to suppliers, bring in better commitment tracking with clear visibility on spend and enforce strict budget controls. Traditional SAP solutions were cost prohibitive and integration with third party tools became unmanageable. That is when UMG turned the attention to Invenio’s P2P Solution.

Invenio’s work and partnership in different aspects of Universal Music’s SAP estate has been gradual in finite increments as Universal Music grew in its confidence with Invenio’s capability.

Over the last five years, Invenio has developed a bespoke procure to pay system on SAP for Universal Music which uniquely address the requirement of simple front end interfaces, full budgetary control, complete workflow, access through web and an easy to use vendor portal particularly suited for the media industry and at the same time fully inside SAP. Invenio was given the challenge to make it work across the globe, with country specific GAAPs and languages and running this in one instance of SAP, which was delivered exactly as tasked and has now been working for three years in a very stable manner.

We built on the SAP platform requiring no integration and available at a fraction of the cost of the classical solutions, very tightly integrated with budgeting allowing the possibility for a strict enforcement of a ‘no budget, no spend’ policy. Includes easy to follow and maintain workflows to improve compliance in the entire P2P process, with a secure, Web-based tool available on mobile which pushes the responsibility for supplier data and transaction maintenance back to the suppliers in ‘self-service’ mode.

The Invenio P2P solution has now been rolled out into nine countries including four of the biggest territories for UMG: USA, Japan, Germany and France. More than 4,000 internal users are working successfully with the user-friendly solution. Supplier on-boarding has also started and has received enthusiastic response in France, USA etc. The solution will be rolled out to eight more countries in the next year covering over 90% of UMG’s global business.

With all global purchasing data in one place, UMG has better visibility on spending enabling tighter budgetary control and more effective supplier management. Supplier relationships have also improved by providing them with better visibility throughout the process. The administration burden of the P2P process has come down, saving thousands of hours of administrative tasks for the business which can now be utilized better within UMG.

For more details on MESA you can visit their website here

 

Making SAP Easy for the Media Industry

MESAlogo9In this 2 part blog series, Invenio Business Solutions media practice heads sat down with the Media & Entertainment Services Alliance (MESA) to discuss the state of SAP services for the media and entertainment industry, and the success stories of Invenio customers.

MESA discuss how Invenio Business Solutions delivers SAP solutions, services and support for the media industry. Because SAP is all Invenio does — with 75% of its global revenue coming from media customers — the company marks itself as the best in the SAP business.

Interview by Chris Tribby of MESA 

 

MESA: What makes Invenio’s SAP offerings stand out in the media and entertainment space?

Invenio: We’re a 100% SAP consultancy and support practice, with 75% of our global revenue coming from media customers, in the music, publishing, broadcast and advertising space. From SAP Global rollouts to small upgrades projects.

As an SAP media specialist, we really understand the challenges in the media industry — from platform convergence and digitization to shifting market dynamics, IP protection and content distribution. We focus on media as one of our core industries, which ensures best practices and insight, and we’re the proud winners of SAP’s Best Partner Award for Innovation in the media space.

We have a diverse and growing media customer base with outstanding referenceability, and our experience includes award-winning projects e.g. Best SAP Partner Implementation for our ground-breaking work at Indian Web portal Rediff.com.

Our long and distinguished list of media clients includes Star and Fox TV, Random House (a subsidiary of Bertelsmann AG), Universal Music, Eros International, Star News and Fortune Magazine, Times of India, and Rediff.com – global providers of online news and information. This wealth of industry experience helps us address many complex and diverse challenges facing the media industry. And we underpin it all with a technology practice that offers in-depth solutions expertise and service excellence.

We also understand that any media company needs a host of specialized technical solutions to work alongside SAP solution. So we also offer Enterprise Architecture Integration services to seamlessly connect various systems.

MESA: What was the reason for Invenio’s beginning, what gap in the market did the company see that needed to be filled?

Invenio: The reason for Invenio’s formation was based on customer satisfaction, the only focus. Keep the customer satisfied and be transparent when it comes to pricing.

We observed a gap in IT partners which specialize in media domain and provide SAP services. The choice available for customers was to deal with the ‘big 4 or 5’ from the industry or choose specialist company which does not necessarily have SAP expertise.

Customer focus is in the DNA of Invenio. We always strive to give unparalleled services to our customers. We are also absolutely transparent with our customers, starting from the commercial rates. In an industry which, unfortunately, has become notoriously infamous for a “get away with as much as you can’ attitude,” we provide a breath of fresh air with our honesty and transparency.

Keep an eye out for part 2 of the blog next week.

Flying the Flag for SAP at eWorld Purchasing & Supply 2014!


eworldeventInvenio are excited to announce their participation at the next instalment of the eWorld event on September 24, 2014 at the QEII conference centre, London. eWorld is the UK’s leading event that focuses on technologies from the procurement and supply chain functions. eWorld is inspired by new insights and technologies on an international level.

With more than 30 seminars, the event provides delegates with keynotes, focused briefings, case studies and networking sessions designed to provide high level content for senior purchasing and supply executives.

Covering topics on:

  • Trends and market conditions
  • Sustainable procurement strategies
  • Improving collaboration across an enterprise
  • e-invoicing and procure to pay

plus more….. This is the first time Invenio are sponsoring and attending eWorld, after the great response we received at SAPPHIRE NOW for our Invenio’s P2P Solutions Procure to Pay tool, we felt it was time to really showcase our unique SAP technology to a focused procurement and supply chain audience.
Kedar1Kedar Patwardhan,
Account Director at Invenio has been invited to speak at the eWorld event. In his presentation, Kedar will discuss the challenges faced by organisations in today’s tough economic environment. Organisations continue to struggle on, trying to find opportunities to control their external spend.

Kedar will tell listeners how companies using SAP can dramatically reduce administrative expenditure by as much as 50% by shifting their suppliers to a self-service model with Invenio’s unique Procure to Pay solution built on SAP itself, thus leveraging the full benefits of an SAP integration. SAP’s scalability means Invenio’s P2P Solutions P2P can accommodate thousands of internal purchasers, manage limitless projects and effect multi-level payment authorisations. It can be accessed through the portal 24/7 by thousands of suppliers worldwide. All this, combined with inbuilt multi-currency and multi-language capabilities, means a one-stop global solution that manages the entire purchasing needs of an international operation. This is going to be a truly jam packed day. Other highlights at e-World include:

  • A fresh perspective on the latest trends from industry experts
  • The opportunity to hear about new developments from all the major technology providers
  • Learn from the experiences of other end-users
  • Share knowledge with your peers throughout the day
  • See the latest technology innovations in action

 

Sapphire Now and ASUG Annual Conference 3-5 June, Orlando, Florida

We invite you to be part of our group at Sapphire Now and ASUG Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida from 3 – 5 June 2014, stand 1807.

Picture11

 

Get the latest technological vision, actionable insights you need to drive profitability and growth, and influence future SAP offerings at this 3 day action packed event.

Join senior executives, line of business and IT decision makers and business managers from across all process, technology, and industry areas.

  • Meet current business challenges and gain efficiencies
  • Learn from others who have integrated the same SAP solutions
  • Get the most out of your SAP investment
  • Make connections
  • See technology in action
  • Gain a rapid and significant return on investment
  • Enable future growth strategies and maintain a competitive
  • Shape the future of SAP solutions and services
  • Experience faster software implementation without disruption

This event is not to be missed so register now! the full programme can be seen here, take a look at this action packed event.

Do you know of others who would be interested in such a fast paced and interactive event? Don’t hesitate to pass this on.

Let’s keep up to date and make progress and cost savings happen! We look forward to welcoming you in Orlando from the 3-5 June.

Warm regards,

Christine Cockerton
Marketing Manager

Digital First for the Financial Times

Financial data analyzing. Close-up photo of a businesswoman's hand writing and counting on calculator in office. Selective focus

An important landmark took place at the Financial Times last month, with a recent memo to staff declaring that the FT is now ready to launch their “Digital First” strategy. In simple terms, this will mean a restructure of the journalism team and the overall operations to enable the FT to transistion from a traditional “print first” focus, towards the faster paced, digital media arena.

The subscription business model at the FT was first introduced with some apprehension – and many critics believed the model would surely fail. The FT produced its first paywall in 2001 and although they experienced an initial dip in online visitors, the revenues have grown steadily – reaching a total of £216m in the first six months of 2012. This figure represents underlying year-on-year growth of 7%. It appears that the need for instant, accessible news stories – on the go – is indeed a market that can be capitalised on, and it is one on which the FT are prepared to focus on for their future growth and expansion strategies.

Can other media giants replicate the Financial Times strategy?

As many market commentators rightly point out, the FT is a very niche media player, whereas the current online news leaders that include the likes of The Daily Mail and The Guardian carry more popularist news stories. This will make differentiation a far more difficult task. Another consideration is whether the Heads of these news publishing companies are prepared for the possibility of a steep decline in online readership which may in turn see advertisers move their ad budgets to those titles boasting a larger share of the online audience.

A “digital first” strategy also requires a strong focus on growing and managing an online subscriber base. Within that strategy news publishers need to think carefully about how to maximise revenues from a much reduced audience. Factors that must be considered include:

  1. How to segregate content – would a reader need to sign up per content area such as sports or female content or have a “one size fits all” model?
  2. How to segment an audience based on diffent consumption habits that suits their lifestyle and interests.
  3. How to deliver premium content that delivers value over and above “the free journalism” offered by competitors.
  4. How to leverage subscription data to maximise revenues, and capitalise on readership trends and audience behaviour.

To help support emerging digital models, a good technology platform is essential – and SAP have been at the forefront of delivering a range of both traditional and digital media solutions for many years. SAP offers a diverse solution portfolio which is specifically designed to help drive revenue and strengthen loyalty by improving digital service capabilities. The result of deploying technologies such as SAP for media is an enhanced ability to deliver the right products and services to the right market – at the right time. With SAP solutions companies can gain a competitive edge with fast, cost-efficient, and targeted paid content, they can deliver and promote cross-media offerings and improve monetisation of their entire rights inventory.

These types of technologies, combined with Invenio’s expertise in the media industry can help news publishers make the most of the opportunities presented by the digital era. Invenio are a SAP Media prefered solution provider, we specialise in delivering cutting-edge SAP solutions that can accelerate and support strategies for a successful multi-platform business model – across multiple asset types. For more details please contact our media team direct.

Online Consumer Privacy. How will it affect the media brands you love?

Advertising and the data that helps drive personalised ad targeting dominates the virtual world. For some, it helps to make online browsing, shopping and searching more relevant. But the number of online users not wanting to be seen, or sold to, is increasing – and that is driving a worrying rise in the number of people who are amending their privacy settings to block unwanted ads or promotions.

As consumers, many of us welcome the opportunity to stop annoying pop-ups and continuous ads being served up on the basis of a search we’ve made some days before. But, from a business perspective, what does ad blocking mean for today’s media companies who rely on advertising revenues to help them make money in today’s digital era? And should media companies be looking at ways to offset a potential decline in ad revenues as the adoption of ad blocking technology grows?

A recent report from PageFair – a technology provider that helps businesses detect site visitors using ad blocking – stated that an average of 22.7% of internet users are now blocking ads – and it’s a number that’s growing at around 43% per year. The report said “[The] high adblocking rate translates directly into revenue loss for advertising-funded web businesses. One typical PageFair client site suffers from 25% adblocking, costing them nearly $500,000 per year. This scale of revenue loss can be fatal. Indeed, several sites that formerly reported data are no longer online”.

The chart below breaks down some of the Pagefair findings into industries that are most affected

adblockingSites that attract more technically advanced audiences such as the gaming and technology industries are particularly affected by this trend. These internet-savvy visitors are more likely to know how to block ads and/or change their security settings which shows in the higher incidence of ad blocking on these sites. As for the news and entertainment industries, their ads are currently being blocked by 16% and 18% of visitors respectively. Should PageFair’s reported growth in adoption prove to be accurate, then these figures are likely to climb significantly during the coming years.

Research from Google Trends also shows that over a number of years the interest in ad blocking has grown at a significant rate

GoogleTrends

 

Although ad blocking may still be in its infancy, these trends do suggest that the number of internet users deploying ad blockers is highly likely to rise in the future. And with new security settings such as the Google keyword blocking coming into force this month, media brands need to be prepared in the event that these trends do ultimately trigger a decline in revenues from the sale of online advertising space.

Is Paid Content the Answer?

One way to mitigate the possible decline in ad revenues is to offer paid and subscription-based media content. Reports around newspaper giants such as The Sun newspaper which has recently erected a paywall on its site have made the headlines in recent months. Although the paywall has resulted in a substantial decline in the paper’s online readership, The Sun’s owners, News UK, still believe that the overall profit to be gained from the paywall will prove to be a winner in the long term. The rationale behind this move is two-fold: build a revenue stream through subscription based sales, and exploit the rich data set that a subscriber’s digital footprint can offer to sell relevant advertising and cross-sell various products and services.

But of course many of us consumers are used to accessing free information – and are loathe to pay money for content that can be found for free elsewhere. If advertising revenues start to decline, News UK’s move may well be prescient in that a paywall will be one of the very few ways in which news publishers can survive online.

How technology can help protect and grow revenues

Protecting and growing revenues in the midst of shifting consumer behaviour is never easy but using technology to support business decision-making can help. Tools such as SAP solutions for the media industry are specifically designed to help companies address these kinds of challenges. They provide a good supporting mechanism in helping media brands overcoming challenges in a dynamic, ever-changing environment.

SAP Business Intelligences solutions can also help to support decision-making around content and content monetisation which can help media companies to:

  • Improve the delivery of relevant premium content based on current consumer demand.
  • Optimise sales by formulating pricing strategies that accommodate different audience segments.
  • Deliver relevant content and offers that help improve subscriber relationships and foster loyalty.
  • Better analyse feedback and behavioural metrics to assess content popularity.
  • Manage complex financial workflow to improve operational efficiencies.
  • Provide highly granular reporting on all content segments for more informed decision-making
  • Communicate up-to-date key performance indicators to relevant parties throughout the business, quickly and efficiently.
  • Better use intelligence to forecast and predict trends thereby helping to identify challenges and opportunities for increased revenues.
  • Visually represent objectives, goals and key performance indicators for improve internal collaboration and confident decision-making.
  • In today’s business climate, a well-designed technology platform can make the world of difference across many areas of your business – allowing you to take decisions with confidence and chart new courses for growth and profitability.

To explore your options in more detail please get in touch with Kedar

Cutting the Cost of Procurement

3 Challenges you need to meet to drive procurement transformation.

Picture1-resized-600In a recent blog post for procurementleaders.com, Tom Linton poses the question: “Can we cut the cost of procurement itself”? Tom writes: “The first point of call for many procurement organisations has been suppliers. The thinking often goes: ‘our hard time is your hard time’, and the upshot is not only several rounds of negotiations, but also a reversion to a familiar stereotype for the function”.

We certainly think Tom’s views have merit and, in a recent blog post, we talked about how technology is a great enabler in helping to reduce costs and drive efficiency across internal procurement administration. Tom’s view was also echoed by a number of Finance and Procurement leaders who contributed their thoughts at Invenio’s recent Thought Leaders Procurement dinner, held in London in September. They too suspected that some of the greatest opportunities may no longer lie in supplier cost reduction but in transforming the way the procurement function itself operates.

But, whilst the desire exists for procurement to change, there are many internal and cultural hurdles that stand in the way. Software solutions like Invenio’s Invenio’s P2P Solutions for SAP can cut millions from the cost of procurement – but these savings can only be realised by redefining the way procurement is managed. And change itself is difficult to manage. Here, for example, are three challenges our customers needed to address on the journey to redefining the way they approach procurement.

1. Resistance to Change

The “we’ve always done it this way…” attitude is something we’ve seen time and time again when it comes procurement transformation. In fact, this attitude can be found not just in procurement – but ANY system change. The first step is to recognise this attitude. The next? To change it… Below are a few specific steps that our customers have taken that have helped lessen the anxiety their people feel about impending change.

PARTICIPATION.
The most important aspect of all is to involve as many affected departments and users as possible – right from the project’s inception. By ensuring there is regular communication and participation in the process, users can feel like they are helping drive change for the greater good. This ensures users don’t become disenfranchised and that they feel more comfortable with impending change. It also gives the users a chance to contribute feedback and ask any questions. Typical tactics we’ve seen work well include drop-in sessions, roundtable discussions and regular email updates.

EDUCATION.office_workers1-resized-600
Educating affected users about the reasons driving transformation (and what they stand to gain from it) can serve to enlighten and inspire users to make changes more easily. Involving the users at the design and testing stages, giving short demos or even opportunities for hands-on experiences during the implementation is a great way of fostering involvement and building enthusiasm.

SET EXPECTATIONS.
By asking too much of users, you may find that they become overwhelmed with the additional workload, thereby making them more resistant to incoming changes. Make sure expectations are realistic and goals are achievable to help keep the users on side.

2. Board Level Clout

Research tells us that one of the most common challenges facing the procurement department is in gaining support for change from Board Level Executives. Many CPOs believe procurement functions are simply not seen as a value-added function by these executives and that they are therefore less likely to invest the time and money needed to drive change. A recent Proxima study showed that the overwhelming majority of CPOs do not have a seat on the Board –with some 46% reporting to the COO and another 52% either directly to the CFO, or even a level below. To successfully drive transformational change needs the buy-in of the Board. Therefore Procurement Executives who are proposing changes must be equipped with a sound business case that helps them demonstrate how they can cut costs, improve efficiencies and deliver tangible savings to the bottom line. In addition, as the project takes shape, the procurement function must be able to rely on the Board to help them drive through changes. Again, this requires a sound business case and strong executive sponsorship.

3. Tackling Organisational Complexity

As a company grows so does process complexity. And redefining process takes a lot of time and energy. Procurement in particular touches many parts of the organisation and so redefining a procurement strategy will often highlight many complex processes that require a major rethink. Driving through the changes necessary to eradicate this complexity and fix processes can be a challenge for even the most forward-thinking business executives.

But tackling this organisational complexity head-on can have very positive effects on the organisation as a whole. For example, research carried out by The European Business Review shows that most organisations have evolved to be too complex. This prevents people in these organisations from focusing on the important things, performing key activities efficiently, or making important decisions fast enough. One of the particular issues they highlight is the difficulties in making operational expenditure decisions. The report states “too many layers of management was a common complaint, highlighted as a major driver of additional, costly (non value-adding) complexity”. By tackling the complexity issue at source, procurement executives can bring real benefits to all those who are encumbered by these difficulties.

Simply being aware of these challenges can help mitigate many of the difficulties in the journey to greater procurement efficiency. Invenio’s P2P Solutions can deliver real benefits right across an organisation – from massively reduced costs, to increased process efficiency and greater insight into global spend. It’s clear from our customers that the benefits to be gained from implementation far outweigh the challenges.

If you’d like to learn more please email info@invenio-solutions.com or call our SAP Advisory Team on +44 (0)330 440 1800.