When You Should Hire a Coupa Consultant
There are plenty of reasons why a company would benefit from hiring a Coupa consultant to come in and help them with their implementation. The question is when should the company hire that consultant? At what point in the process of a Coupa implementation would be the ideal time for a professional to come in and help?
The answer is simple: If you haven’t hired one yet, do it now.
Staying Ahead of the Game
Realistically speaking, the best time to hire a consultant to help with anything that requires professional assistance is yesterday. Before you even take the first step to use Coupa as a solution it is a good idea to get the advice of a seasoned pro before you get your hands dirty.
From the very moment that you contemplate putting Coupa to work in your business, get a consultant.
One of the biggest mistakes companies make is that they install the platform and go on about their daily lives as if nothing was wrong then end up losing out on countless dollars because the implementation was not done correctly in the first place. Where the company was spending $300 a pop for a particular item, they could have been getting it for $150 the whole time.
Once the platform is up and running, and installed on the network, it takes more work to go back in and change mistakes than it does to get things set up the right way the first time.
Problems That Businesses Run Into
Not to say that businesses are problematic, but that they do – in fact – run into problems at one point or another. Sometimes they are small problems that are no more than frustrating, but at others, they are problems that actually threaten the structure of the entire business.
When it comes to the implementation of an application as sophisticated and powerful as Coupa there is a lot of room for error, in addition to some very squirrely learning curves. When a business that has been doing things the same ways for decades suddenly changes from an old-fashioned way of business to a digital one…things can get a bit tricky.
- Employees are unfamiliar with the platform
- Business associates are not on board
- Communication changes
- People are shell shocked by the change
In addition to the newness of the application if the software is set up in a way that is not beneficial for the needs of the company the entire point behind investing in this software will be nullified because the loss of revenue will be in action before the application ever has a chance to work.
Understanding Business and Technology
Of course, the people that run the business that has invested in Coupa know exactly how to run their own business. However, most of the time when that company installs Coupa nobody knows how to use it, including the person that chose to implement it. This is entirely OK. In fact, it happens in most cases of implementation.
What a consultant can bring to the table is a plethora of knowledge in regards to both the software platform and the procurement process. Although each and every business will have its very own characteristics that make it unique, a consultant will be able to use those characteristics during the initial implementation of the platform to dial in a perfectly-administered program for the business to grow on.
Because the consultant has extensive knowledge in the realm of procurement and understands how it all works they will be able to program the platform much more efficiently than if a person was to stumble around the process while using limited knowledge to guess what is the right way to administer the program.
The earlier in the process that the implementation is guided by an expert, the better off the entire operation will be from start to finish.
Why It’s Important To Start Early
When it comes to completely changing the entire structure of the business by implementing a platform that will affect everything within the company it is best to start by building a strong foundation for the implementation to stand on.
Since Coupa will be the new way that the company sources and procures everything it is important to gently blend the existing structure into the digital one in a way that is both effective and efficient. Only a skilled professional will understand how delicate it is to transform a company from the analog platform they are currently using to the digital one that Coupa provides.
No more endless phone calls and Google searches in an attempt to solidify as many solid sources as possible. The software has the potential to locate and secure the most beneficial sources for the needs of the company. This will include options for buying products and services at reduced rates and locking in contracts to keep those rates low for years to come. The possibilities are pretty much endless. The best way to get the most out of every function of the platform as soon as possible is to have an expert help structure the way that the platform works from the very beginning of the journey.
From Sourcing to Paying
Imagine the type of intelligence that it takes to power an application that assists with the source-to-pay process from the first step to the last. At the very least, a generalized process will consist of:
By creating a platform that can do all of these steps in a manner that is more efficient than a whole team of people, Coupa has changed the way the world works.
At first, the procurement department plans out the entire process from start to finish so that everybody involved has a chance to get a true glimpse at what is going on with the way that the money flows throughout the company.
Some of the best discoveries about where and how to make slight changes to the way money is spent and money is received happen during the planning phase of the process.
One of the key elements of the Coupa platform is that instead of a bunch of people sitting around a desk looking at figures, the platform already has the numbers and recommendations that would best benefit the business right there in a neat little package for all to see.
This only happens correctly if the parameters are set correctly in the first place.
During the sourcing stage of the process whoever is in charge of the procurement department sourcing facilitation will search endlessly for great sources while they juggle contract negotiations and stumble around looking for answers if the sources fail them.
The Coupa platform is equipped with a portal that connects businesses with everything that they need in order to find the best sources for their needs. Here again, the platform must be structured properly in order for this function to be of any value to the company.
The buying stage of the process is when the company gets to go shopping for the goods and services that they need. In old times the company would ruffle through catalog after catalog to make orders. A lot has changed over the years, so most of the sources allow shopping through their websites or portals.
This is also one of the steps that Coupa can handle more efficiently and effectively than just one or two people going online and picking what they need from online stores. If the platform was properly instructed on how to purchase items and who to purchase them from, this entire step can be done without much effort, unless there is some sort of problem with any of the contractual agreements. If the vendor does not honor any of the terms of a contract during the buying process, an alert will be sent to the vendor and the company so that all prices and deals are honored therefore saving money that would have otherwise been overlooked.
During the payment phase of the process, the platform can pay for all of the goods and services without delay or the need for any assistance if it has been set up to do so.
Hire the Consultant Now
If there has ever been a time that you felt it might be a good idea to get help from an expert, just do it. Hire the consultant. The amount of money that you spend on a consultant will be very little compared to the amount you could throw away if your application is not configured correctly. At the end of the day the more profit you gain from investing, the better off the company is. Make an investment that is sure to give you an ample return.