As more and more companies have moved their Source to Pay process to the cloud the notion of switching vendors has become a much less daunting task then it was moving from one installed provider to another. Indulge me if you will by thinking of a move from one provider to another as a home renovation project.
As with any home renovation project your expectation is that you are going to wind up with a better home at the end. The same should be true for a move from one provider to another. You should expect a serious upgrade at the end of your source to pay process renovation. Please consider the following when making the move and continue to indulge me as I continue to use the home renovation metaphor (and yes I have done a few home renovations).
1. Don’t move your foundation
Over the years you built a solid foundation with your initial provider. You have built some great sourcing templates and process workflows and business processes. When you move from one provider to another you should expect that your foundation is moved over. Only work with a provider who has experience in keeping your foundation in place. Only a few know how to move over your foundation so find one with a migration toolkit that can do this for you.
2. Get rid of the junk in the closet
When switching provider think about that beautiful antique fireplace that you want to keep but also think about all the old junk you have that you no longer want. These migrations give you a chance to keep the importance stuff but either fully get rid of or at least archive the stuff that is creating clutter in your program. Better providers can help you retain and declutter at the same time.
3. Don’t overpay for the renovation
There is a myth that in order to keep your foundation and get all the modern upgrades that you have to pay a lot for that. The truth of the matter is that bringing over a solid foundation and data is a time savings for the new vendor in that they don’t have to start from the ground up and build your business process. If you are being told that a move from one vendor to another is an incremental cost over a fresh deployment you should reconsider your options.
4. Don’t completely rebuild your house the same way
Typically, there are elements of your old house that you don’t like any longer. When you do the renovation, don’t bring over the parts you grew tired of. This renovation is an opportunity to re-think your business processes that were established many years ago and think about what makes sense in our more digital environment. Please don’t bring everything over as is for the sake of simplicity. Take the time to modernize your process.
5. A renovation should not take that long
I have heard prospects tell me that they are being quoted a year to do a full migration because they take longer than a starting from scratch. This should not be the case. The renovation of a Source to Pay process solution should be shorter than starting from scratch. In my option it should be 50% faster than starting from scratch. If you are being told longer ask your provider how many of these migrations they have actually performed. Get migration references.
6. Don’t forget to warn your residents and neighbors
Yes, these people will be impacted by this renovation. That means you have to think about your suppliers (and how to keep supplier satisfaction high and strong)! Many of the better tools will bring over all the supplier data as well but the reality is that for some of them they will be using a new tool for the first time. Find a positive message to deliver to them. In most cases the best message is that they won’t have any fees in the home. Since many companies are fleeing the providers that are charging and switching to those that are not charging the message is very positive with them.
7. Host a housewarming party at the completion of the renovation
Think of the completion of the renovation as a rebirth of sorts. Make a big splash that you have built yourself a beautiful new Source to Pay process solution with all the modern bells and whistles. Deliver to your organization and your supplier community the message that you have taken all the positive steps to modernize your solution and your look forward to better results and a better user experience.
A home renovation is never easy but with the modern migration tool kits that are out there and companies with the skill and know-how to do these easily they are not the mess they were just a mere five years ago. As Sourcing professionals, we owe it to our organization to regularly investigate the cost for a migration and understand the benefits. Many of us are being forced to renovate because our provider is no longer supporting behind the firewall or has shut their doors or has been sold. Others are doing the renovation because their house/solution has grown old and tired. Regardless of the reason, consider the above when making a move.