Many buyers think their job is done as soon as the agreement is signed, but without a proper handover to the post-procurement activity, serious problems can occur in the customer vendor relationship. Project Management software goes a long way in alleviating these issues.
Throughout the buying process, the vendor will be creating expectations in the mind of the customer. These will greatly influence the customer experience when delivery and use occurs. This applies more so to CAPEX Project Management as it tends to be more complex.
Part of the handover process from buying to post-sales is a detailed understanding of what has been purchased by the customer but, especially, what else has been promised or can be expected based on representations from sales and pre-sales activities.
Often the salesperson will embellish the product or services purchased to get the sale. This then creates a serious problem for post-sales who somehow have to live with unrealistic expectations or reset the customer’s expectations.
Either way, the result is not going to be a happy one for the vendor and the customer.
Since this is not uncommon, part of the sale process needs to be documentation of what the customer has purchased and what they expect. This needs to be checked by sales management and, perhaps, by post-sales management to ensure that expectations can be met.
Once the sale moves into post-sale, a system also needs to track the sale or project through its various stages to ensure that expectations are fully met. In many cases this will be a process of product delivery and receipt confirmation. At other times, there could be an extensive services and product delivery project with multiple stages.
The key to customer satisfaction is for all parties to understand what is expected and how and when delivery will occur. The project needs to be tracked through its various stages to ensure that each stage is properly managed and signed off by the customer.
Problems which occur in the post-procurement period that can be tracked back to failures of the sales/procurement process should be used to refine the process as well as provide data to evaluate individual vendor performance. This is where many Project Management Software solutions fail, as they operate independently and only become involved in the process after contract awarding. iSpec is an Integrated Project Management Software solution that integrates specification management, sourcing and project management into a seamless process thereby avoiding this dilemma.
Standardising the process of specification and evaluation is paramount to improving the procurement process for technology projects. iSpec’s Master Library is the ideal tool for standardising and continuously improving these processes and specifications.
The practice of including the various project management principles as mentioned in the technology section earlier in each project/tender ensures that projects have a much higher probability of success and on-time delivery.