Table of Contents
What is IT Procurement?
IT procurement is a range of necessary activities and processes to obtain IT products and services. It is a combination of administrative and strategic responsibilities.
IT procurements consist of management and conception of RFQs –request for quotations, RFI-request for information,RFP- request for proposals and managing supplier relations.
The daily tasks of an IT procurement professional comprises of market research, establishing terms and conditions for services, negotiating pricing and resolving invoice discrepancies. They also have to constantly update the status of purchases with internal customers.
How To Manage Technology Procurement?
The strategies that you implement to manage your technology procurement procedure will help you to figure out if you have utilised the right equipment to reach your business goals.
One way to meet your business objectives is by successfully managing the technology procurement process. This is one of the most crucial aspects of business, which is often overlooked in most workplaces.
By selecting the correct procurement process, it ensures that you invest in the right resources, which will ultimately result in business growth and expansion. Look to invest in a technology that helps you to meet future expectations and requirements.
Discussed below are 5 easy steps by which you can manage your technology procurement process:
Planning plays an integral part of all activities performed for business. This may be a time consuming and lengthy part of the process but its significance can’t be ignored. It actually helps you to define your requirements in accordance with your actual business goals.
Keep in mind that your goals and strategies for the coming years can determine what type of equipment you will need to minimise your workload. Moreover, the equipment must ensure that you accomplish your business goal with minimum resources and in time.
You can either set up an in-house department or opt for managed IT services. By outsourcing to an external firm, you can rely on their team of experts who will be able to understand your business needs precisely and thereupon suggest tailored solutions to achieve your main goal.
Planning an appropriate workflow management and arranging for IT equipment, office equipment and IT infrastructure will motivate you to focus on your goals by eliminating all kinds of distractions.
In-depth research in advance about your competitors’ activities and use of technology will help you to stand out of the clutter.
STEP#2: Identifying suppliers
It’s likely that you have a list of suppliers in mind already. You may be biased towards certain supplier’s due to prior experience. However, it is essential to compare your requirements with your supplier’s inventory. This will help you to analyse whether you can obtain everything from one particular source or whether you need to target various sources for the procurement process.
It is believed that experts with a versatile working background can suggest an optimal solution for your business. For instance, an IT services company who has worked with several mid-sized, small and MNCs can guide you at different phases, as they possess the required expertise to understand your needs and offer bespoke solutions.
STEP#3: Proposal Process
Once you determine a number of key suppliers, you should submit a request for proposals (RFPs) or quotes depending on your requirements. Once you have accumulated all suitable proposals, you can compare them based on their services and net value.
It is wise to select suppliers depending on varied proposals you receive and those who closely identify your needs.
STEP#4: Negotiation with suppliers
It is important to negotiate to obtain the best services within your set budget. You can be choosy with certain factors in the agreement, such as proportion of timing, length of contract, level of service and can customise services as per your needs. It is important to alter it as per your technology procurement budget.
Before you finalise a proposal, you can also get a second opinion from your experienced employees. They will be familiar with the requirements of your business and what characteristics they expect in the near future. This will help you to negotiate a fair deal.
After the deal has been agreed and a contract signed, the implementation process begins. It is important to keep track of all expenses and whether the supplier is fulfilling their role as mentioned in the contract.
You also have to check that the new equipment is functioning properly and in an effective manner for a couple of weeks. This mainly depends on the complexity of your set up, different components associated with it and the number of suppliers. You also have to make note of how well the new equipment is functioning along with your existing infrastructure.
Setting up a concrete process for managing your technology procurement process is not an instant task, but a gradual one. Once you have a process in place, all your efforts and time will feel worthwhile.
The procurement process may vary as per the organisation’s size, product and services they offer. The nature of an organisation also plays a vital role and has an impact on procurement.
For instance, if you are looking for an in-depth process of IT procurement, it is likely to differ from the process mentioned above. There might be several sub-divisional processes in order to simplify the entire procedure. Many firms include deployment processes in their procurement services.
The Deployment Process
This particular process tracks the life cycle of individual procurement. It lays out important details from the requirement stage to the determination to acquisition of the product or service.
There are various key areas such as design, efficiency, assessment, measurement and evaluation, internal and external relationships where IT procurement may cause trouble. This trouble can be avoided if you have a team of professionals to lead you.
Asset management and quality management are an integral part of the procurement process. The former helps to trace as well as control inventory, while the latter assures continuous improvement in the process.
Lastly, procurement process is quite time consuming and requires constant efforts to evaluate and draw effective conclusions.