B2B buyers are wasting time and money with their technology picks

B2B buyers are wasting time and money with their technology picks

Vendors and buyers need to better align capabilities and needs when it comes to technology, a new survey says.

Are North American companies wasting $1.4 billion on sourcing and procurement technologies?  Many users of the technologies think so, according to a recent survey from technology and strategy consultancy Topline Strategy Group.

More than 25% of respondents say such systems don’t make them any more productive and may even make them less productive; 47% take a more neutral view, saying the technologies do make them more productive but could be better. Only 28% of survey participants say their sourcing and procurement technologies make them much more productive.

These statistics show that about 72% of users are dissatisfied in some way with the programs that they use. The most common complaint, cited by 54% of underwhelmed or dissatisfied users, is that the systems are not user-friendly, and require them to invest too much time to accomplish tasks. 45% say systems lack critical features that then require manual workarounds, and 40% cite poor reporting tools.

Topline Strategy Group says that if systems better matched users’ needs, sourcing and procurement professionals would have an average of about 3.2 hours more per week available to work on other tasks. 68% of survey participants say they’d invest the hours freed by not having to struggle with systems to find new savings opportunities, and 36% say they’d use the time to save money by helping B2B purchasers make better buying choices.

The report does not say systems are necessarily at fault, but that companies may not be doing the best job picking the technology that meets their needs. In evaluating systems, Topline Strategy Group suggests businesses first identify the processes and functions that will drive the greatest increases in productivity, and if vendor products can’t support those, eliminate them from consideration. The company also suggests vendors provide users training on how to use the programs.

More than 240 sourcing and procurement professionals at companies with more than $500 million in annual revenue took the survey.

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