Automating SOW Procurement

Ho Hum, another eProcurement article. Ok I get it, but hear me out. Are you happy with how your SOW expenditure is being procured? I bet the answer is not a resounding Yes! 

There are so many eProcurement and VMS solutions out their claiming to be able to manage the procurement of SOW spend. But in most cases they miss the mark and actually don’t even address the most important part of the SOW itself – the ‘Project Plan’. 

To effectively automate the procurement of SOW, a technology must either integrate with, or actually become the buyers Project Management tool. The project plan is the ‘Holy Grail’ of any SOW. The project plan defines resource requirements, budgets, timelines, acceptance criteria and the qualities that will maker a supplier successful. If a VMS does not manage or incorporate the project plan within the system, then you end up transposing project plans into the system. Not to mention how you handle the most evil of all SOW components - the change order. 

A change order is a common occurrence in SOW’s. If your VMS system does not have the project plan embedded, then executing change orders makes it even more manual, inefficient and fraught with potential errors. You start to question the point of having a system at all.

When looking to manage SOW through a VMS you need to ensure the Project Management Office can use the system to build its projects or at the very least integrate their project tools with the system to create a true closed loop process and system.