The e-Sourcing Workshop by Jim Kelly (of JVKG ) turned out to be brilliant (check out the photos above).Here was someone who had worked for many years in procurement and was able to bring out the practicalities of technology adoption in the automation of requisition to procure and pay in a variety of industries.
Later, I had a quick discussion with Jim about how B2B research looks at the e-procurement problem. B2B researchers look at buy tasks as a new task or modified re-buy or straight re-buy with major implications for B2B marketers. Similarly, procurement folks, being key members of buying centers have an urgent need to convert products and services to "straight rebuys" that allows the buying process to really reach out globally for suppliers. And naturally, it is far more easier on e-procurement when requirements are standardized.
A great insight from Jim’s talk was, for me, a better understanding of the nature of the organizational e-procurement process. Consider a three year contract that is negotiated using an e-procurement system. The buyer who works on the system would typically move out of her/his role in three years when time comes to put out an RFP for the new contract. Institutional knowledge of the RFP process for the commodity in question is lost and the new buyer has to start all over again.