At Gen10 we frequently discuss the importance of ensuring your commodity management software has the flexibility to support your business; technology should conform to your business processes, not the other way around.
An important, but often overlooked, part of this flexibility lies in training and implementation. After all, if your people’s first impression of a new CTRM system is being forced to learn rigid processes that don’t reflect how they actually work, then engagement, proficiency and productivity will all suffer.
We start by understanding the business
Businesses that are switching CTRMs often have processes that are designed around how their existing system works, and those without commodity management software have inefficient record-keeping processes to contend with. A new commodity management system can make many of these processes simpler and faster, or may change them entirely.
As part of this Change Management process, it is therefore very important to understand what the business is looking to achieve and work with clients on process improvement. Training teams need to understand these improvements before training begins so they can fully discuss the benefits the changes will bring and engage system users.
And just as importantly, implementations and training need to take into account any processes that will not be changing. Businesses often have good reasons for not wanting to take advantage of all the features a new CTRM system can offer, and it is important to respect this.
For example, many of our clients have fed back how they like having the ability to begin inputting a contract by copying another one with one click. The Gen10 team therefore made this quick feature a core part of their training materials – until one client explained that their policy is to not copy contracts. The team adopted an agile response; they changed their training, created new materials for the client, and gained the opportunity to discuss the other built-in features that can accelerate contract creation instead.
As a result of this discussion, new clients are now shown the 3 main ways new contracts can be set up and offered the choice of where the training emphasis is placed:
- Create contracts entirely from scratch to ensure each field is considered.
- Use the “Copy Contracts” button, which copies certain fields but excludes those most likely to be changed to minimise the risk of errors.
- Contract templates, where the client can create multiple templates defining whether and how each field is pre-populated.
This is on top of many other choices Gen10 clients have in setting up their commodity management system, including changing automated workflows, creating custom document templates that are automatically populated with contract information, and invoice templates for each of your clients. We also work with our clients to create the best training schedule for them, such as onboarding particular teams or geographies first.
Keeping the conversation going
A good training plan will also have the flexibility to adapt as time progresses. We often find that as end users complete training and understand their system better, they find new ways to make it work better for their business. The training and implementation teams therefore need to work closely together, not only so that training reflects the latest client customisation, but also so that the training team can feed back any customisation requirements that arise.
At Gen10, we pride ourselves on providing a truly flexible, integrated commodity management solution that meets the unique needs of each of our clients. But we know that flexible technology needs flexible support. By engaging with clients at every stage of their implementation journey and working with them to adapt both the technology and the training we provide, we are able to ensure clients truly understand the nuances and benefits of their new system and can begin realising its benefits sooner.
With the many technology requirements that need to be discussed as part of a CTRM or commodity management system integration, user training is usually low on the priority list. But people who have been well supported and trained in a way that supports your business objectives will be up and running faster, better able to drive the customisation conversation, and more confident in their usage.
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