One obstacle that many businesses face is changing the mindset of those that have a “We’ve always done it this way” (It even has an acronym! WHADITW) mentality. As an eSourcing provider we are always looking at ways we can challenge outdated mindsets and find innovative ways to save money especially in a constantly evolving industry such as procurement.
Recently one of my colleague started a Procurious Discussion on “We’ve always done it this way” and asked about others experiences.
- “Working with a WHADITW colleague can be extremely frustrating! Some people are just terrified of change, I guess. Sometimes you can help them work through their fears, but often the people who are most afraid of change...never change.”
- “Many are hesitant to embrace change for processes that are doing just fine. They believe that the risk of things taking the wrong turn is not worth the potential reward of exponential growth, and therefore dismiss the idea immediately.”
- “Having worked in organisations that didn't like change WHADITW, it killed any creativity and innovation and therefore real growth potential to individuals and the organisation. I have also worked in companies that actively challenge WHADITW to seek better ways of doing something. Sometimes the changes worked - other times not so much.”
Below we have highlighted some of the WHADITW mindsets that we have encountered in procurement professionals with regards to eSourcing and our viewpoints:
- “I get the results I want anyhow” - But is your result the best result? If you only ask a limit number of suppliers, how do you know if you have found the market price? Yes, it can take more time, although if you use an electronic tool, then you can scale easily.
- “I can get a much better price in a face to face negotiation” - Perhaps yes, perhaps no, although one thing is for sure, if you want to negotiate face to face with a lot of suppliers, you will have no time left.
- “My way might not be the best but I like it” - Why not examine other ways as you may even like them. Integral to the DNA of procurement is the desire to create further efficiencies and savings. If you aren’t changing for the better, then what will you put on your CV?
- “I have used an eSourcing system before, but I don’t see the benefits?” - eSourcing is similar to any form of technology and over time it develops. One of the founders of Ford was famously told ‘The horse is here to stay, but the automobile is only a novelty.’ However if the technology provides benefits that surpass the cost of adopting the product, then the value of changing is greater than the cost.
- “It will ruin the supplier relationships” - How much do these relationships cost? Also eSourcing has been proven to strengthen the relationships by the very fact that it is much more open and transparent.
- “What I buy is so specific, eSourcing wouldn't work” - eSourcing and eAuctions are just tools to help. There are not any inherent differences in the processes.
- “There’s no driver in the business to do this” - Essentially it isn't mandated. Any change is tough to drive through. However all organisations need to evolve. Change for change's sake it not worth it but every now and again you need to step change to improve. Inefficiencies creep in and better practices are always out there. Also once you have driven forward with change, in a few months you simply won't remember or crave for the old ways.