One of the best things a company can do for itself is to hire a Coupa consultant to help them manage their investment. Although there are countless companies that would rather go it alone and skip the consultation when it comes to something as important as managing procurement, the best way to get the most out of the platform is to have somebody that understands it, train you how to use it.
Table of Contents
What is Coupa?
The world is becoming more and more technological every day. Even as you read this there are advances in technology that are surpassing what they were 20 minutes ago. This thing is moving fast, and the best way to keep up with it is to ride it like a bull.
Coupa is a platform that was developed by some engineers that want to change the world. Where businesses used to maintain and manage the way that they procured things with written notes, hard files, and telephones they can now do all of the processes by using a digital platform.
Coupa is a software program that is hosted in a digital cloud that can allow businesses to maintain and manage all aspects of their source-to-pay procedure.
The platform is based on SaaS, which is an acronym for software as a service. The company, Coupa, allows users to rent the software platform as a service. Where the actual software is housed in the cloud, software apps can be installed into machines that allow users to log in and use different functions of the platform.
- Procurement management
- Smart source-to-pay solutions
- Contract management
- Precision sourcing
This powerful application can connect businesses on a global level with sources, other businesses, and each other just as easily as jumping on the computer or whatever device that is used.
The Need for a Coupa Consultant
It is important to keep in mind that Coupa takes care of the clients that use their software. However, can be necessary to get the help of a consultant when it comes to introducing the application to the company and dialing it in so that you get the most that you can out of the investment. Learning how to use the platform correctly can be the difference between a smooth running operation, and an operation full of problems and setbacks.
When it comes to setting the proper parameters and entering the specific details of the needs of the company, it takes a seasoned professional to lead the way towards a successful endeavor.
For example, one of the most powerful assets of the Coupa platform is the ability that it has to match businesses up with perfect sources. In addition to the sources being a match for the needs of the company, the search can be set up with a filter that shows the best prices and the best deals.
When it comes time to tell the platform what to search for and how to differentiate the good candidates from the bad it takes a seasoned professional to see where to put information for creating optimal queries.
The difference in time that it takes a seasoned pro to set up parameters and an optimistic novice that tries to figure out stuff as they move through the process could be anywhere from days to months.
Although the owner of a company is more than likely an expert at what the company does, when it comes to an altogether different and new implementation of a software platform as sophisticated as Coupa it is not uncommon for even the smartest of people to ask for guidance when they are learning it.
Automation of Integral Processes
Another great function that Coupa has to offer is that it provides a solution for automating critical business processes that would otherwise tend to take an overwhelming amount of time and resources to be accomplished month after month and cycle after cycle.
Although it would be just about impossible to automate the entire source-to-pay process, with the help of the Coupa platform many of the steps within the process can be done without any human help unless there is an issue.
We mentioned above that the platform allows businesses to locate and connect with quality sources around the world, but in addition to that the platform can set up and manage any and all contracts that go with each supplier.
For example, if you establish a deal with a source that states if you purchase and pay for a certain item before an established time in the month that you get a 5% discount the application will make sure that, not only do you buy the item within the time frame but also that the vendor keeps their part of the bargain.
Instead of countless hours being spent by the procurement department to keep up with the ever-changing dynamics of contracts and business needs, the application can be configured to keep track of every contract and send alerts as changes arise.
One of the more difficult tasks during the implementation of the application is configuring the details of the automated functions. The safest and most productive way to get the upper hand on the automation fundamentals of the platform is to have it set up by somebody that knows what they are doing so that they can show the company how to do it right the first time.
Experts in Both Fields
Since the Coupa platform was designed with creating optimal procurement practices in mind, any reputable consultant for the platform will be an expert at procurement and the science behind it as well.
Since the consultant will be knowledgeable both in regards to the software platform and procurement they will be able to use their expertise in a way that will be most beneficial to the company.
It is no secret that just because every big business has a procurement process, does not mean that they all operate the same way. Where the business owner or the procurement department will be familiar with the way that the department operates, the consultant will know how procurement works as a whole. What this means is that the consultant will have to work with the experts of that company in order to understand how to best suit that company’s needs.
Procurement in general has a whole different meaning than the procurement process of a specific company. Where one company may order ten thousand graphite pencils a month, the other company may order a million brad nails. Each company will have its own set of unique characteristics, so when the consultant comes in to help with procurement they can use their general knowledge of procurement mixed with their knowledge of the Coupa platform and add the company’s personal elements into the equation so that the company has a system that is impeccable and unstoppable.
Saving Time and Money
One of the issues that people have with hiring consultants to help them with business is that they cost too much money. This would be a valid argument if companies didn’t lose so much money by implementing an expensive software platform that they use incorrectly. Aside from the amount of time it would take the average smart person to read the documentation for the software, search Google and Youtube for answers on how to make actions work, and find out that the videos had it wrong so they have to go back and do it all over again, the money that would be lost from not having the right parameters set could end up being several times the amount that it would take to simply hire a consultant. In the end, hiring help costs much less than trying to figure things out on your own.