eProcurement Software is Much More than Just a Pretty (Inter)face

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Today, practically every tech product includes the phrase “simple, easy, intuitive user interface” as part of the feature description. It’s such a common part of our zeitgeist, it’s usually ignored, but in the world of eProcurement and eSourcing software solutions, the user interface is a critical feature to consider.

It’s not just Window Dressing

A critical eProcurement success measurement is the percentage of spend under management (spend being purchased through your shopping solution). Increasing your managed spend directly results in reduced costs, higher contract compliance, and more control over purchasing.

If your eProcurement software is simple and straightforward, your users are more likely to ease into adopting it. Conversely, a clunky, complicated user interface makes it harder to convince people to use it and lowers user adoption.

Et tu, Online Megastore?

An ironic eProcurement software twist is that many of your best supplier partners are actually competing with you for purchases. Office supply giants, electronics warehouses, construction materials suppliers, and software distributors; each has invested millions of dollars and years of development to make things easy for shoppers.

If your eProcurement software is difficult to use or lacks critical functionality (like full searches and easy tracking of approval and order status), then users will simply order what they need directly off the suppliers’ web sites, bypassing your carefully negotiated prices.

Easy as 1,2,3

By now we have (we hope) persuaded you that the user interface matters in eProcurement software. But can you tell if your UI is friend or foe? Here are three questions to ask yourself:

  1. Does it adhere to eCommerce best practices?
  2. Will all your users find it easy to navigate regardless of their tech expertise?
  3. Can users find critical answers on their own without calling you or IT?

Ensuring that an eProcurement software UI will encourage usage, not discourage it, should be at the top of your priority list.

What are your pet peeves when it comes to software user interfaces? Let us know on Twitter.

See if JAGGAER’s eProcurement software, Spend Director, has the right user interface for your business.

 

Chris Farrell is the Senior Director of Product Marketing at JAGGAER.

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