Program your optimizations yourself – digitize workflows

When the procurement for direct and indirect material has been optimized and the Maverick Buying Rate has reached below 20%, the real work for the purchasing department begins. Over the years, individual processes have been established for a large number of business transactions, some of which are even person-dependent. And mostly so individual that an adaptation of an ERP system to a few special cases is not cost-benefit oriented.

There are three options to further reduce the Maverick Buying Quote

1. Define and thus legitimize procurement processes defined from non-defined special solutions

2. The use of different software solutions for the various special cases

3. Programming workflows yourself

Of course, all three options are always preceded by the most important optimization step: reducing diversity. The last 10% to 20% Maverick Buying is characterized by a diversity of processes and business transactions. Examples are often energy procurement, insurance, administrative needs, services, consulting, agencies, travel or lawyers. All of these business transactions are characterized by a wide variety of responsibilities, a low degree of standardization of services and irregular timing of requirements. And these attributes ensure that mapping them in standard processes in an ERP system is challenging.

For some of these types of requirements there are specialized, very good software solutions (lawyers, agencies or services). Especially for services, an existing catalogue system can be used accordingly. Therefore, it may be advantageous to take a closer look at option 2 for individual requirement types. Option 1 can also be useful. One example is energy. By legitimizing a special process, energy purchasing does not have to be forced into the corset of an ERP solution.

The simplest method for mapping individual processes is certainly workflow builders, or low code platforms. With these, processes can be mapped as interactive workflows without the need for extensive programming skills. An example is a new employee for whom a workstation must be set up, who needs a laptop and an access card for the canteen. To avoid any Maverick Buying, the Facility Management has to take care of the desk (maybe get a used one from the warehouse), the IT has to get the right laptop including rights and software and the new employee gets his ID-card from the security service.

Converted into a process, the contact data and authorizations have to be entered once in a form, the workflow then automatically takes care of the distribution, approvals and notification of completion. The user always sees the status and thus has transparency about the process progress.

Without a low code platform, a specification sheet would have been created, then programming would have taken place, a test scenario would have been run through and at the end there would have been a static system. The cost would certainly have been between 4,000 and 10,000 €. With a little experience, this can now be designed, tested and published internally as a workflow within one day. And after a test phase it can be adapted according to experience.

There are various low code platforms on the market, very often in combination with process modelling possibilities. ADCONIA decided early on to use SIGNAVIO as the software for process modeling and workflow design and offers its customers the correspondingly trained consultants.

Please feel free to contact us.


Oliver Kreienbrink

Managing Director, ADCONIA GmbH