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F.A.Q.

 

Getting
Started

Is this the same DecisionDirector we used a few year ago?

We have completely reinvented DecisionDirector from the ground up, and the result is a much more powerful platform that delivers many new capabilities that our customers and partners have requested.

What’s new?

  • Self-Service. You can create, configure, and run your own projects – and with a subscription you can create as many as you like. (Of course, we’ll help you every step of the way…)
  • Re-Usable Content. You can build and maintain your own library of re-usable documents to ensure that all projects incorporate your latest standards – requirements, terms and conditions, assessments, accessibility and IT questionnaires – the list is endless.
  • Unlimited Application. You can conduct a wide array of projects, ranging from technology and services planning and acquisition to business process review to opportunity planning and prioritization. (We are still tops at ERP planning and selection, but now DecisionDirector does so much more…)
  • Completely Paperless RFx. You can run even your most complex RFPs, RFIs, ITNs, et cetera, completely on-line. Or partially on-line if your procurement policies require some paper…
  • Shareable Resources. No more reinventing the wheel. You can now share the resources you create – project content and configurations – with your peers. And they can share theirs with you.

These are just a few of the new capabilities that DecisionDirector provides. Contact us to see how DecisionDirector can help you.

 

We have an e-Procurement system. How is DecisionDirector different?

First of all, congratulations on that major step toward cost savings and spend control. Most organizations implement an e-Procurement / Procure-to-Pay solution as the cornerstone of their procurement optimization strategy. Catalog-based purchasing with automated settlement is a proven great place to start.

Further, sourcing support for non-cataloged goods and services has become an increasingly popular extension of successful e-Procurement initiatives, with the emphasis on streamlining the bid management process for fairly straightforward procurements.

The focus of DecisionDirector is on complex procurements where there can be a large body of requirements, extensive terms and conditions, numerous documents, and/or a high level of risk, visibility, and spend. Examples of complex procurements include large or complex service agreements or big software systems.

Complex procurements tend to be projects in and of themselves, with many people who will be impacted by the process and the outcome of the procurement. These people, or “stakeholders”, are at the center of the DecisionDirector universe for a simple, but very compelling, reason:  

Stakeholders ultimately determine the success of complex procurements.

The primary difference between e-Procurement systems and DecisionDirector?

DecisionDirector empowers procurement teams to invite and involve stakeholders in collaborative planning and evaluation activities throughout the procurement project.  

This involvement, or “engagement”, of stakeholders provides a level of transparency and clarity to the project that translates into stakeholder confidence, buy-in and, ultimately, ownership of the procurement outcome. In addition to reducing overall project risk, this also translates into better requirements and more effective evaluations of vendors. And that means that you pay for what you need and not necessarily all that some self-interested vendor may hope to sell you.

There are other differences, too. DecisionDirector supports line-item response collections for RFPs, RFIs, or RFx’s with no limitation on size, volume, or complexity. DecisionDirector also provides powerful document creation and sharing capabilities that allow our clients and consulting partners to capture and leverage knowledge and know-how to make current and future procurement projects faster, easier, and provide a better outcome.

And, where e-Procurement tends to be a “Procure-to-Pay” solution, DecisionDirector is a “Plan-to-Procure” platform. We have been doing this since 1997 (and, in fact, we happily own the registered trademark “Plan-to-Procure”.)

 

How else is DecisionDirector different from an e-Procurement system?

DecisionDirector can be brought in to support planning and procurement initiatives on a project-by-project basis. There is nothing to install, and project set-up is easy, so you can begin to use it right away.

 

Can we use DecisionDirector in conjunction with our e-Procurement system?

Absolutely, yes. Most of our clients do exactly that. For those clients with both systems, DecisionDirector is used for stakeholder engagement and line-item bid response collection and evaluation, while the e-Procurement platform is used to manage the bid event.

The image below illustrates the basic idea. Click on the image to see the full presentation.

eprocure presentation

What do you mean by "leverage complexity to create enduring value"?

Complexity in a procurement project may reflect, for example:

  • The volume and nature of requirements
  • The number and types of supporting documents, and
  • The number and locations of project stakeholders whose productivity and satisfaction will be impacted by the result of the procurement.

Any one of these factors will make the planning phase of a complex procurement difficult, time-consuming, and expensive. Two or more of these factors combined add greatly to the challenge.

All too often, important procurement projects are driven by financial or operational urgencies, leading project teams to succumb to complexity by cutting down or generalizing the requirements, doing the best they can in the time they have with the necessary documents, and limiting dialogue and input to the smallest possible group of stakeholders.

This strategy of cutting corners may seem to work if there is an urgency to “get the RFP out the door”, but it sows the seeds of greater risk to the project:

  • A poor choice of vendor or solution.
  • Unhappy, alienated, and even distressed stakeholders.
  • Cost overruns. Delayed deliverables. Failed projects.
  • And the bigger and more high-profile the project, the greater the risk of substantial adverse impact to the enterprise and, perhaps, careers.

We believe that complexity in procurement, like a judo opponent’s body weight and momentum, can be used to great advantage by leaders, and that is why we created DecisionDirector.

Our clients have found that if you surround complexity with a great team, a sound process, and a commitment to engage your stakeholders, everyone wins. Our clients found that if they placed no artificial limits on the number of requirements or the active involvement of those stakeholders who stand behind them, their projects were successful, their stakeholders were fully bought-in and fully prepared to support the effort needed to get to the end result, and they negotiated better agreements for both themselves and their providers.

What if you could reach out to involve all of your project stakeholders to easily and effectively provide useful input to the business case as well as the plan, and to ensure completeness and accuracy of requirements and their priorities?

What is the value to your project, your team, your stakeholders, and you, if you could say “We will invite all stakeholders, we will consider all perspectives and all requirements, and we will get this right from the beginning.”?