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Causeway Technologies # 5 – Alfred McAlpine’s Supplier Roll Out Programme

Causeway Technologies is currently running a programme to roll out Tradex, their e-invoicing presentment (EIP) platform to Alfred McAlpine’s supply chain. Whilst the benefits of products such as Tradex is well documented, running a supply chain roll out is not as easy as one makes it out to be. This is a long drawn out process and need to be implemented in bite size chunks, so that clear progress can be demonstrated. Ideally, you need to start with a clear idea of who your suppliers are. You might think this is a silly statement. I can guarantee you it isn’t. Many organisations operate number of databases with very little idea of how clean their records are. Few steps (not exhaustive) to consider in any roll out:

  1. Clean the existing data
  2. Segment suppliers. This may be by transaction volume, level of importance or any other criteria as determined by the client taking advise from the Vendor.
  3. Agree supplier on-boarding milestones:
    • Pilot with handful of suppliers
    • Roll out to suppliers who are already users of the product
    • Roll out to next group (based on selection criteria) and so on
  4. In above process, it is vital to engage with suppliers to brief the changes taking place at their customer end, as well as brief the benefits and roll out programme
  5. Provide a web site with information and FAQs – also a telephone number will greatly help
  6. Hold information sessions – an opportunity to have face to face meetings
  7. Ensure supplier enrollment is an enjoyable experience – Get feedback, so that you can improve your rollout programme on a continuous basis

On behalf of Alfred McAlpine, three options are presented to suppliers (many options are available for suppliers to choose from), these being:

  1. A Tradex Active User – Free on-line entry of invoices.
  2. A Single Connection Tradex Member. Low cost solution with direct interface to supplier’s back-office system. Restricts communications to/from Alfred McAlpine.
  3. A full Tradex Member. Can communicate with any other Member of Tradex.

A point to bear in mind: Whilst the vendor may have implemented many supplier roll out programmes in the past, it is important to remember that this may be the first time that the client may be undergoing a similar process. While it may not be visible to the Vendor, the client has to consider the internal impact due to the potential outcome of the project, e.g. headcount reduction. This can cause delays to the programme. At the same time, the vendor is expected to meet project milestones. A degree of understanding is required from both parties. It is also vital for the client to assign a project co-ordinator/manager to make the process a success – leaving everything to the vendor does not always produce the intended outcome.


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