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Do you sometimes feel that digital transformation is just another buzzword? Sure, this phrase gets tossed around in a lot of meetings and networking events, but there is substance behind digitization. As an advisor, every client I meet asks me about digital initiatives and how we can help support their vision.

My friends, the hype is real. Digital transformation is fundamental for your company to prepare for the future. In fact, according to a recent survey by WNS Denali, digital transformation is a top priority for more than 50 percent of CPOs surveyed. The same study also found that 43 percent of the CPOs do not see value from their digital investments.

Something doesn’t add up here! That’s why I teamed up with fellow procurement veterans, Erin McFarlane, Head of Strategy and Execution at Fairmarkit, and Michael van Keulen, a Global Procurement Executive, to help answer the questions we often get from procurement practitioners on how to ensure success across digital transformation initiatives.

Three Factors that are Key to Successful Digital Transformation


  1. Digital transformation starts with getting your house in order first.

    Remember, technology, in itself, is not a solution for your broken processes. You must start with the foundation and address things holistically including, process, policy, resources, operating model, and current pain points. Otherwise, you may find yourself in a situation where technology makes it harder for people to get their jobs done. As you begin the effort of auditing your current infrastructure and procurement ecosystem, ask questions such as:

    • Is our policy the right size and scope for our organization? Are we focused on the right things?

    • Do we have the right people in the right roles? If not, do we need to level-up some functions or transition people to new roles? If so, what training and upskilling services should we rely on?

    • What common challenges or roadblocks do the teams frequently encounter?


    When implementing new technology, you have the opportunity to re-engineer and create a new operating model for Procurement. Take the time to understand how digitization influences the entire Procurement ecosystem and resources, ensure your people are ready for this transformative project.

  2. Invest in change management planning and strategies to reap maximum benefits.

    Like most transformational projects, you must allocate time to building the change management tactics and strategies that you will deploy across the organization. Ensure the change management strategy is aligned with your vision.
    A simple example: Craft an elevator pitch that explains why you are undergoing a digital transformation. Explain why this project is essential for every single person in the ecosystem. Make sure everyone has the knowledge and confidence to share, “What’s in it for me?” This plan should include key stakeholders across multiple departments and levels.
    Through this alignment and buy-in early on, you will be better prepared to celebrate your wins and maintain positive momentum for the project.

  3. Prioritization and the right intentions are critical to reaping the benefits of digitization.

    Large rollouts are incredibly risky and often fail. Give yourself time to develop and prioritize a series of transformational steps that create meaningful change for your business. At each stage, you need to deliver improved business value, and, you will be able to build on your success geometrically.

I always encourage our clients to make sure they create value vs. merely focusing on cost savings. Savings should be an outcome, not the only goal. This mindset is critical to developing goals and measures of success that motivate everyone in the business.

If you are interested in discovering more lessons learned for a successful digital transformation for procurement, download our digital roadmap handbook or watch the webinar here. We hope you find this webinar informative as you navigate your company’s digital transformation journey.


About the Author

David Gonzalez
Director of Procurement Services

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David Gonzalez David is a Director with 15+ years of experience in procurement advisory and managed services. In his 10 years at WNS Denali, David has overseen a portfolio of Fortune 500 Retail and CPG clients focused on delivering global Source-to-Contract managed services. David has a MBA from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University and resides in Seattle, WA.

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