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As anyone who has purchased enterprise software knows, it takes significant internal momentum to kickstart the process. There are more people than ever involved in each major business technology purchase, and you can use this fact to your advantage.

According to an article by three Gartner analysts published in the Harvard Business Review[1], “… the number of people involved in B2B solutions purchases has climbed from an average of 5.4 two years ago to 6.8 today, and these stakeholders come from a lengthening roster of roles, functions, and geographies.” This article is from 2017 so that number may be even higher, but let’s run with 6.8 for now.

This group dynamic could be challenging because of the different priorities each stakeholder brings to the table. But, in our experience it makes sense for an organisation to involve stakeholder representatives in a buying group. The potential impact on each relevant area of the business must be considered. Why wouldn’t a team, project, division etc. that must contribute funds and / or time and people resources want to have a say in such a purchase? They can be counted on to ask necessary questions about ROI and value for money.

Where will you find your 6.8?

There are a number of business functions that will benefit from new workforce management software including HR, Payroll, IT, Operations, Finance. Your 6.8 people from these stakeholder teams could help to champion your new software purchase initiative, so you are not riding into the fray alone! Also, the buying group should ideally have an executive champion who can bring knowledge of corporate strategy and a focus on alignment to the group.

WIIFM  - What’s In It For Me?

You have realised your organisation needs a workforce management software makeover. To bring stakeholders on board, put yourself in their shoes and answer the question on their minds: What’s in it for me? Tying benefits to KPIs and business objectives not only makes solid business sense, but it helps to gain that critical buy-in.

Talk to your HR colleagues about:

  • Responding to expectations to leverage big data, strategically
    • Informing talent & workforce management practices
    • Aiding in compliance and award interpretation
    • Empowering managers with real-time, reliable workforce data
  • Encouraging employee engagement and retention through self-service features and effective workforce management
  • Adding business value with advanced HR practices supported by workforce data

Talk to your Finance colleagues about:

  • Protecting the company’s investment in talent
  • Managing labour costs
  • Supporting growth
  • Managing risk and compliance

Talk to your Operations colleagues about:

  • Automating systems and processes for cost-effective productivity improvements
  • Tracking and enforcement of policies and procedures
  • More effective, efficient and accurate rostering and scheduling
  • Workforce visibility and control

Talk to your IT colleagues about:

  • Supporting digital transformation and cloud adoption objectives
  • Integration with existing infrastructure & future technology modernisation
  • Your chosen technology partner’s proven track record, not only for workforce management solutions but specific to your industry sector
  • Responding to expectations to leverage big data strategically

Talk to your Payroll colleagues about:

  • Greater job satisfaction thanks to tools that can automate and simplify their very complex task
  • Automating manual, error-prone and risk-heavy tasks to improve accuracy, compliance and productivity
  • Greater visibility and transparency and even the opportunity to involve employees in keeping information up to date and checking for errors before the payroll run.

Howdy, Technology Partner

The right technology partner will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the various requirements, perspectives, pain points etc. of the business and how they differ from role to role, from business function to business function, for each department that will be touching the technology. The 6.8 should be encouraged to challenge technology vendors to rise to this expectation.


A solution that works for all is not a one-size-fits-all

The 6.8 or buying group approach should be able to help your organisation avoid buying a clunky, generic or rigid all-in-one solution that requires you to shoe-horn your people, processes and requirements into its pre-designed structures.

The right solution for your business, when it comes to a Workforce Management Solution and many other types of business technology, is one that is:

  • Flexible
  • customisable to a degree
  • well-supported with R&D
  • backed by industry expertise
  • with runs on the board in your industry sector.

Your best technology partner will be able to deliver measurable benefits that matter to each stakeholder.

Sure, there may be different agendas in the back of people’s minds, but it’s also possible for such a buying group to keep “making things work better around here” top of mind, and make a decision for the collective good.

To learn how to utilise a Workforce Management Solution to ensure you are paying and treating your staff correctly, download this ebook: Don't Become Tomorrow's Headline.

[1] The New Sales Imperative, Harvard Business Review, 2017

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