The Training GAP in Procurement and How to Fix It

The importance of staff training for new technology

In today’s fast-paced and constantly evolving business landscape, technology is crucial to the success of any organization. New software and tools are being developed and released every day, promising to streamline operations, increase productivity, and provide better customer experiences. However, the reality is that many companies invest in these technologies without adequately training their staff on how to use them effectively. This is especially true for procurement staff, who are responsible for managing the purchasing process and ensuring that the organization obtains the best value for their money.

A research report conducted by Censuswide on behalf of CWJobs that covered 1,005 tech workers and 504 IT decision makers between 19th January 2021 and 26th January 2021 shows that 72% of UK businesses upped their investment in tech tools, talent and training last year to improve digital capabilities during the pandemic. However, with only 9% of companies having trained all relevant staff in technologies they invested in, boosted tech budgets are failing to deliver.

Consequences of failing to train staff on new technology

The consequences of failing to train staff on new technology can be severe. Companies may end up spending millions of dollars on deployment and subscription fees for software that is never fully utilized. Additionally, staff members may become frustrated and demotivated when they are unable to use the new software effectively, leading to lower productivity and morale. The research also showed that only a quarter of IT decisions makers (27%) are satisfied with their worker’s abilities to use the various technologies they invested into their companies in the last year.

One of the primary reasons that companies fail to train their staff on new technology is a lack of understanding of the importance of training. Many organizations view training as an unnecessary expense and believe that employees should be able to learn how to use new tools on their own. However, this is often not the case. New software can be complex and difficult to use, especially for staff members who are not tech-savvy or have limited experience with similar tools. Without proper training, employees may struggle to understand how the software works, leading to frustration and wasted time.

Another reason that companies fail to train their staff on new technology is a lack of time and resources. Procurement staff members are often responsible for a wide range of tasks and may not have the time or resources to devote to learning how to use new software effectively. This can be particularly true if the procurement team is already stretched thin, and is under pressure to meet deadlines and complete projects on time.

In some cases, companies may also be reluctant to invest in training because they believe that staff members will leave the organization shortly after receiving training. This can be a valid concern, especially in industries where turnover rates are high. However, failing to train staff members on new technology can be even more costly in the long run. It is better to invest in training and retain staff members who are well-equipped to use new software effectively, rather than risk losing them due to frustration or dissatisfaction with their job.

Prioritizing staff training when implementing new technology

To avoid these costly mistakes, staff training needs to be prioritized when implementing new technology applicable to them. This means ensuring that staff members have access to the necessary resources and support to learn how to use the software effectively. This may include providing training sessions, access to online resources and manuals, and one-on-one coaching sessions with experienced staff members or external consultants.

Involving staff in the purchasing process to ensure effective use of new technology

It is also important to involve staff members in the purchasing process from the beginning. By including staff members in the decision-making process, companies can ensure that the software they purchase meets the needs of their staff and is user-friendly. This can also help to create buy-in from staff members, making them more likely to embrace the new technology and use it effectively.

Evaluating training programs to meet staff needs

Additionally, companies should regularly evaluate their training programs to ensure that they are meeting the needs of their staff. This may involve conducting surveys or focus groups to gather feedback from staff members on their training experiences. Companies should also be willing to adjust their training programs as needed to ensure that staff members are receiving the support they need to use new software effectively.

The failure to train procurement staff on new technology is a costly mistake that can lead to wasted resources, lost productivity, and frustrated employees that may decide to eventually leave if they feel they are not receiving the proper support they need. Companies must prioritize training when implementing new software and tools, providing staff members with the necessary resources and support to learn how to use them effectively. By involving staff members in the purchasing process and regularly evaluating their training programs, companies can ensure that they are getting the best value for their money and creating a positive work environment for their employees.


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