Maverick buying is non-compliant behaviour by employees who do not follow the company's official purchasing processes and contracts. This article is the last in a series on why maverick buying is costly to companies and how to stop it.
Maverick buying is non-compliant purchasing
This article discusses several solutions that can prevent maverick buying. Check out the first and second article of the series to learn about 5 different forms of maverick buying and what their consequences are.
How to stop maverick buying
There are many approaches to preventing maverick buying, each tailored to a specific form of it. This will be discussed below. First, however, there is one general approach that can stop maverick buying. The most recognized solution is the implementation of a digital procurement system. Researchers agree that a functioning digital procurement system not only leads to less maverick buying and more transparency in spending, but also brings significant savings.
Maverick buying can be eliminated by providing end users with a highly efficient and user-friendly digital procurement system that frees them from old buying habits
Satisfaction with the procurement solution is critical. Buyers within companies will be hesitant to use the solution if it is not easy to use. Employee satisfaction should be a priority when implementing a digital procurement solution.
How Lhotse stops maverick buying
The success of a solution is ultimately determined by the users of the software. Everyone needs to be able to use the solution immediately, whether or not they are procurement specialists.
Lhotse is an intuitive SaaS platform that automates and simplifies procurement journeys, intelligently guiding employees from request to supplier identification, coordination, and offer selection. One of the highlights of Lhotse is an intuitive and simple user experience.
Improve Convenience. Reduce Maverick Spend.
This is necessary for the solution to be embraced by its users. Lhotse is a solution that users love. Most employees are accustomed to smooth user experiences at the B2C level, they often struggle with B2B software. This is not the case with Lhotse. Lhotse levels up the B2B buying experience to a B2C experience. This is a solid basis for eliminating non-compliant buying. Building on this, every form of maverick buying must be approached differently.
1: Solving unintentional Maverick Buying
This form of maverick buying is the easiest to resolve. The employee simply does not know the procedures and has no intention of harming the company. First, companies must create simple purchasing procedures. They should be quick to understand and easy to remember. It is also important to communicate these process flows. They should be part of the onboarding process for new employees and internal employee training. Assigning responsibilities also helps provide clarity. For example, one person could be responsible for overseeing purchasing in the business unit.
Lhotse does not require extensive communication or a change in management structure. It provides easy access to purchasing and is simple to use. Once employees are onboarded to Lhotse, this form of maverick buying is no longer an issue.
2: Solving forced Maverick Buying
The only way to solve forced maverick buying is to empower the business user by providing them with a user-friendly platform that guides them through the procurement process. If no product or service is predefined, then the business user can create a free text request specifying exactly what they want.
One advantage of Lhotse is that business users are given different rights depending on their department and seniority. That way, if a business unit needs to make an emergency purchase, they can easily do so. Also, different business units can be automatically paired with the appropriate procurement experts.
3: Solving casual Maverick Buying
The casual buyer is aware of the formal purchasing process but continues to purchase according to their preferred process. Their behavior is driven by self-interest, laziness to change, and a lack of organizational incentives.
This type of malpractice is characterized by egoistic employee behaviour. To solve this form of maverick buying, companies simply need to create processes that benefit solely the company. Nowadays, this is easier said than done because of complex procurement suites and processes.
In contrast to complexity, Lhotse brings clarity to the purchasing process. Lhotse has one central search engine that can search all relevant catalogues, historic purchases and more. Lhotse takes away all of the tedious steps that do not require human judgement, for example identifying and approaching suppliers. With Lhotse, the buyer can use previous requisitions as a template and quickly contact preferred suppliers.
Minimal change in management is required to solve for this form of maverick buying. Once the buyer realizes that Lhotse is the most convenient and simplest option, casual maverick buyers will make the switch.
4: Solving well-intentioned Maverick Buying
Well-intentioned employees are aware of existing contracts and official procedures but ignore them because he or she believes it is in the best interest of the company. The employees believe that they will find a better offer. This form can be difficult to solve. Insight into the total cost of ownership can greatly improve this behavior.
One way to avoid the well-intentioned maverick buyer is to lead the buyer directly to preferred suppliers lists, such as through catalogues accessible through Lhotse's central search. Further, Lhotse improves the comparability of alternative offers by presenting each offer in a simple and most intuitive way. This allows for easy comparison of offers and can avoid unwanted consequences such as late deliveries or other surprising factors.
Lhotse does not replace talented procurement teams, instead it augments their capabilities to execute more efficiently and conveniently. Thereby maximizing business impact while minimizing manual effort. Moreover, Lhotse makes it easy to collaborate among users and departments.
These factors help the procurement team gain credibility within the organization and build stronger relationships between procurement and business users. This, in turn, helps dispel business user’s misconceptions.
5: Solving ill-intentioned Maverick Buying
This form of maverick buying is the most difficult to resolve. The buyer is aware of official procedures but ignores them out of self-interest and resistance to change. Changing the buyer's mind requires a significant amount of change management, and even that is no guarantee for improvement.
To solve this form of maverick buying, Lhotse takes a similar approach to the casual maverick buyer. Much of the “resistance to change” is due to undesirable procedures and complex processes. The driving force of the ill-intentioned maverick buyer is opportunism and self-interest. An easy-to-use and highly efficient platform can lure buyers away from bad habits.
Are you experiencing maverick buying as well?
You can book a consultation and get a free assessment of the issues and possible solutions.
Here are the key findings from the entire series:
(1) There are five different forms of maverick buying. Each form has its own incentives and motives for ignoring the formal processes.
(2) Maverick buying leads to higher procurement and process costs, as well as a loss of control over spending and suppliers. In addition, maverick buying makes it more difficult to achieve ESG goals and poses a major risk to companies in terms of legal standards.
(3) Maverick buying can be solved by offering end users a highly efficient and easy-to-use digital procurement system. The customer satisfaction is critical, and the software should be on a B2C customer experience level.
(4) To finally eliminate maverick buying, each form must be addressed individually. It is not possible to solve the “forced maverick buyer” and the “ill-intentioned maverick buyer” using the same method.
Part 1 of the special series: 5 Types of maverick buying
Part 2 of the special series: Consequences of maverick buying