How strategic procurement partnerships can help get what you need

In an earlier blog post, we explored how digital technologies are disrupting the way we do business. One of the main areas technology is forcing business owners to re-assess, is their procurement processes. Traditionally seen as a standardised internal process, the drive is now on to secure strategic procurement partnerships that deliver higher levels of success for your business.

Recently, the software procurement process, in particular, has been under the spotlight. While the majority of software is purchased off the shelf or “from a box”, there is a growing trend towards bespoke software, not just for massive organisations, but for smaller ones too. Bespoke software (also known as custom software) is software that has been specially developed for a particular organisation or user. It has its obvious benefits, namely the fact it’s a unique product tailored to your organisation’s needs, but may come with a higher price tag.

So, why are an increasing number of organisations opting to build or adapt their own software? Simply put, because they can build something that fits their exact business requirements. What many business owners or IT managers fail to understand is that the number one issue with buying off the shelf software is that their business processes have to be re-arranged to align with the software’s features. Instead of being a help, it can become a time-consuming hindrance, disrupting the way you work.

As Oracle’s Andrew Sutherland notes, people do not want to pay for functionality they do not need. Businesses today have the ability to create highly-tailored applications that their competitors will not have and which could, if built on right customer insights, shake up the entire marketplace.

Changing the way you think about purchasing your IT needs can have a real and significant impact on your business’ success. Building strategic relationships with suppliers deliver greater levels of innovation, competitiveness and economic benefits.

So, how do you go about forging these all important IT relationships? First and foremost you need to find a great partner. You know someone’s going to be great if they’ve got an excellent track record and can show you examples and case studies of this.

Second, they must also be a partner that understands the unique ins and outs of your industry, your business and your customers. One size certainly doesn’t fit all.

Third, in electronic forms software customisations and bespoke development must be included in their business model. They should not be changing their software just to suit you – a clear warning sign that they are overpromising or desperate for business.

A development partnership model should include what the development is for (a clear scope), who owns the IP, the risks involved and how they will be managed, the costs (preferably fixed but this can be difficult with software), approximate time frames. A supplier who doesn’t rush you, can show a development methodology, and is realistic about what they can deliver (you don’t want ‘yes men’) and has a communication plan that keeps you informed of progress, is likely to stand a good chance of delivering what they promise and what you expect.

As a good buyer, don’t meddle (let them get on with their core role) and be clear about your development milestones. Perhaps start with a smaller, low-risk development project to give both you and the supplier time to get to know how each other works.

At Formaliti Online Signature, we can offer both off the shelf and bespoke solutions for our software. We were built on serving our customers directly, building our software to match their workflow and on taking small change considerate steps. Our team of experts understand the changing nature of purchasing relationships and can work with you to forge a successful long-term partnership.

We’d love to chat to you about whether we can help build your unique dream. Call or email us on 1800 765 840 or

Craig Wallace Signature
Formaliti CEO
T: (+61) 1800 765 840 | M: (+61) 0405 646 200 | E:



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