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As Project Director, you’re committed to leading on an important project, a procurement that you must complete on time, even early, with no overrun. You also need to manage your team’s time and costs. Next week you’re bringing your stakeholders together to join a 2-hour off site moderation session. To do this you have to leave your office, attending a meeting 150 miles away.

Furthermore, your team of 5 must travel to the same place, but they all live in different locations. With a total combined round trip of 1,500 miles and a joint travel time of 36 hours, the cost of your 2-hour meeting is starting to add up. In real terms, the cost to the organisation for 6 people being in transit comes to over 3 working days lost, and using the car would come to a further £675.00 in expenses.

Ask yourself the questions: What is the true actual cost of this type of activity to your organisation? Will you get the train? Will everyone take the car? How long will everyone be out of the office for? Or better still, have you thought that it will be more cost and time efficient for everyone to log in online and remotely, to a system that recognises each stakeholder’s input; completing the activity, which you’ve initiated in a much smarter way.

The reason for highlighting such a thought provoking scenario to Procurement Managers and Project Directors I meet is that people often need to give more consideration to how the Cloud can help their organisation.  People often associate cloud-based offerings with a few clichés: “you can work from home, you don’t have to travel, we’re making good progress to a paperless society, or think of the money we’re saving on reducing our IT overheads.”

At Commerce Decisions we have been doing the Cloud ‘thing’ (Software As A Service – SaaS) for over 12 years, with the delivery of the electronic supplier evaluation solution AWARD®. Crucially we help clients reduce the risk of legal challenge and provide a transparent procurement process on strategic procurements. However, we go one step further than this, in helping managers think in detail about the time, cost and productivity savings achieved when using the AWARD® solution to support their project.

Feeling confident when deciding how you control your project is important, whether you work in the NHS and need to get Clinicians, GPs, Surgeons and Finance to make a decision together; or whether you’re working in Westminster for a Ministerial Department, attempting to link up with satellite offices and workers based in the North of England.

Furthermore, organisations with a reputation for promoting work life balance are known to be dynamic when it comes to their innovative use of technology, including where and how systems are accessed. No matter where team members are located, AWARD® in the Cloud empowers people to be able to prioritise their workloads based on what is important to the project, not when time and location dictates.

So without the Cloud, the true cost of getting people to collaborate and make decisions together can be much, much more than just travel expenses. Looking at the annual effects across your organisation the issues above become a lot more significant. By having a think about these areas, you are taking a step in a direction of being smarter about how your and your team’s time and your project budget is better managed. How you add value can be done in a range of ways, not least looking at how you manage project information and electronically evaluate your suppliers responses.

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