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The Importance of Functional Administrators: Maximize Your Technology Investments

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of procurement technologies that are available for you to deploy.  Even if you only have one of those solutions, the Functional Administrator plays a crucial role in maximizing your investment, from ongoing adoption to ensure your configuration is as agile as your operations.  

A spider map of "The Modern Procurement Platform Stack."
Dr. Elouise Epstein's 2023 Spider Map of the Procurement Technology Landscape

At Wonder Services, we have noticed a trend wherein companies continue to incorporate SaaS based procurement technology into their daily operations, the need for skilled functional administrators becomes increasingly important. In this post, we will explore the role of functional administrators, their skill sets, and the benefits of hiring a functional admin assistant.

What is a Functional Administrator?

A functional administrator (or functional admin) is responsible for handling the functioning pieces of a SaaS technology after it has been deployed. This individual reviews user tickets and addresses any issues that arise. They ensure that the system is updated consistently and correctly, meeting the needs of the ever changing aspects of your business. They manage the frequent upgrades that are pushed, including testing and training document updates.  They are often tasked with ongoing training efforts as well.

Functional admins need an in-depth understanding of the technical functional aspects of the technology they work with. They need to be experts on the system's best practices, and they must communicate well across stakeholders and departments. 

Hiring the right functional admin ensures the smooth operation of the tech system, while also increasing the scope of the system adopted by your end users. With a skilled functional admin, a company can be sure that any issues will be addressed promptly and effectively. 

Why are Functional Admin Assistants So Hard to Find?

Functional admins are hard to find because they require a particular skill set that is not always easy to come by. Furthermore, it can be challenging to find someone who has experience in all the modules and technology a company uses while also being highly experienced in the procurement space. 

Coupa, for instance, is a technology that has many modules, from travel and expense to Coupa Pay and everything in between. Finding someone who has experience with all the modules your company specifically uses can be challenging. Of the thousands of procurement professionals on LinkedIn, only about 1,700 individuals are recognized as Coupa certified. 

Also, while a person may have technical experience, such as software development, they may not be great in functional roles. Functional admins need to understand more than the inner workings of a system. Higher user adoption requires expertise in the end-user experience. 

How to Find a Functional Admin 

The importance of having a dedicated and qualified functional admin cannot be overstated. When this role is filled internally or split among multiple employees, it often leads to confusion and a lack of attention to detail, which can result in significant issues within the tech system.

To ensure the smooth operation of new technology, a functional admin needs sufficient time to master the technology and provide the necessary services. By hiring someone who is already trained and qualified, companies can reduce training hours, streamline their systems, and ensure prompt and efficient issue resolution.  But, don’t forget to think about their career path.  Before hiring, is there a clear career progression for functional admins within your organization?  If not, your organization may find it difficult to retain functional admins in the long run.

However, hiring a new employee is not the only solution for finding an excellent functional admin. Company leaders can explore a better, more cost-effective, and quicker alternative:  

A Functional System Administrator from Wonder

Our Wonder Services team is equipped and trained to handle all procurement technologies, bringing extensive knowledge and experience in the procurement space, including expertise in products like Coupa and Amazon Business.

Working with our team also allows you to avoid the extensive sourcing, recruiting, and onboarding fees that come with hiring an expert who understands your procurement software exactly. Our team is ready to go at any point, before or after your tech has gone live. 

Finally, our services are subscription based, which allows your team to utilize our services for as long, or as short, as you need. 

We are ready to hit the ground running today. We hope to hear from you soon!

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