Do you feel like an unsung hero of your organization?
The procurement profession has undergone a transformation from trusty sidekick to a frontline strategic business superhero, but there are certain organizations that are lagging behind in this transformative process.
If you are frustrated with the lack of recognition and control, and with being viewed as merely an isolated unit of savings-generating machines, here are our top 5 tips for taking your role from traditional to strategic and embedding your services within all aspects of your organization.
1. Make your own rules
If you want to be more strategic and innovative, what’s to stop you? Strategic sourcing and establishing truly collaborative buyer-supplier relationships can reveal not only cost savings opportunities but the chance to add value and drive discovery and process improvement.
Your superpowers include the ability to push a product out to market at the speed of light or unlock opportunities for expansion and growth by improving cash flow. Mining your procurement processes for opportunities to improve efficiency will showcase your talents and potential.
2. Do not wait for a mandate to step up
There are very few business departments who would tolerate being excluded from executing their function. Would the IT department let the finance department loose in the comms room? We don’t think so. It isn’t up to the IT team to manage client relationships, either. Everyone has a distinct role, and their presence permeates all aspects of the business. Why do procurement departments accept maverick spending and being bypassed so readily?
Take ownership of the procurement function, take responsibility for establishing relationships with stakeholders and increasing visibility of your role. Introduce written policies about supplier engagement, contract management, and strategic sourcing. Learn how to engage and influence people. Be firm, but affable – you catch more flies with honey.
3. Broadcast those good buys
It seems wisely spending money isn’t rewarded nearly as hard as making money, which is pretty backward really considering that what actually matters is the margin, not the revenue. The sales stars are usually pretty loud about publicizing their big sales wins, so make sure you and your team are equally vocal. Make sure your organization understand your piece of the puzzle and look at the bigger picture.
4. Be a team player
We don’t mean just within your immediate team. The influence and role of procurement have a place in all aspects of every business – and that means you need to be a people person. It isn’t just supplier relationships that need your attention, how you relate to other teams and departments within your business will have a huge impact on how your role is perceived objectively. Be approachable, but also proactively approach stakeholders about what matters to them in sourcing and supplier management processes and how you can work together.
5. Be more than a savings generator
Savings, though a fundamental element of the procurement process, are only part of what you have to offer to your business. Spend management can identify the potential for streamlining processes and adding value. Value is not always measurable or tangible, and it can take some gentle reconditioning to change the thought process of some stakeholders, but change them you must if you want to transform your reputation from transactional, traditional back-office alter ego to fully fledged caped business crusader. Maybe leave the cape at home, though.
ProcurePort is here to help
When looking at how to transform your role into a strategic and impactful cog in the corporate machine that is your organization, eProcurement is key to unlocking your department and personal potential. For a FREE demo of how ProcurePort can power your procurement, contact our team of expert solutions consultants.