All too often we hear businesses saying they want a transformational procurement professional to add value, implement new strategies and ‘make a difference’.
Yet the feedback you hear from procurement professionals is often frustration due to larger organisations not wanting to change how things have been done historically.
Einstein once said, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them”
Here are a few tips on how to challenge current business operations to implement new strategies…
- Clearly understand their objectives and outline ambitions, if a procurement strategy will challenge the way the company has traditionally bought goods and services, does the business truly have the appetite for change?
- Understand how much influence procurement has in the decision-making process. Is the internal profile of procurement strong enough to influence a change? One way to ensure that ideas are relayed fairly and succinctly to the right senior audience is to make sure procurement has a seat at the decision-making table so that cost-saving strategies are evaluated on a level playing field.
- Build relationships with your internal stakeholders – it’s not enough to simply ask other areas of the business to listen to you – procurement has to get under the skin of the businesses’ operations to thoroughly understand where the pressure points are.
- By doing this and gaining the trust of your internal colleagues, procurement is in a better place to challenge historical processes and assumptions.
- Back up ideas with facts – often procurement is challenged to reduce costs with innovative thinking that challenges existing processes and mindsets in a business. Therefore, you have more chance of success if strategies are presented based on a detailed understanding of the operational challenges facing a business.
It’s safe to say that when trying to implement new strategies as a procurement professional it’s not an easy task but by understanding the organisation and engaging with internal stakeholders you are closer to making a change.
In any situation, communication is a key component to building key relationships and cracking historical culture and strategies.