Companies with an effective procurement department in place understand just how critical the process is to business.
However, an established system doesn’t guarantee engagement. In fact, according to a Deloitte study, “Internally, engagement across the business remains an area of focus but, for many, a development point.”
To date, many internal employees try to avoid going through the proper procurement channels. Some key departments feel that going through a standardized procurement system slows down the vendor search and evaluation process. Others think that it adds more bureaucracy to the procurement process, which doesn’t lend value to their work processes.
These reasons underscore the need for procurement professionals to find a way to proactively engage their stakeholders and increase purchasing efficiencies. Here are 4 ways you can do that.
1. Focus on relationship building
According to Chief Procurement Officers (CPOs) in a Deloitte study, 74% of CPOs cite “cost savings as the primary driver for performance measurement.” However, while cost savings is a critical driving force for following a systematic procurement process, highlighting another important advantage may prove to be as effective; thereby, helping to build better professional relationships with internal stakeholders.
When companies focus on cost efficiencies alone, it makes the process seem very transactional. Fusing this benefit with other long-term business advantages could provide stakeholders a valued overview of what the procurement department does.
2. Empower efficiency without forcing policy
Often, established procurement processes are accompanied by new policies that demand employees to comply with the new system.
Instead of pushing for compliance by enforcing the need to comply with set policies, highlight the potential for improved efficiencies. Start by asking employees what they need, understand their challenges, and then present solutions your procurement team can help provide.
For example, you could highlight how much time automating the procurement process can save for their department, and how your procurement team can assist with writing engaging RFP bids.
3. Make an effort to understand individual department needs
Even with standard processes, there is really no one-size-fits-all approach to efficient procurement. Procurement professionals should understand individual department needs to give them a tailored approach that will be supported by procurement systems your team has put in place.
For example, if you want to engage sales, be sure to reach out to the sales team and gather information about company products and their competition. If you want to learn more about marketing needs, inquire regarding how their department approaches branding and company positioning. For operations, find out what internal processes need additional support.
Knowing more about how your company’s individual departments operate means your procurement team can offer better solutions to their sourcing needs. Ultimately, it helps align your own procurement goals with each department’s objectives.
4. Explore other areas of value
Again, cost reduction may be at the top of every department’s priority list. However, there are other ways that procurement teams can provide value.
For instance, procurement teams are very knowledgeable about market trends. Data gathered from your research could very well be used for more insightful decision making for marketing and sales departments.
Successful procurement teams with great engagement rates not only use the knowledge of having the necessary processes in place, but they also make sure their stakeholders are using it.
To find out how automating key procurement processes can help boost engagement, schedule a demo of our vendor management services.