Procurement can deliver value.
Unfortunately, our stakeholders and executives don’t always agree. They may have had bad experiences in the past, or believe that they can buy better. As a result, procurement professionals are often in the position of convincing others of our value.
I recently attended one of Peter Smith’s Tejari events* and he said something that really resonated with me. There are three reasons why users will engage with procurement: expertise, resource and compliance.
Capability, capacity and the big stick of corporate governance.
Our greatest challenge is to become – or remain – relevant to our organisations.
Relevancy gives us the platform we need to show that there’s far more to our profession that sending out RFP’s or squeezing the last margin point out of our suppliers.
However our path to relevancy isn’t an easy one. It requires an ever changing skill set to support an evolving value proposition. New delivery models are changing the face of how organisations are accessing procurement people, services and technology. The future of procurement is upon us, and it’ll look very different from what we are used to.
We can grow the procurement team – so that we have the resources available for our stakeholders’ needs – and we can audit and impose authority through compliance frameworks.
Nothing wrong with that.
And still the stakeholders will need convincing that ‘good procurement’ is something that can help them achieve their goals. They have to be persuaded that it’s the Procurement function or individual who is best placed to help them.
And that means starting with you; with your capabilities.
Ø Why would someone want to involve you in a procurement?
Ø How can you improve your procurement performance?
Ø What are the important things you need to do to be relevant to your organisation?
For successful learning, there are four main factors in play. They are as follows:
- Wanting to learn is important When people really want something, they usually get it sooner or later (whether or not it’s good for them!).
- Learning by doing. Learning by doing is how most people learn, including by trial and error, practice, and learning from mistakes. Academics refer to this as ‘experiential learning’.
- Learning through feedback ‘other people’s reactions’ is the most frequent reply about how people account for having developed positive feelings. Ignore our feelings about learning at our peril! Feedback comes from all directions including stakeholders, learning resources, expert witnesses such as tutors, and so on.
- ‘Making sense’ of what has been learned. I often say that the important step in this area is ‘getting my head round it’. It’s tempting to use the word ‘understanding’ for this, but it’s not the best word. The problem with ‘understanding’ is lack of a shared view of what the word really means. More appropriate is the word digesting for the ‘making sense of it’ dimension of learning.
The Procurement Revolution
Here’s a resource for your procurement learning you should consider exploring (and yes I am involved, in a small way – and no I’ve no commercial benefits from this).
For the procurement world this is really quite a nifty approach to learning – video and podcasting.
There’s a range of leading procurement types giving their perspective and sharing their insights including Kate Vitasek, Mark Perera, Gordon Donovan, Ed Cross and Stephany Lapierre. You’ve probably come across their insights on social media.
The Procurement Revolution will run from September 26th to September 30th 2016.
It’s free! and 100% online. The majority of the content will be made available to watch or listen to on-demand, during the course of the week. There’ll also be a series of live events for enlisted members to participate in. On-demand content will typically run from 5 – 15 minutes, and live events will be 30 – 60 minutes long.