Q3 - 2019
INSIGHTS FROM TODAY’S PROCUREMENT LEADERS
empoweRing supplieRs More Than Just a Fairytale
Winning: One Expe’s Playbook for Corporate Culture Success
Procurement: A Gateway to Oppounity Re-branding Procurement to Enable, Engage, and Inspire
ONE EXPERTâ€™S 6 WINNING: PLAYBOOK FOR CORPORATE CULTURE SUCCESS
8 PROCUREMENT: A GATEWAY TO OPPORTUNITY
SUPPLIERS 2 EMPOWERING More Than Just a Fairytale
14 RE-BRANDING PROCUREMENT
TO ENABLE, ENGAGE, AND INSPIRE
Q3 - 2019
INSIGHTS FOR TODAY’S PROCUREMENT LEADERS LETTER FROM THE EDITOR Editor-In-Chief Andy Beth Miller
Design Naomi Catalina
Writers Ronald Hedley Andy Beth Miller
Outside Contributor Diego De La Garza, Source One
Advertising Branden George: 940-230-5830
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procurising.com No part of this publication may be reproduced without written permission from the publisher Real Sourcing Network (RSN). This publication is intended to provide accurate, authoritative, and detailed information in regard to the subject matter covered.
Notable scholar H.E. Luccock once stated, “No one can whistle a symphony. It takes a whole orchestra to play it.” I can’t think of a better way to introduce this issue’s theme of ensemble, particularly, what it takes to create and sustain a successful one in the realm of procurement. In a world riddled with all stars and solo acts, filled with corporations fueled by workers that only seem to have me-first mentalities, we take great solace in knowing that there are still experts in the industry that understand the intrinsic value of a teamwork mentality, never negating the worth of an individual’s skills, but instead, taking those skills and blending them alongside their colleagues’, the result of which is an ensemble masterpiece, performed in perfect harmony. In this issue, it gives us great delight to share the wisdom and insights of today’s most knowledgeable procurement maestros. Join us as Executive Director Matt Anders sheds some light on what it takes to create a cohesive and procurement-minded corporate culture, expert Dennis Silva details how procurement can be a transformational gateway to opportunity, and Diego De La Garza scores big with an on-point basketball analogy that uses superstar Michael Jordan and lesser known Tim Duncan to drive home just how branding can make or break your procurement game. Writer Ron Hedley then interviews Amanda Prochaska to provide a Disney-inspired denouement that explains just what it took to get her happy ending in the real world of procurement, which we all know requires hard work and can be anything but a fairytale.
All written materials are disseminated with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal advice or other professional services. Under no circumstance should the information contained herein be relied upon as legal advice, as
As you will see, it really is possible to make our work, and workers, sing, but it really does take a village. Or, an ensemble.
it is designed to be a source of information only. ProcureRising strongly encourages the use of qualified attorneys or other qualified experts with regard to the subject matter covered. As the publication does not guarantee the accuracy of the information, it is therefore not liable.
Sincerely, Andy Beth Miller
More Than Just a Fairytale
By Ronald Hedley “Belle rushed over to the Beast as the final petal was about to fall from the rose. His time was just about to run out. ‘I love you!’ whispered Belle, breaking the enchantress spell. Magically, the wounded Beast turned back into a healthy, handsome prince. All of the objects in the castle became human beings again, too, and Belle and the prince lived happily ever after.” (Teitelbaum, Michael. Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. A Golden Book. New York. 1991.)
And, just like that, the life of young Amanda Prochaska was changed forever. “I loved the movie, so I decided to learn French in high school. I did so well in French that I received a scholarship in college. That took me to France for a while and helped me get my first job,” Prochaska explained. Her first job was with Schneider Electric. “Because they were a French-owned company, I decided to go to their website. I went to their website. They had a buyer position open. I went through the interview process, and I was offered the job that same day. I have been in procurement ever since,” Prochaska said.
“We were using their methodology with our suppliers. We partnered with a procurement organization and identified the suppliers that they would like to target for this type of program. Then, we invited them in for breakfast or lunch.”
Just like Belle’s in Beauty and the Beast, Prochaska’s story has a happy ending. She is currently the President and co-founder of High Performance Procurement. As we all know, the fairy tale mentioned above is… Well… A fairy tale. When one starts her own business, it is not a happy ending. However, if one is fortunate, it can be a happy beginning. There is certainly no prince charming to kiss, and no one waves a magic wand of success. Starting and operating a business takes endless hours of hard work. Why did Prochaska start her own business? Prochaska shared that her motivation began three and a half years ago, when she attended a Women’s Leadership Conference. One of the speakers at the conference was Judi Holler.
Prochaska had been singularly focused on running the day to day business of the company where she was employed. “I was not spending time on selfdevelopment. It was a huge kick in the lower region,” she said. After attending the conference, Prochaska read Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod. Prochaska recalls, “There was a stat in the book that resonated with me. It said that 95% of retirees surveyed by the Social Security Administration said that they had a mediocre life. I was shocked by that.” She continued to explain, “It impacted me from my team perspective, thinking about my team members that I used to lead. Personally, I wanted to be part of the 5%.”
“She did a presentation about developing yourself. The premise was that if you’re not continuing to learn and expanding your horizons, then you’re not going to be able to develop your team and the people working for you,” Prochaska explained.
“The suppliers get an opportunity to network with procurement and with each other, which is always important. Then, we introduce them to the coaching program.” Prochaska was motivated to dig deeper. “I was really intrigued by the concept of self-improvement, so I started reading everything that I could on the subject.” An epiphany ensued. “I started to understand that your thought processes and your faith in yourself drive a lot of the outcomes in your life,” she said. Thus, the concrete was poured. “I realized that I shouldn’t be afraid of risk. All these things helped me build a strong foundation to make a change in my life. I just decided to start my own business,” Prochaska explained. She was then able to incorporate experiences gained, as well as programs used at her previous job, MGM Resorts International, into her new company (High Performance Procurement). At MGM, Prochaska had partnered with Cycle Success Institute, a company which, since 2001, has been helping small and mediumsized companies increase their overall performance. Prochaska explained how COSi influenced her startup company, “We were using their methodology with our suppliers. We partnered with a procurement organization and identified the suppliers that they would like to target for this type of program. Then, we invited them in for breakfast or lunch.”
According to Prochaska, supplier buy-in is the key. “The supplier can choose whether or not they want to participate. Their decision to participate is critically important because we want the supplier to be motivated to improve.” If the supplier chooses to participate, they go through a 12-month coaching program. So far, about 40% of the invited suppliers have chosen to participate in the program.
The Implementation Phase
The Discovery Phase
Prochaska explained the next steps, “We then help the suppliers discover potential opportunities within their business. Those can be innovation, marketing, process efficiencies, leadership gaps, employee morale opportunities, whatever is holding the business back from high performing.”
Connecting suppliers and procurement teams over a meal has its benefits, but the goal is much loftier. “The suppliers get an opportunity to network with procurement and with each other, which is always important. Then, we introduce them to the coaching program,” Prochaska said.
She continued, “We take them through an implementation phase. We bring people together to work on small tiger teams. They do six-week sprints, solving a particular problem. It’s quick, agile like a tiger, and it builds collaboration and employee engagement.”
The process doesn’t end there. “The tiger teams will go on for as long as the company wants. In fact, what we see most often is that the tiger teams live well beyond the 12-month program. They get built into their culture,” Prochaska explained.
The Alignment Phase Then, Prochaska explained how they move on from coaching to aligning the supplier’s Key Performance Indicators, “Most companies that we engage with have a very limited metric. They really haven’t thought through how to measure the business. Is their organizational structure correct? Are there any employee training programs that are needed? That is the alignment stage.”
The Sustaining Phase The last of the four-step process deals with sustainment. The essential questions follow: What are leadership capability gaps? What is the state of the communication within the company? What is the governance model? How is the company forecasting and budgeting? Prochaska explained, “It’s the leadership suite of activities that we focus on to make sure that the supplier is truly high performing.” The methodology that was borrowed from Cycle Success Institute has proven to be successful. Prochaska explained the results, “It teaches the owners of these companies to work on the business versus in the business. What we find most often is that owners are so busy trying to execute that they don’t take a step back to think about what the business doing, or ask themselves what is their strategy?” Prochaska is proud of the fact that, after the training, because the supplier performs in a more consistent manner, their performance increases. “They start bringing new ideas to the table, new innovation to procurement, and they form a more robust relationship with procurement,” she said.
“I would like to see procurement departments think of themselves as the ultimate problem solvers for the companies that they serve. There are all kinds of new opportunities.”
And there is one more little perk. According to Prochaska, “You get great results with very little investment because you are not paying for the program, the suppliers are. All procurement does is introduce the program to their suppliers.” We are looking to expand into the Private Equity space, helping PE firms obtain dramatically higher ROIs from the businesses they are investing in. She also has a transcendental, long-term vision. “I would like to see procurement departments think of themselves as the ultimate problem solvers for the companies that they serve. There are all kinds of new opportunities,” Prochaska explained before posing a few rhetorical questions for self-evaluation: “How do we streamline work? How do we engage others to drive value for our organizations?” Prochaska ended our interview with this bit of advice, “If procurement departments can position themselves as the go-to places to solve problems, then we will drive ultimate value for the organizations that we serve.” So, if procurement is the Beast and Prochaska is the Beauty, then perhaps happily ever after is not just a fairy tale after all.
Improved supplier/procurement relationships are vital. “This is a deeply rooted relationship that procurement is building with the suppliers because of the gratitude that they have for the experience,” she explained.
WINNING: ONE EXPERT’S PLAYBOOK FOR CORPORATE CULTURE SUCCESS By Andy Beth Miller Louis V. Gerstner, Jr., the former CEO of IBM, knows the importance of corporate culture. In fact, according to Gerstner, it’s where the game of success is won or lost. Gerstner stated, “Until I came to IBM, I probably would have told you that culture was just one among several important elements in any organization’s makeup and success — along with vision, strategy, marketing, financials, and the like...I came to see, in my time at IBM, that culture isn’t just one aspect of the game, it is the game. In the end, an organization is nothing more than the collective capacity of its people to create value.” We can all read this inspirational quote and think to ourselves…Great! Sign me up! I want in that game! However, we’ll quickly realize that we are just one player, and in order to win, which according to Gerstner means creating value, we must have a winning team by our side and a fearless and motivated coach leading the way. Enter Matt Anders, Executive Director of Technology Sourcing at AT&T Warner Media, who graciously sat down with us and walked us through some fundamentals of how to create a successful procurement-minded corporate culture, while also giving us an inside look at his playbook, which details just what your ensemble team needs to do in order to get in the game, stay in the game, and ultimately, win. I decided to start off by asking about the basics, and simply asked Anders to, in a nutshell, break down what a “procurement-minded corporate culture” is exactly. He graciously obliged, echoing Gerstner’s thoughts, and it all points back to value. “A ‘procurement-minded corporate culture’ is one where each and every
transaction is done with thoughtful consideration of the value brought by the supplier,” he shared. Now, this may sound simple enough, but Anders quickly points to a common pitfall that often trips up corporations, sidelining them from connecting with the touchdown zone of optimum value products because they get stuck in the comfort zone. “Too often, corporations either find themselves buying from certain suppliers out of habit, or get caught up in rigid procurement processes that become a bit mindless,” Anders explained. In this case, the path of least resistance is not necessarily the right route to take. And, the more we talk, the more it seems that the road to achieving a thriving and successful procurement-centered culture is not only narrow, but it can be quite tricky to navigate. Anders quickly shares another useful piece of advice, this time, regarding the maximization of ROIs, which in this analogy, can be seen as getting the most mileage out of every gallon of fuel you’re purchasing and putting in your car. “Every business has capital constraints, and third-party spend will consume a large portion of those finite resources. In order to thrive and grow, they need to maximize the return on the money they spend.” Anders already has me thoroughly convinced, and I’m ready to jump in, but like any coach worth his salt, Anders keeps me on the sidelines a little longer in order to make sure I’m familiar with the rules of the
game and am armed with the fundamentals before just throwing me into the mix with the big boys. So, as he opens his top secret playbook, I prepare to have my mind blown by the clear and concise instructions offered therein, and as he goes through each one, step-by-step, I’m already envisioning outrunning, outmaneuvering, and outscoring all of my opponents.
ANDERS’ PLAYBOOK HIGHLIGHT REEL: l Disassociate Procurement performance metrics from department budgets. Aligning these two creates friction and drives disengagement. l Assign each supplier to a category; Strategic, Preferred, or Transactional. This exercise alone will generate valuable discussion. l Include Procurement in the earliest stages of the departmental budgeting process. This will help to determine and achieve collaboratively established goals.
Speaking of collaboration, I ask Anders how he would go about establishing better connectivity between procurement and the larger corporation, as well as interdepartmentally. He wisely points to tackling the issue of perception as a means to paving the way for better cohesion and unity. “It’s important to position procurement as consultants and trusted advisors, not ‘the spend police’ or RFP administrators.” When questioned as to how best to go about this, Anders keeps it simple, pointing everything right back to a key point, the team. “Staff your procurement organization with a varied portfolio of skill sets that include sales/consultancy capabilities in addition to standard project management and procurement process skills,” he shared. Anders immediately followed that up with a key tip for how to keep things fun, sustainable, and fresh. “If you don’t have a passion for procurement and for the Categories you are managing, you never will. Passion is infectious.”
“I spent a lot of years early in my career on the other side of the desk, in sales, so interactions with procurement professionals were always educational and made me a better salesman.” As we had stumbled on the subject matter of infectious things, I couldn’t help but wonder just when, and how, procurement got under Anders’ skin. So, I asked Anders what first got him interested in procurement, and most importantly, what holds his interest now? “I spent a lot of years early in my career on the other side of the desk, in sales, so interactions with procurement professionals were always educational and made me a better salesman. I was fascinated by the dark magic they seemingly used to keep me on my toes,” he explained. As for now? “Today, professionally, I most enjoy looking ahead to what ‘next generation’ procurement can and should be.” As for what that might look like, Anders explained with an open-ended call to action, “The definition of what a mature, world class procurement organization looks like needs to constantly evolve.” So, basically, we must adapt or die. And part of this adaptation process, according to Anders, involves asking ourselves the hard questions. Anders explained, “Many procurement organizations take pride in factoring Total Cost of Ownership into their analysis rather than simple list price and discount, which is a good thing. But, how many can, with equal skill, articulate the Total Benefit of Ownership? Specifically, answering questions like, Why is the business spending the money it is spending, and what is the total return? If you can’t answer these fundamental questions, you are not being a truly effective partner to your stakeholders.” Dr. Aubrey Daniels, Founder of ADI, once stated, “We can change culture if we change behavior,” and now, thanks to Anders’ playbook for success, we have a clear game plan.
PROCUREMENT: A GATEWAY TO
By Ronald Hedley When Dennis Silva completed his formal education at The University of British Columbia, he had a degree in geography, a need for employment, and a yet-to-be discovered ability to lead. His career began humbly enough, selling appliances. Silva recalled, “I started my journey over 25 years ago, working for a large Canadian retail organization.” 8
Among the refrigerators, microwaves, and washing machines, Silva soon discovered qualities about himself that he had never known before. “I enjoyed sales because it took me out of my comfort zone. It was a challenge for me, and I learned a lot on the floor: how to work with others, how to deal with the public, and how to build that confidence.” It was in retail where Silva envisioned his own future. “At the time, our company was one of the fastest growing retailers in Canada. It offered a significant amount of opportunity, given the economy of the time. What attracted me was the internal growth, more than the sales.” Silva explained, “After four years, when the opportunity came, I moved to the head office to take on what they called a fixture re-buyer role. I jumped in and have never turned back.” Silva has been in procurement ever since.
Becoming a Procurement Leader At said Canadian retail store, Silva learned what it takes to be a leader, and it is also where he developed his own leadership style. He also learned the importance of working for a cause that is greater than himself. “Being connected to thousands of employees across the country made you a part of something bigger. I was given opportunities to do things that I would never have imagined,” he explained. Silva explained how he appreciates the leaders that influenced his career, “I was blessed with working with great mentors, working with people who were driven. These people are not like rah, rah. Some were soft-spoken, focused, and enjoy working with people and their teams.”
Silva singled out one such mentor, “My VP of Store Development had a strong influence on me. I didn’t have a lot of procurement experience, but he trusted my work ethic and supported my professional growth. In the years that we worked together, he challenged me. He was fair and tough, but throughout that process, I knew he had my back.” Today, Dennis Silva has a lot of people’s backs. He is the Chief Procurement Officer at BCNET. He explained his company’s focus. “BCNET is a not-for-profit, shared services organization that offers technology services and solutions that enable world-class research and education in British Columbia. We represent the interest of 24 post-secondary member institutions in the province made up of colleges, universities, and research institutions.”
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I don’t see procurement as solely an administrative function. I see it as a function that can make an impact. When I look back on my first days in procurement, I remember lining up behind the fax machine, waiting to put my purchase order through. That’s not the world we live in today.
Procurement is Transformational Silva sees procurement as being more than just a department in an organization or company. He believes procurement can and should transform an organization. Why? Because of procurement’s opportunity to take on today’s unique challenges. Silva explained, “When I say transformational, I mean that it’s an opportunity to work with your peers, creatively addressing problems that present themselves.” Silva continued, “I don’t see procurement as solely an administrative function. I see it as a function that can make an impact. When I look back on my first days in procurement, I remember lining up behind
the fax machine, waiting to put my purchase order through. That’s not the world we live in today.” Today’s business world challenges are complex, Silva said, “In some respects, it’s uncharted territory.” He explained further, “Everyone is empowered with technology, and technology is having a disruptive and pervasive impact through the supply chain.” He added, “As procurement leaders, we are responding to an ever-evolving marketplace. Those challenges really drive me.” As Chief Procurement Officer, Silva is in the unique position to drive that transformation by encouraging collaboration. “It is energizing working with my peers across the sector that are inspired by collaboration.”
“The supplier had to ensure that the product was comparable in performance to traditional copy. With the support of The University of British Columbia student researchers, innovative leaders and partners within the intuitions who understand the net environmental impact of the solution, and because making Sugar Sheet is now cost effective, the final hurdle was overcome. Sugar Sheet is now in our reach.” Procurement Requires Collaboration Since 2012, British Columbia’s 25 public postsecondary institutions and the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training have collaborated through the “Administrative Service Delivery Transformation” Program to share ideas, best practices, expertise and resources to improve the delivery of post-secondary education administration and other supporting functions. One of the by-products of that effort is the collaborative procurement that Silva leads. Silva understands that, if collaboration is to be successful, a leader must invest in creating a common understanding among the consortia. “For collaboration to succeed, I need to be sensitive to what collaboration means for our members. In other words, what are they going to get out of this? I’d like to think that we
have created a positive space where we can create something that is tangible,” Silva said. Silva shared a collaboration example that emphasizes the importance of a multi-functional team working towards a positive outcome. “We brought in functional leaders from facilities and procurement from across the province to work on the Elevator Maintenance Contract. Working with a consultant, with the support of the provincial Safety Authority, we worked together as a group, spending countless hours working on developing specifications, approaches, and outcomes.” The collaborative Elevator Maintenance effort was a success. Silva explained, “And through that engagement, sustained throughout that engagement, we walked everyone through every step of the way. As a result, not only did we end up with two robust contracts that any of our 25 members can use, the new contracts save time, increase capabilities, and improve outcomes.”
Procurement Drives Sustainability “If there are favorable habitats and favorable forms of association for animals and plants, as ecology demonstrates, why not for men? If each particular natural environment has its own balance; is there not perhaps an equivalent of this in culture?” —Lewis Mumford If procurement is truly a gateway to opportunity, then there is no greater opportunity than reducing our carbon footprint. Silva ruminated, “For example, if you think about the pressure that we put on our environment to make paper…” Silva continued, “We have an opportunity to make small changes that can make a big impact.” Silva and his team knew that there had to be a different way of doing things. “One of the opportunities that we were and are pursuing is reducing our need for wood fiber-based paper and shifting to an alternative fiber,” he said. It is the greater cause that Silva and his team have been working on for the last several years. “Through
our collaboration efforts, we identified a source that uses sugar waste by-products to make paper. The product is called Sugar Sheet,” Silva explained. Converting to Sugar Sheet was no easy task, but with the innovations in production, it is now possible. Silva shared the success story, “The supplier had to ensure that the product was comparable in performance to traditional copy. With the support of The University of British Columbia student researchers, innovative leaders and partners within the intuitions who understand the net environmental impact of the solution, and because making Sugar Sheet is now cost effective, the final hurdle was overcome. Sugar Sheet is now in our reach.” Silva understands the bigger picture significance of their collaborative effort. “I consider this as an example of procurement driving transformation and innovation,” he explained.
“We have an opportunity to make small changes that can make a big impact.” Opportunity Silva offered a rhetorical question for the potential procurement professional: “How many roles are there where you can, through your efforts, drive innovation?” Silva believes that procurement is a gateway to opportunity. “Be it opportunities for the institution or the sector you work in.” He knows this because he is the quintessential example. “Without work, all life goes rotten. But when work is soulless, life stifles and dies.” —Albert Camus
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TO ENABLE, ENGAGE, AND INSPIRE By Diego De La Garza
Whether or not you’ve ever watched a basketball game, you know the name Michael Jordan. In all likelihood, you could even identify him at a glance. That’s not because he’s one of the greatest players in sport’s history. It’s because, for all of his skills on the court, Jordan was even savvier in another arena: branding. Think of how Jordan compares to a player like Tim Duncan. On paper, they’ve got a lot in common. Both excelled as college players, got drafted in the first round, won NBA championships and collected a wealth of awards. Next year, Duncan will even join Jordan in the Basketball Hall of Fame. The two couldn’t be more different, however, when it comes to their personal brands. Jordan’s entrepreneurial activities and brief career in entertainment are as famous as anything he ever did on the court. Duncan was far less flashy. During his NBA tenure, many even dismissed his style of play and soft-spoken demeanor as “boring.”
For all of Duncan’s success, he’s unlikely to inspire a Drake song or find himself immortalized as a meme. To a new generation of basketball fans, who are unfamiliar with his exploits throughout the aughts, he’s likely just a name in the history books. The name “Michael Jordan” conjures images of acrobatic dunks, buzzer beating shots, and a win-atall-costs attitude. Though he was no less successful, Duncan’s name suggests—at best—dependability. Where am I going with all of this? I’d argue that procurement is a lot like Tim Duncan. While its reputation for excellence ought to precede it, that’s rarely the case.
Whereas other units like legal, marketing, and sales command attention and enjoy executive buy-in, procurement isn’t typically as lucky. Though it’s the one and only business unit with 360-degree access to the supply base, it’s often dismissed as a purely tactical, low-value function. In many businesses, it’s even tagged as adversarial.
How, you might ask? By following these simple guidelines:
I’m a firm believer that perception is reality. Simply put, business units that perceive procurement as a tactical function are unlikely to abandon this idea. They’ll neglect to engage with the unit and, with time, its value will diminish. In order for procurement to succeed, and promote success, its peers need to recognize that it’s capable of doing so.
Misconceptions and negativity can be contagious. It’s only a matter of time before procurement begins to agree with its peers and think of itself as being strictly the budget police. That’s why the first step in repairing procurement’s reputation involves aligning itself internally and defining its purpose. Other business units might have clearer value propositions (marketing promotes brand awareness, sales drives revenue, legal mitigates risk, etc.), but none are as broad or potentially transformative as procurement’s.
1. Define Procurement’s Value Proposition
When procurement is well-staffed, well-equipped, and well-respected, it has the power to enable the entire business. It’s up to the Chief Procurement Officer to ensure the entire function recognizes this, specifically, to educate them on the immense power that they hold. This power comes with an equally immense responsibility. Procurement owes it to itself and its peers to demonstrate its performance with clear, consistent KPIs. Selecting metrics that capture and communicate the value that procurement brings to the table is the first step to making this case across the business.
2. Communicate the Value Proposition For generations, both internal and external stakeholders have dreaded working with procurement. The function’s dogged commitment to cost savings often sends shivers down marketing’s, IT’s, and the C-suite’s spines. When these folks hear “cost reduction,” they don’t see the positive. Rather, they’re haunted by mental pictures of sub-par products and disappointing services. In many cases, they’d rather run the risk of making offcontract purchases than engage with their peers in procurement. Procurement can’t let its less-than-stellar reputation persist. Rather than hiding from the criticism of other business units, it’s got to take an active role in engaging them, thereby seeking to learn how they might collaborate more effectively. While consulting with each group of stakeholders, procurement should work to build an understanding of how it is perceived. More importantly, it should discern how it can best improve this perception and boost collaboration. In many cases, this will mean tossing out the notion of “savings” in favor of other, more directly impactful objectives. With an understanding of each stakeholder group’s motivations and metrics, procurement will then have what it takes to promote close-knit relationships in the long term.
3. Stay Flexible, Without Sacrificing Consistency Professionals in every industry and business unit love to stress the value of flexibility. It’s especially crucial in an area like procurement, which straddles the line between other business units and boasts access to the entire supply network. Staying agile and adaptable will only grow more crucial as new technologies boost procurement’s capabilities and new risk factors threaten its progress. It’s important, however, not to emphasize flexibility at the expense of dependability.
Brands live and die by consistency. When a consumer selects one product over another, it’s because of an experience they’ve come to expect and trust. Changes to something as simple as logos or packaging are often enough to crush brand loyalty
Even as its responsibilities evolve, procurement cannot lose sight of its central mission, which is, of course, to empower every business unit by reducing costs, promoting visibility, and pursuing innovation. Business units need to know that they can count on procurement to do all three. They should expect, and experience, a Survey after survey identifies talent as procurement’s consistent strategy and a stable brand identity. most pressing concern. It’s clear that businesses will require nothing short of a game-changing solution to both Brands live and die by consistency. When a consumer recruit and retain world-class professionals. Following the selects one product over another, it’s because of an experience they’ve come to expect and trust. Changes example set by the NBA’s most game-changing player could prove as good a tip-off point as any. to something as simple as logos or packaging are often enough to crush brand loyalty and make a major bottom line impact for corporations. Even Michael Jordan came up short when he tried to branch out into the fragrance market.
Diego De La Garza is a Director at Source One, a Corcentric company, a Supply and Demand Chain Executive, recognized Pro to Know and winner of the Council for Supply Management’s Emerging Leader Award.
That’s not to say procurement should resist change. It should, however, take care to emphasize collaboration and communication when making any changes to its strategy. It’s often hard work earning buy-in from stakeholders, and procurement shouldn’t risk letting this work go to waste by going too far with its re-brand or spreading itself too thin.
Conducted effectively, this re-branding exercise will do far more than improve procurement’s internal reputation. With a new identity, the function will soon begin to look more appealing to candidates. Once on board, these inspired and engaged professionals will feel compelled to stick around and play a role on a new, more impactful team.
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