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How highly innovative procurement organizations are different!

By Roshnee
In Procurement Technology
Feb 17th, 2014

I recently came across an interesting article on Spend Matters that talked about the values and behavior that can set apart a procurement organization from its peers. Yes, you got it right values and behaviors and not processes or automation. While having a structured process and automation makes things simple for procurement, the real driver behind any success is the human factor.

Collaboration & Alignment

Image source – tec_estromberg, Flickr

So let’s look at some of the cultural habits discussed in the article that procurement organizations can incorporate:

Be optimistic. Believing that something is possible will somehow make it so. 

It always helps. And no we’re not going on the spirituality tangent.

“The difference between the older “old school” procurement managers and “new school” procurement leaders is that the latter have a “can do” attitude that helps them set stretch goals, motivate each other (and suppliers), and constantly push the boundary of procurement’s value proposition rather than just staying “inside the box” of legacy procurement services.”

Collaborate. The most powerful asset we have in our arsenal is the word “we.”

It is a commonly used term yet so underutilized.

“You can have alignment without collaboration, but you can’t have collaboration without alignment. Certainly, mutual dependency helps with alignment, but when there are inherent goal mismatches, and then you need to pay special attention to creating alignment mechanisms across the internal silos and external silos.

If procurement is only the advocate of purchase price reduction, rather than the arbiter of defining and realizing holistic supply performance, you’ll have a rough time becoming a customer of choice that wins the hearts, minds, and budgets of innovative suppliers. You need to get aligned or else it’s going to be a rough ride when your potential supply innovation collaborators view you as a purchase price reduction conspirator.”

Make others successful. Going out of your way to help others succeed is the secret sauce.

“There is no single method easier for creating alignment than simply helping your stakeholders achieve their goals. For internal stakeholders, it really just means using a “customer management” approach to understand what they are trying to do as a function or a business unit, and then aligning your metrics and resources as best you can to them. Even if you are merely helping to enable their success (and saving some money in the process), they will be willing to go to bat for you in defending the value that you provide them.”

This is just a tip of the ice berg. When the department has correct individuals with right values and skill sets it definitely goes a long way in helping the organization succeed.


About "" Has 160 Posts

Roshnee works with the content leadership team of Zycus. She regularly writes on procurement - trends and best practices, sometimes taking the off beat path to bring in a fresh perspective. She also drives the branding activities of her company. In her free time she enjoys hot cuppa coffee with the latest fiction book. She is an MBA in Marketing and a graduate in commerce.

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