“It’s important to embrace new technology to stay on your toes. The procurement landscape is changing as technology advances and it’s the professionals who keep their finger on the pulse who get ahead”., said the Head of Procurement and Supply Chain recruitment at Uniting Ambition when he was asked on he would identify the best candidates for procurement.
Procurement is more than just getting a contract signed, it has the potential to make an impact on the success of an organization. Well, when this could have so much importance, what skills are necessary to be a challenging procurement professional? Let’s make a study here.
- Takes Initiative: A procurement team player should be proactive and initiate changes to the department. But, many are accustomed to the traditional mode of procurement that they do not initiate and routing better and robust procurement systems.
- Influencer: How influential are your decisions in the organization? Many organizations fail to give the procurement team the access to influence changes to the system. Do a thorough market research and influence your department to adapt to new procurement processes to save cost and improve productivity.
- Limited Resources: Procurement teams fail to have the change-maker in the team. Procurement team is usually a small team where processes and procurement are the traditional way and not the smart way. Therefore to be a resourceful player in the team, one should be updated with the latest trends, tools, and systems that can automate the procurement process and drive change in the organization.
- Reporting and Analytics: This is not everybody’s role, but a smart procurement player will generate numbers that will help companies make a right decision. Most of the companies fail to have such resources that would create analysis on their past purchases, understand the market behaviour by comparing sales revenue and help in forecasting the future budgets. It is close to impossible to accomplish such heavy data that help decision-making without having the right systems in place. To make the best use of such skills, companies should invest in new processes or adapt to digitalization that would provide detailed reports and analysis, which in return will help business take the next procurement call.
- Not a strategic player: Being a strategist in the procurement team is a mind game. To be a strategist one needs to understand the ballgame of the business procurement and build strategies that would meet the objective of the business. To be a strategic player, you need to analyze the procurement curve and try to rationalize the system in a way that generates detailed reports and helps you in forecasting the future procurement.
- Resilient nature: Procurement team players are very accustomed to the traditional approach that they are not resilient enough to adapt to new systems that can act as a driving force. It is essential for team players to be proactive in learning new processes and develop their skills as per the new era.
- Lack of Communication Skills: Organizations lose out when they have resources that are insufficient or incapable of communicating the requirement of the business. A procurement team must express their requirement clearly to eliminate any miscommunication between the company and the supplier.
- Lack of Negotiation Skills: Procurement business is all about negotiation. But, many team members in the procurement department shy away from negotiating to the best possible cost. It is essential to have an efficient negotiator and get the right tools in place as it helps in making effective business decisions.
Procurement is one thing that drives the business, so, be the change to your organization and drive value. So, if you are lacking these skills, it is never too late to start practising them to become a better and an efficient procurement player. And, if you feel you have the skills and haven’t brought it to practice by being an influential force to the organization, then you must start now to bring change and adapt to robust procurement systems.