Procurement: The trusted advisor

January 17, 2019

Procurement is an often misunderstood department that offers a great deal of strategic value to a company. By utilizing technology and data to improve outcomes in their organization, procurement fosters trust and creates value for internal stakeholders. However, many departments still struggle to be seen as a trusted, go-to adviser. To change the narrative, procurement must develop a plan to build their internal brand, find champions and communicate their value.

Develop relationships

Procurement is widely regarded as a department that exists solely to slash budgets and cut costs, but they are also in place to determine how companies can make valuable purchases, not necessarily cheap ones. By placing procurement team members into their respective departments, Jean Johnson, Global Head of Procurement at LogMeIn, was able to effectively create positive relationships between procurement and other departments. This way, procurement specialists were able to actively learn and understand the nature of the business on the floor, and also were seen as a strategic partner in purchasing decisions.

Find executive sponsors

Finding executive sponsors to work with and advocate for your team is necessary for creating valuable projects. Find an executive champion who is willing to participate in initiatives and grow with the company. When working on projects across departments, it is important to set clear goals and initiatives and have sponsorship on the executive level.

Celebrate small wins

When faced with internal rebranding, it is crucial to celebrate small wins. Take a look at your portfolio and identify existing contracts, operations and supplies and negotiate their value. An easy way to do this is to gain control of your tail spend with Fairmarkit’s tail spend management platform. Users have saved an average of 6-12% and have found that aside from saving money, they have also minimized risk.

It is important to be vocal about your wins. Get comfortable sending company wide emails, pitch your value to other departments or create an internal case-study. The bottom line is procurement departments must be seen as trusted advisers and to do this we must  shift the brand from cost-cutting to value-adding. To learn more about establishing yourself as a trusted advisor, check out our white paper.

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