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IACCM Contract Management Forum

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Dstl
2020-08-12 06:46:49

The end of Procurement

Hello Tim
I found your article very interesting. I agree that procurement struggled for years to prove its real value, and it is still struggling.
Firstly. Until the procurement staff performance is measured on monetary savings mainly and their work considered purely administration, it will be difficult to make any changes. The demand need to come from senior commercial leaders. The targets set for procurement staff are quick turnaround time and monetary savings. There is very little time to build relationship!
Question. If the new technologies will make procurement quicker, with less or without people, would the relationship element be pushed back even more? No need to lift the phone anymore or meet in person!
While I can hear that you would have more time to interact with suppliers. That is not, what I can see, but increasing volume of work, as you can do procurement quicker.
In my view, the senior commercial leaders need to understand the benefit of relationships in business, set the direction and support the staff to achieve it. Support means not only sending a person on course but show it how it is done. Really seen nowadays!
Secondly. I am always interested in self-development. What do you think what skills should we should concentrate on?
 
 •  World Commerce & Contracting  •   2020-08-13 13:01:03
Hi Judit, thanks for your message.

There is no doubt that the measurement focus is wrong. It drives Procurement to operate within narrow boundaries and tends to drive a strong functional perspective, rather than a broader business focus. In order to deliver value, the role of the future must be far more integrationist in its nature - evaluating and reconciling across stakeholder interests.

As you say, commercial leaders need to be prompting this change and that leads us to a critical area for development - influencing skills. These are built around empathy and coming at problems from the other side's perspective. To some extent, this is a 'soft skill', but actually in my experience can best be learnt through studying elements of marketing. This is also fundamental to becoming a better negotiator - internally and externally.

Some areas I would be focused on right now are:
Agile methods - what are they, how do they apply to my work?
Design-thinking - communicating with the user / receiver in mind, simplifying
Analytics - understanding what data we need and then how to use it (e.g. sources of value versus sources of efficiency)
Negotiation and influencing - as above
Knowledge transfer - enabling others by creating 'self-service'

There are plenty of short courses available - obviously we have a growing library of those and in the next few weeks will make more available - ethics, social value, diversity and inclusion are examples.
 
 
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