Impacting Your Business – Rebranding Procurement as a Trusted Advisor
Guest blog by Mélani Flores, Practice Leader and Procurement Advisory EMEA at The Hackett Group
REBRANDING PROCUREMENT AS A TRUSTED ADVISOR
A recurrent question I get asked by procurement executives is about the key action they need to take to elevate the role of the procurement function to that of a trusted advisor.
Unfortunately I have to explain that we haven’t seen any single action that can do it on its own, and rather a series of them that change perceptions, provide true support and build trust to help increase the “brand” of the Procurement function.
World-class organisations, in contrast to their peers, have turned procurement inside out, becoming client-facing service providers that are deeply embedded in their stakeholders’ teams. Some key characteristics from our study of what those functions are doing in this arena include: the active involvement and contribution of Procurement in the company’s budgeting and planning cycle, which is fundamental. The right timing, the commitment, but also the insights and intelligence brought to the process are all relevant components.
Another characteristic is the evidence that Procurement can give on consistently looking to help stakeholders to achieve their business objectives. Speaking the language of the business is critical – as opposed to “category management language”, but understanding what drives the requirements of the business is essential.
Talent Management is another critical element to mention, which in itself, is an enabler of all others; as skills and behaviours play an important role in enabling Procurement to act and be recognised as a valued business partner. World-Class organisation are going beyond this and making sure goals, even at the staff level, are aligned to those of the business, sending a clear signal to their organisation.