Top tips to manage stakeholder relationships in procurement

As a procurement professional, you do not have the luxury of choosing the stakeholders. So,…...

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As a procurement professional, you do not have the luxury of choosing the stakeholders. So, even if you do not want to collaborate with them, stakeholders are part and parcel of procurement. With good stakeholder relationships, the procurement process can transform from a money-saving process to a strategic endeavour.

If you would like the support of your stakeholders, here are a few things you can do to improve stakeholder relationships.

Be empathetic

You must treat your stakeholders with respect. When you arrange an appointment, make sure you are on time. Send the agenda in advance to let the stakeholders know what the meeting will be about, so they can prepare. Listen to concerns and look for solutions to allay fears during the meeting, or at a later stage.

Be clear about stakeholder objectives

Gain knowledge about stakeholder targets and how they are measured. Remember, internal stakeholders will have many goals, and when you understand these, you can cater to them. It will help you win over stakeholders, and they will be ready to collaborate with you on all fronts.

Identify stakeholder needs

Remember, you must have a clear understanding of stakeholders’ needs. It may run beyond the project, and you should be ready to deliver. It is only then that you will be on the way to superior stakeholder relationships.

Create communication channels

Communication is key to good relationships, so you should always connect with the stakeholders in their preferred mode of communication, to keep them in the loop. If an executive is busy, avoid pushing them for a weekly meeting. Instead, send a monthly email with the necessary updates. They will appreciate it more than being dragged to a meeting.Whether you are implementing change or transforming procurement into a profit centre, having stakeholders on board is essential. The best way to do this is to improve existing stakeholder relationships so that you can be a valuable contributor to organisational goals and objectives.

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