The online supplier discovery platform, ThomasNet, urges procurement practitioners to evangelise the indispensable new business-enhancing functions of the profession, and dispel outmoded myths that it is focused on cost reduction and impeding spending.
While the profession still faces perceptions that it has remained a roadblock to purchasing necessary goods and services, serving the imperatives of an ever-watchful CFO rather than the wider business, it has evolved out of all recognition from its initial incarnation. Today, procurement professionals provide market intelligence, insightful guidance during negotiating processes, expert knowledge on contract compliance, invaluable supplier relationship management, and perform an essential role in scaling up businesses or in merging organisations. This is especially crucial in the current era of mass mergers and acquisitions.
While cost reduction will always be part of its remit, procurement’s development of strategic sourcing, in particular, has made it vital to the success of an enterprise. As the ThomasNet article says: “Simply put, if you aren’t strategically acquiring goods and services, you’re losing money.” It continues: “… procurement has evolved to be a critical part of scaling up a business or merging organizations. This evolution means procurement departments need to be measured by more than just cost reduction metrics. We need to rethink how to communicate the value of procurement.”
This rethink begins at the level of individual procurement professionals. Together with their teams, they should shift their mindset toward explaining to their non-procurement colleagues in clear, confident and pragmatic terms, how the profession enhances the organisation, how it drives forward the process of achieving a shared goal with stakeholders, and how it has become integral to business operations across the board. This way, perceptions of procurement will change, and enterprises will be capable of realising the strategic potential of the discipline.