At the recent CIPS Supply Management Awards, CIPS CEO David Noble highlighted how influence should be a key focus for procurement’s success in an evolving supply chain environment.
Reflecting on the entries for the awards, he identified a trend for increasing collaboration and teamwork. Working more closely and harmoniously with other business functions was seen as key to success.
Technology enabling change
The democratising force technology in procurement – as in other areas of business – has meant that everyone can execute purchasing. Now that everyone is potentially a ‘buyer’ and software is available to guide, authorise and track purchases, procurement teams need to focus on influencing activity. By taking a more consultative approach, procurement can look to influence areas of spend that they have traditionally been barred from affecting – marketing or legal services, for example.
The rise of the procurement business partner
The opportunity is for procurement teams – freed from the mechanics and administration of buying – to help the business look for strategic opportunities and efficiencies. Procurement should also focus on supplier relationships and the application of good practice to make sure contracts are fair, ethical and free of collusion.
More strategic, more value-adding
Keeping a watching brief on the execution of the contract and its delivery is also an opportunity for adding further value. It should also be seen as an opportunity for procurement to be involved early in the purchase process – something already-proven to save money and add value.
For more information about how eProcurement software can increase the automation and efficiency of your purchasing, visit the NexProcure section.