The Six Principles of Stakeholder Engagement, Part 3

This post, written by Raj Sharma, originally appeared on Public Spend Forum

It’s human nature: Nobody likes to be surprised by change. Yet many large, enterprise-wide supply management programs are planned and developed more or less during the early planning and research stages.

Let’s take a strategic sourcing opportunity analysis as an example. In our first scenario, a dedicated sourcing team spends several weeks gathering and analyzing spend data across an organization to produce a comprehensive report recommending five commodities for strategic sourcing. The team compiles the data to demonstrate why these goods or services offer the greatest potential for delivering value. But what they lack is the support and backing of the procurement community, customers—and even key suppliers—to move their recommendations forward. We give this scenario a 50/50 chance of success.

But let’s say that same sourcing team, once they’ve narrowed the opportunity analysis to a short-list of eight to 10 commodities, conducts a series of interviews or focus groups with functional experts, contract specialists, customers, and suppliers to gather additional input about the commodities in question. Such an approach achieves three objectives:

  • It gives key stakeholders a sense of involvement in the process and lets them know their expertise and opinions are valued.
  • It begins to educate stakeholders about the potential benefits of strategic sourcing and why these particular goods and services are being considered.
  • It allows the sourcing team to gain additional, potentially valuable information and insight that may (or may not) support the findings compiled through data alone.

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