Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Andrew Durlak, co-founder and vice president of operations at Scout RFP.
IT and procurement are two star players. Combine the expertise of both and you get a true power couple. It’s a proven fact that effective and collaborative synergy between the two departments pays off — quite literally.
Here’s how fostering the relationship between this power couple can improve overall success for your business.
Procurement professionals are expert negotiators; it’s literally their job to negotiate deals and contracts for the benefit of the company. Procurement can lend its expertise to IT, whether it’s assisting with pricing, developing the right size of contract for the deal, sizing up the fine print or bringing knowledge from previously successful deals and vendors. Procurement can help keep IT — and the business as a whole — on the right track with well-executed contract deals that cater to the company’s needs.
IT has a lot to offer, as well — after all, they’re experts in the fields of software, hardware, digital services and more. Oftentimes, especially in larger organizations, negotiations with tech vendors is left to IT because it seems like no one else will understand the ins and outs of the latest technology.
How do you combine the strengths of IT and procurement to create a power couple? Teamwork. By making sure that procurement is well-versed in all the major vendors in the industry — what sets them apart from each other and how they tie to the company’s needs — as well as bringing IT onboard for the actual negotiation talks and decisions, businesses can help eliminate silos when it comes to procurement needs.
If procurement and IT have a collaborative and communicative relationship, it’s no secret that efficiency will improve. When procurement knows what types of products IT actually needs, and why they are essentials to the team, time between the initial procurement request and fulfilled solution will only improve. With greater context, the procurement team can make sure they’re sourcing the most appropriate technology for the job, which will in turn make the IT team more efficient.
The key here is open communication so procurement truly understands IT’s needs and how they will make a difference. Start by bringing together both departments’ leadership teams to sit down for a conversation about the kinds of items that would make IT’s life easier and the process behind procuring those items. Keeping things friendly and comfortable is important to building this critical relationship.
Luckily, IT and procurement already have some shared goals to work toward together. One of them is being great at their respective jobs. The other is to increase profit and productivity for their team and the business as a whole.
Hopefully, both departments already have some proactive people who are continuously seeking innovative ways to improve job performance and elevate the team. These rock stars are a great place to start. Taking on the challenge of learning a new, but related, industry can be exciting and broaden their skillsets.
Everyone wants to smooth out her workday. In fact, a survey by The Powering Productivity showed that inefficient processes were the primary cause of wasted time during the workday. This will happen when everyone is not only on the same page but also has the appropriate tools and the right information to do their job most effectively. As a result, profit and productivity increase for both day-to-day work on each team and the business as a whole.
There are plenty of reasons as to why IT and procurement should — and must — work together. The divide might seem like a chasm from your current perspective, but you can build bridges through shared goals and combined expertise. This will yield more success for your venture and a fruitful partnership for IT and procurement.