Making procurement more strategic – A BravoSolution paper

Before it disappears to be replaced by the next BravoSolution paper, you can click on the BravoSolution logo over there (points to right of this post) which links to a paper called 'Ten ideas to make your procurement department more strategic".  (Or link here).

It's written by Sean Devine, VP Strategy and CPO for Echo, a leading transportation and logistics firm, and it is short, well written and interesting. I found the focus on the need for procurement to move beyond our usual comfort zone particularly striking. For instance, the novel idea that procurement should "teach your marketing team about what goes into your product or service". Now, this can't apply in every organisation; it doesn't work in most of the public sector, or banking for instance. But there are valuable general concepts here about getting procurement working more closely with other parts of the business.

And the recommendation I particularly liked is titled "Teach your sales teams the techniques used by your best suppliers" - procurement contributing to the capability of their organisation's sales team by sharing best practice that procurement observes amongst suppliers. That is a really neat idea. I know some CPOs who do this to some extent in terms of general advice to sales colleagues, maybe on handling tough customers - but to formalise it into "what have we learnt from our best suppliers and their sales people" is very smart. As Devine says;

"Sit down and review with them the sales proposals and tactics of your suppliers, comparing and contrasting the best techniques with the worst.  It's a powerful realisation when you see sales and procurement as two sides of the same coin and by sharing your experiences..everyone will learn something strategically valuable".

So not everyone or every organisation will find all 10 of the ideas implementable; but I'd be surprised if 2 or 3 (at least) don't strike a chord. Well worth a read.

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First Voice

  1. Sarah Clarke:

    Thanks Peter, the paper has been very well received.

    It will remain available for download here:

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