Quick Wins for the New Procurement Leader – Download Our Paper Now

Supply risk management

We recently published a briefing paper titled Quick Wins for the New Procurement Leader – sponsored by the good people at BravoSolution.

It is based on the Real World Sourcing session Peter Smith led in early December. The event was well received so we thought it was worth turning the material into a paper everyone could enjoy. (Well, perhaps “enjoy” is putting it a bit strongly but you know what we mean).

In the paper, we look at five areas that can bring rapid benefits for a procurement executive moving into a new job, not just at CPO level but anyone in a position of some authority, including a category manager for instance with no direct reports. Here is an extract from the paper, and you can download it here from the BravoSolution website, free on registration.

Quick Wins for the New Procurement Leader (extract)

“… whether you are promoted into a senior category role with two or three buyers and analysts reporting to you, or you have just been appointed Global Chief Procurement Officer of Apple or BP, you have both an opportunity and something to prove. Being new gives you a great opportunity to challenge the sacred cows, to ask difficult or naive questions, or to change things around.

On the other hand, there is also the challenge. You know that people, whether that is your staff, suppliers or senior colleagues, will be asking questions about you. Is the new man any good? Should she have been promoted into that role at her age? Does he seem to know what he's doing? How does she compare to the previous holder of the job?

So it is important to combine two approaches in your early days in the role. You will be expected to define a strategy and turn that into plans and actions, for your function, category, project or role, but you normally get given some time to do that. No-one expects a brand new 20-page strategy document delivered during your first week in the job! But it is important to start the thinking and strategy development process sooner rather than later.

Alongside this though, it is important to demonstrate some “quick wins.” These will help to answer those questions that are being asked in a positive manner. If the organisation can see visible and tangible evidence that you are having some early impact, that will start to build positive credibility. That can lead to building capability and performance in the longer term.

In practice, it is often useful to plan from the point of view of short, medium and long-term actions and priorities. Think about the timelines for each of the issues or areas you want to address. Clearly, there should be some continuity between those timescales; so a long-term goal to improve procurement technology might have a quick win of launching a spend analysis exercise. A three-year category strategy might start via immediate negotiations with a key supplier”.

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