What is your Responsible Procurement strategy?

It’s a while (too long) since we featured Alis Sindbjerg Hemmingsen who runs Responsible Procurement Excellence   (based in Denmark and  no connection with my consulting firm Procurement Excellence).

Her excellent website features a range of very useful material for anyone interested in all aspects of what she – and we – might put under the heading of Responsible Procurement.  That covers all aspects of environmental, social and economic sustainability, but what I like about her material is the way she focuses on real business benefits rather than the pure “doing good” aspects of the topic.

She’s also well ahead of the general herd on this topic – her latest blog here for instance focuses on water and water shortages as a potential element of a sustainable procurement strategy. Something that not many of us have considered, I suspect.

And at a time when strange materials in supply chains are much in the news, understanding what our suppliers are doing and encouraging them in the right direction is higher profile than ever.

So last time we featured her work, we discussed her introductory e-guide, available to download, but she’s got some somewhat more advanced material too. BUILDING A STRATEGIC APPROACHTO RESPONSIBLE PROCUREMENT MANAGEMENT is her guide for those who have already  gone beyond the basics and want to develop their activities further in this space.

She starts by asking some key questions – for instance:

  • What is your statement/vision (and at the end of the day your commitment)?
  •  What should the long-term outcome be and how will it support the overall company, CSR and Procurement strategy?
  • What will motivate the company to invest in Responsible Procurement Management? What will it take for your management team to commit to the process?

She goes on to discuss the six “must-dos” for developing a successful strategy and plan, including getting the management team involved and understanding the motivation to invest in a responsible procurement programme.

The guide goes on to talk about developing an action plan, and having a clear description of the vision that you can communicate to internal and external stakeholders. Whilst this should be tailored and specific for each organisation, here is her “template” for what such a description might look like:

 “We have chosen to make Responsible Procurement an integral part of our procurement strategy, as we would like to drive down cost and gain a competi­tive edge over our competitors. If we do not change, we will not have a competitive supply chain and our competitors will set the standards for how business is conducted within our industry. The change will be driven by customer demand for lower prices and innovative products. One of the goals of the change process is that the close strategic partnership that we have already established with our suppliers will be extended, resulting in a shorter time to market”.

I find her material both pragmatic and inspiring – a great combination. And do check out her website for more.

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Voices (2)

  1. Stephen Heard:

    This is excellent website and compliments the work I’m currently doing in the NHS where all NHS Trusts where mandated in the NHS Carbon Reduction Strategy to compile a Sustainable Development Management Plan. These plans cover all of the areas in the Responsible Procurement Strategy and more. To date 84% of all Trusts have one of these plans and more detail can be found at http://www.sdu.nhs.uk/

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