Procurement is a crucial business function for every organisation and a key area where cost-reductions are concerned. It also involves many internal and external stakeholders across the board, and utilises a sizeable number of resources. Naturally, procurement professionals are expected to have good financial acumen and excellent stakeholder management skills to ensure that procurement operations proceed smoothly without any glitches. Such heavy responsibilities require the procurement team to be cohesive and focused, so as a procurement manager, how can you ensure that your team is always on the ball and are capable of handling all the tasks that come with the territory efficiently?
Define attainable goals
As a procurement manager, it’s not enough to just understand the organisation’s business objectives. Rather, you’ll need to be able to convey the objectives to your procurement team clearly, and ensure that the team’s targets are aligned with those objectives. To help your procurement team see the big picture, it’s important to illustrate the value of their respective roles, how each role is crucial to the success of the procurement function, and what the procurement team stands to gain if the company’s business objectives are fulfilled. Then, develop team goals that contribute towards meeting those objectives by emphasising critical success factors such as efficiency, productivity, innovation and customer service. Teams become focused and driven when they have goals to achieve, especially if they understand the purpose of achieving those goals. Also, it’s particularly rewarding if their success elevates the team and the profession across the board.
Promote your team
The essence of an organisation lies with its people, and it’s the people that make an organisation great. Although an important part of a procurement manager’s role is to reduce costs, it’s essential that the main focus is on the procurement team. Your people are the ones carrying out the procurement operations and their efforts are what results in savings for the company, so it’s vital that they are your priority. Focus on the growth of the procurement team by encouraging them to attend courses and training sessions to widen their knowledge base and enhance their soft skills.
Having a procurement team that is equipped with the right competencies can really boost the organisation’s procurement operations and bring in the profits, which ultimately raises your profile as a procurement manager. Promoting your procurement team also puts you in the ‘great boss’ category, making you come across as a leader that cares for the advancement and success of your underlings. Regularly praise their good work in management meetings and nominate them for awards; show recognition for their contributions and hard work. Help them build their careers and they will be more than willing to produce good results for the company.
Engender trust and respect
Mutual trust and respect are two very important factors that determine the success of the procurement team. Without these elements, there would be no teamwork, making it extremely difficult for everyone to focus on the organisation’s goals or complete tasks successfully. In every team, there are diverse cultures, personalities and capabilities. To encourage trust and respect, every individual in the team must be given opportunities to learn about each other, and understand the different cultures and practices of each member. Constant communication and collaboration at the workplace are effective ways to build strong team dynamics, but there should also be instances where the team can socialise outside of the work setting. Cultivating good relationships among team members helps to strengthen team cohesiveness and promote a culture of trust and respect, creating a positive work environment for all. A procurement team meets with company stakeholders very often, so it’s imperative that the team shows solidarity and is focused on advancing company agendas.
Encourage knowledge sharing
As a procurement manager, you are constantly reviewing procurement operations and looking for ways to reduce procurement costs while maintaining efficiency. Although the procurement team is there to help execute the company’s procurement operations seamlessly, they are also a source of ideas and information on how to further improve the company’s procurement operations. Picking the brains of your charges is actually a useful thing to do as it not only gives you access to a whole new store of ideas, but also helps you connect with your team. To encourage knowledge sharing, be sure to keep communication lines open and be ready to listen to your team members whenever they voice concerns or suggestions. Hold brainstorming meetings to give each member a chance to share their thoughts on a particular issue, or propose novel ways to solve a recurring problem. This way, you not only gain insight into their thought processes, but obtain inspiration to improve procurement operations in the company. Knowledge sharing sessions benefit everyone in the team and enhance collaboration and cohesiveness.
Highlight the importance of value
Although procurement operations are mostly associated with cost reduction and savings, these matters should not be the main concerns of the procurement team. As the procurement manager, it’s vital to also highlight to your team other equally-important aspects of procurement operations such as having good relationships with suppliers and other stakeholders, and displaying integrity and honesty when carrying out assigned tasks. These practices are what adds value to the organisation and brings effectiveness into procurement operations. The team – and the organisation as a whole – must be educated that while being cost-effective is definitely important, bringing value is even more so, even to the extent of exceeding financial benefits. In the broader business context, the value that the procurement team brings to the table translates to higher profits and better business relationships with all company stakeholders.
Due to the fact that the procurement team of a business undertakes heavy responsibilities, it is crucial for them to always be on their feet.For more related articles, come on over to ThunderQuote today.
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