Are you looking to become the next procurement manager in your company? Procurement as a whole might be extremely daunting to a lot of people and it is known that it is a very difficult industry to enter. Most Chief Procurement Officers have been in the industry for more than 10 years to reach the heights they are at today. To ensure we help you as much as we can, we have compiled a set of 4 of the most crucial skills needed to stand out as a procurement manager within your peers.
Having a strong knowledge base of the general procurement standards is probably the most crucial point of them all. This is simply because without that, you might have serious troubles handling the number of deals and tenders coming your way.
The main job of a procurement leader is to help the entire company consolidate all their spendings and ensuring that every business unit gets their money’s worth. In addition to that, a lot of compliance needs to be ensured while making it so that no one gets their feet stepped on in the process.
Just imagine 10-15 tenders a week and contracts having to be drawn up for each of them. There are negotiation processes as well as re-negotiation. In addition to that, there is the problem of what happens when non-compliance happens.
Therefore, a strong knowledge base is extremely important to ensure that you know every entry and exit point that will be activated during the standard procurement process.
Here’s a list of the basic knowledge bases you need to have to ensure the current standards are being met :
- Knowledge to create basic contracts
- Knowledge of current marketplace
- Knowledge for basic negotiation to create contracts
- Knowledge in being able to handle budgets for entire departments
You will be acting as the communication barrier between the company and the vendors which means you need to have top of the line communication skills. You need to be able to know exactly how to handle troublesome vendors or heads of departments who might not know how to scope their projects correctly.
Being in the centre of it all is highly stressful but it is very rewarding as being the gatekeeper means you are in charge of the company’s bottom line as well as how well the company does in the long run.
World class communication skills are crucial as it will also ensure that you get to sell the hard ideas, get the concepts across as well as translate complicated projects to vendors to ensure that your department heads get the exact scopes they need for the fulfilment of their projects.
Here are some of the main communications you will need to build :
- Building rapport with suppliers.
- Ensure you build good relationships with important stakeholders
- Always offer options after each negotiation.
Ability To Critically Analyse Spend
With thousands of choices for each project, you need to be able to analyse each and every one of them to pick and choose the best one that your team needs. Things like supply market analysis as well as spend analysis, these are all very strategic thinking processes that need a very analytical mind to be in charge of them.
Having a solid understanding of all these fields are extremely crucial to allow for constant betterment of your system. Another main reason why there are procurement managers is to always find a better way to procure for services and products. Being highly analytical will allow you to be able to foresee procurement trends and always be on top of things.
Always make sure you’re analysing your spending by :
- Identifying your company’s/organisation’s total spending overall
- Request for vendor supply information on all existing contracts to have an overview of how your company used to spend for analysis.
- Interview heads of departments or your CEO to ensure you have a clear understanding of their needs and their view of their supplier’s performance and also whatever enhancements they might need.
- Remember to always analyse your data and work closely with all departments!
Familiarity With The Latest Procurement Technologies
Being tech savvy is another important skill you need to have. The procurement scene is changing rapidly and you need to ensure you stay on top. Procurement is becoming much more automated and is currently relying on a lot of technology to continue working.
The old school methods are slowly phasing out and you need to make sure that you don’t’ get left behind. Always make sure that you are reading the new normal of procurement trends and always learn the new technological elements that are now being integrated into normal procurement standards.
Always ensure that you are ahead of the game. Learn to embrace all these new technological standards to ensure that you don’t get left behind!
These skills are extremely important that we hope you take note of and make it part of your daily process. Constantly bettering yourself will always bring about better opportunities in the long run. Make sure you have these skills to ensure you stand out as a procurement professional in the scene.
ThunderQuote is the most comprehensive business services portal in Singapore, Australia and ASEAN , where hundreds of thousands of dollars of procurement contracts are sourced every month by major companies like Singapore Press Holdings, National Trade Union Congress and more.