How Important are the Questions You Ask in Directing Your Procurement Efforts?

Big Data, faster processing speeds and increased storage are all factors that should make directing your procurement efforts much easier.

As I wrote last week, these advances should make data capture, search and analysis a breeze for your organization.

Having the data is one thing, asking the right questions of your suppliers can be far more important.

Have you ever met someone who could see clearly the core of a problem or challenge?

When they express their thoughts, you find yourself thinking “that is a great way to look at this”.

Often, they ask penetrating questions that get to the essence of the situation.

Many of the procurement professionals that I connect with are pressed for time. With so many projects going on at the same time, they normally don’t have the time to explore ways to achieve better results.

I’ve been there and understand your frustration.

I have gained many insights working with clients and prospective clients.

What follows is a short list of questions that you can most likely ask during any purchasing event or project. It is my hope that these will help you.

  • How long has the key supplier been in place?
  • How many qualified alternative suppliers do you know that are hungry to get a chance at a part of your business?
  • When was the last time that you asked for a concession and were turned down?
  • Have we asked if they have ideas on how to improve service or reduce costs?
  • What processes or procedures have they put in place for other customers that we could benefit from?
  • Are we an important source of business for them?
  • Have key stakeholders raised questions about their service or product recently?
  • Are we able to offer them more business?
  • Could we collaborate with other divisions or businesses groups in our organization to gain greater leverage?

Understanding how important your business is to a supplier and vice versa will help you determine how big an opportunity exists.

Sounds simple and in many cases if you ask a supplier to work with you, they will. If they won’t you will know that it might be time to move on.

Each supplier relationship should evolve to the benefit of each party. Start today and vow to change at least one relationship this month for the better.

Action Step:  Every organization wants to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of their procurement group. If you are uncertain where to start, a procurement professional like myself can provide guidance and expertise to help your organization achieve the results you want. If you would like to explore this topic in greater detail, please contact me.

If you want to explore a purchasing or procurement topic in greater detail, I invite you to request 30-minute discovery conversation. In my experience the next step will be apparent at the end of the call. I never assume that my recommendations will be right for everyone, so don’t expect a sales pitch. You can reach me at 973-936-9672.

Organizations of all sizes are reducing costs and increasing efficiency, without changing the way they conduct business. If you would like to know how, simply give me a call or send me an email with your contact information and the best time to reach you.


You Won’t Drift to Success©

Think about it.

Until Next Time, I Wish You Great Success in Your Business and in Your Life

Mike Jeffries