The Most Important Resource in Procurement Success is Time

When I ask procurement professionals what resource they would like to have more of, the answer is almost always time.

This used to surprise me. It doesn’t anymore.
It doesn’t really matter how good your team is because if they are exhausted from working long hours their productivity will suffer.
The best procurement tools won’t improve efficiency if the staff hasn’t had the proper training or the time to learn how to make use of all or even the key features.
We all tend to be creatures of habit and even if there is a better solution we are often reluctant to employ it.
The excuse I have heard most often is this: “I can’t spend the time to learn something new because I can’t keep up with what I have to do.”
A senior executive admitted to me recently that the sourcing team was “basically buying stuff”. They often resorted to ordering from the incumbent supplier because they didn’t have time or maybe the motivation to create an RFP.
The motivation worried him the most. He also understood that the procurement group hadn’t received much in the way of recognition when they did have successes. He realized he needed to raise their game so he could raise their status.
On his list of features that he wanted to have in an eSourcing tool were the following:

  • Live training using their data to set up the initial sourcing events
  • Approximately ten templates that would allow the procurement group to hit the ground running
  • Training on configuring and updating the templates to fit similar sourcing events
  • The ability to easily close events for faster creation in the future
  • Model reports that could be easily configured with new fields and parameters as needed
  • The ability to save report settings – either publicly or privately
  • Historical trend data for specific commodities that would uploaded and used in creating standard analysis and reports for the executive team

Based on this short list he believed that they could generate significant cost reductions and time efficiencies. When I first thought about this I was a bit skeptical. Once he explained the size of the spend that would now be much better controlled, I became a believer.
Today’s takeaway is that it isn’t always this simple to get control on such a large scale but this same approach will work on any significant spend category.
In my experience that is how you eat the elephant. As you gain control over more and more spend categories the process will become much easier and the results much bigger.
Action Step: If you aren’t sure where to start contact me to review your challenges.
There are many spend categories that can be controlled and you have to start somewhere. You don’t need to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to do this either. That wouldn’t make sense and it certainly wouldn’t save you time anyway.
EC Sourcing Group is one of the companies I represent because their tools have been created by dedicated and experienced sourcing professionals. They know the day-to-day challenges your team faces and have built their tools to solve them. If you want to know how, I invite you to request a demo or 30 minute discovery conversation so you can experience the platform, process, people, and tools. You can reach me at 973-936-9672.

Next week I will continue on this same theme so your organization can improve your bottom line.
If you would like to know more ways to reduce costs without changing the way you do business 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