Team work in Procurement
The best comparison I heard for procurement was comparing it to a football team (article from LinkedIn by Drasko Jelavich).
Defence in Procurement means RISK Management. And it stands for neutralizing commodity price fluctuations, currency issues, political upheavals, etc. Of course your Procurement team cannot fully avoid those risks, but what you can do is to minimize the possible impact, so that the crisis situations will not ruin your goals…
Midfield in Procurement consist of three parts – digitalization, structured Category Management and raising strategic competences. Those three fronts are naturally complemented in strategic tools that are able to discipline and introduce analytically sound data that you pass to your striker for the winning goal.
And offence stands for VALUE creation and for Supplier relationship management! These are the functions on the forefront of your Procurement team who have the biggest impact to reach your goals!
Finally, the role of the manager (or CPO) is similar to the role of the Coach or Strategic leader. This person should orchestrate everyone and lead others to reach the long term goals!
Maybe I am not the big fan of football, but I like the analogy here. Because every part of the Procurement team is important, and only a good teamwork can lead your Procurement department to the great results!
So it doesn’t matter where exactly do you work in Procurement organization – as a core function or as a support function – you should act as one big team to get the great results!
Integration of Procurement department
Acting as a team doesn’t only mean interactions inside the Procurement department. Because really great results happen in the companies which are integrating their departments in the general company structure. Moreover – integrating company’s departments with the external players.
Interactions and aligning Sourcing function to the other parts of the company helps to create lots of synergies. Hence Procurement organizations should have a good representation in the top management of the company (or in the board of directors).
What is even more important, Procurement organization should align their strategy with the strategy of the entire company.
This is the feature of the world-class organizations. In addition to internal integration you do the aligning the strategies and business plans with your main supply chain partners. Especially key suppliers, big raw material producers, logistic companies or even your customers!
So external integration is focusing on creating value for the final consumers. And on eliminating the wastes from entire Supply Chain!
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Article by Robert Freeman
Procurement expert and coach at Future Procurement
You can learn more about Procurement and Supply Chain Management at our web-site www.futureprocurement.net