What does Transformational Procurement look like? (after Margaret Gilbert)

Transformational procurement

Recently we were talking with Margaret Gilbert from New Zealand.

She has so rich Procurement experience (more than 25 years). And she has seen a lot from both Supplier and Buyer sides of doing business. Today I have decided to share Margaret’s article with you. It is about Transformational Procurement. And it has made a huge impact on me.

Enjoy your reading!


What does Transformational Procurement look like?

Procurement – what image does this project to the business world?

Usually, it is a mix of rules, paperwork and being told ‘no’. Procurement has moved on but the perception lives on and some Procurement practitioners act and work to that belief. The same has to be said of some suppliers as well.

We should be aiming higher than transactional Procurement and to promote/provide vision and clear direction. If we stay as we are then in 10 years – and probably sooner – then we will find that technology can undertake the basics.

For Procurement practitioners and Procurement to be relevant we must transform procurement from transactional to transformational. We should focus on strategic procurement and how we can add value. By doing so we can add to the organisation.

Procurement requires Procurement practitioners who are agile in their thinking and actions. In addition, for Procurement practitioners to be able to think strategically for Procurement requirements.

How to achieve:

  1. Need to transform ourselves.
  2. Think broadly.
  3. Strategic Plan – strategic Procurement
  4. Communication
  5. Working collaboratively with buyer and supplier.

Transformational Procurement is the future and we must start now to achieve. Procurement practitioners should promote transformational Procurement along with the benefits to management. Get involved early and be ahead of the change that is coming. There is the danger of being left behind. Technology is here to stay. Technology can assist and the Procurement process.

We have to move from the Procurement basics and rigid ‘rules’ t thinking about each Procurement requirement.


The future for Procurement requires:

  1. Clear Procurement strategy covering 1-3 years, 3-5 years.
  2. Trained staff.
  3. Strategic contracts.
  4. Collaboration between buyer and supplier.
  5. Procurement qualifications.
  6. Procurement sustainability.
  7. Procurement ‘Elders’.

The danger of being left behind

Procurement is not static, we cannot continue to undertake Procurement as we always did 10-15 years ago. Our organisations require the best Procurement solutions. If we cannot provide there is a danger of procurement and ourselves being minimised.

While technology can provide Procurement solutions from a technical perspective there is still the requirement for strategic thinking about options and possibilities.

Procurement is about people – we should let technology do the ‘grunt’ work so we can focus on what is important such as the relationship, collaboration and leveraging. This is the basis of transformational Procurement .


We should work to move Procurement from transactional to transformational Procurement . We must be proactive, we have to keep up. Procurement is not static. We cannot be fixed in our thinking.

We must take the opportunity to be relevant and to provide solutions that are forward thinking. Procurement practitioners have to adjust our focus and by doing so we can achieve transformational Procurement .

At times, we get ‘stuck’ in the ‘now’. We have to move our focus by looking at the ‘big picture’. It is time that we made a change – before change hits us – so we can influence the way forward. If we stay as we are then other influences can make decisions on Procurement rement that does not assist Procurement – or Procurement practitioners. Get involved and work to achieve transformational procurement.


P.S. Find Margaret Gilbert in LinkedIn

Find Contract Matters company and books here www.contractmatters.com


P.S. And don’t forget to listen to the full interview with Margaret Gilbert!

Future Procurement podcast



Robert Freeman

Procurement expert and coach at Future Procurement

Join us in LinkedInFacebookPodcasts!

You can learn more about Procurement and Supply Chain Management at our web-site www.futureprocurement.net


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