Ensuring Executive Support in Your Quest for Purchasing Fire

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Last year, over on the e-Sourcing Wiki, I brought you The Quest for Purchasing Fire, a twelve step guide to selling sourcing and procurement initiatives internally in your organization. Last month, the SSON published the top ten tips for ensuring buy-in from the top, which complements the wiki-paper nicely. Because you have to:

  • Have a Compelling Business Case
    Anything less than a complete, finely detailed, business case with backed-up ROI calculations and you’re just asking for rejection from an executive with too many time requests and a need to kill some as quickly as possible.
  • Create a Sense of Urgency
    If you can’t demonstrate why the organization can’t wait to take advantage of your cost saving initiative, it will likely get put on the back burner
  • Understand Your Organization’s Internal Processes
    Go through the channels and make sure not to offend anyone who could cause trouble if not included.
  • Be Open and Honest About Endeavors
    Be honest about past mistakes and any shortcomings you may have and how you plan to correct them with this initiative.
  • Keep Company Staff in the Project
    Not only do many organizations still distrust consultants, but getting company staff involved early is key to obtaining buy in.
  • Maintain a Tight Focus
    You’re not trying to save the world … so don’t tackle everything at once.
  • Be Bold Where it Counts
    Even though you’re not trying to save the world, be sure to have a plan that aims high with respect to the problems you are tackling.
  • Give Examples from Beyond the Organization
    Demonstrating how similar projects have helped your competitors will go a long way towards alleviating fears of the unknown.
  • Demonstrate Your Risk Awareness
    Every project involves risk … be sure to address all of the likely, and unlikely risks to let management know that you’re aware of the risks and actively taking steps to mitigate them.
  • Highlight the Compliance Benefits
    As the article says, pull up your SOX.