Reinventing Supply Management as the “Go-To” Organization

Will Supply Management ever be the “Go-To” organization? It should be, but it many organizations it still doesn’t have C-Suite visibility. That’s why I found the fact that SIG recently published an article on Reinventing Procurement as the “Go-To” Organization to be quite interesting because the average organization is not yet ready for Supply Management to have the role it deserves.

SI agrees with the author who states that procurement is a vital component of any large company. It supports every department and employee in the company; it engages with every service provider the company does business with; it executes contracts that help manage the risk to the company; it commits sometimes significant financial obligations on behalf of the company; it leads supplier diversity programs; it has a holistic view of the spend of the company; and it has the ability to manage consumption. No other department has as much reach both internally and externally. But yet, it is still not seen as the “go-to” department.

Why not? The author makes some good points. Challenges include:

  • transactional nature or history of the group
  • perception that the group is a bottleneck
  • lack of leadership or mission
  • lack of technology and process investment
  • perception that the group is a necessary evil

But these challenges can be overcome. The author recommends that an organization starts:

1. At the Top.
First, the organization must obtain a strong leader (if it doesn’t already have one) with strong relationship, communication, and business skills to forge relationships between business units.

2. With a Mission.
A vibrant procurement organization needs a clear set of meaningful (and measurable) goals. Specifically, the procurement team needs to know what it stands for, what it is trying to accomplish, and what to communicate to the business units and service providers.

3. That Gets C-Suite Attention.
After all, a consistent executive message that declares procurement as a core resource for achieving the business imperatives will go a long way to build confidence from all realms of the enterprise.

4. That Empowers People.
Motivated individuals want to own their outcomes and be recognized for their contributions. The same motivated individuals that will achieve Supply Management success for your organization.

Collectively this transformation will help to create a new corporate reputation for Supply Management – which will start to spread when the organization become[s] known as the group to call when someone needs to get something done. And if this happens,

  • the transactional nature or history of the group will be forgotten
  • the perception that the group is a bottleneck will be replaced with a perception that the group is the way to clear bottlenecks
  • there will be no lack of leadership or mission to hold Supply Management back
  • technology and process investment will be made when it benefits Supply Management and the organization as a whole
  • the perception that the group is a necessary evil will be replaced with the perception that the group is a force for good in the organization

And Supply Management will have taken the first step.