A successful procurement process will save you time, money and reduce risk. If you are not familiar with the process, here are some practical steps to ensure your procurement projects remain on target.
Step 1: Get buy-in from the top
The first step to success is getting buy-in from management. Organisations need to ensure the staff involved in the process have all the necessary knowledge and training to carry out the procurement effectively. A detailed planning document can be a powerful tool to keep track of all activity during the process, and help you communicate progress with colleagues around your organisation.
Step 2: Engage internally
If you have a procurement department, you should engage with them early in the process so they are clear on any roles, responsibilities and expectations you have.
Step 3: Be clear but flexible
When specifying your need, ensure you clearly define outcomes and performance. However, be open-minded - you do not want to stifle supplier innovation. This will establish an environment in which creative procurement can flourish. The procurement process needs to challenge and influence internally and externally - a positive attitude will engage colleagues who will then go on to become business enablers.
Step 4: Know the rules
Establish governance arrangements from the outset. It is important that you have a detailed knowledge of all the relevant procurement rules, such as the EU regulations as well as any internal governance procedures or corporate procurement rules. A knowledgeable team will ultimately improve efficiency in managing procurement projects.
Step 5: Be commercial
Thinking and acting strategically can be instrumental to success. Use tools such as ‘sourcing options appraisals’ to review costs and options, and obtain valuable insight. Consider innovative ways of charging and understand the affordable outcomes which offer best value for money.
Good contract management needs to cover both Service Delivery Management, which assures the delivery of the correct service and quality, and Commercial Contract Management, which assures the commercial strategy is achieved.
Step 6: Keep your eyes on the prize
Immediate benefits are instantly gratifying; however, ensure you have considered the commercial terms before committing to a long-term contract. Commit suppliers to performance improvement and/or delivering additional savings down the line.
Finally, understand your three spend levers of procuring cheaper, spending less, and most importantly, spending smarter. This will ultimately ensure a rewarding process, where services are aligned to your requirements whilst delivering better value for money.