At some point in their career, many (if not all) procurement professionals will experience the consequences of not having senior management support. The consequences can wreck promising careers and destroy confidence when things go wrong. Many individuals feel themselves “on their own.” Therefore, having strong organizational awareness and credibility regardless of support is vital to procurement’s function and initiatives.
Frustratingly, whenever you read about procurement change programmes, people always reflect on the lessons learned and stress the importance of executive support. Problem is, no one really defines what “executive support success” really means.
For a procurement initiative to be successful, there needs to be support on three levels from executive management:
1. Support of the procurement executive leading the initiative.
2. Support for the procurement function brought about from belief in the value it can bring from the strategic sourcing process across the organization.
3. Support for the initiative itself at the business level to avoid support being withdrawn if priorities change.
In many organisations, initiatives still proceed where there is support from the procurement group and leader, however, support from the CEO and leaders of other functions is weak. In such situations, resistance from stakeholders is inevitable. And unless the CEO drives other functions to get on-board, the initiative may stagger or fail. It is essential purchasers understand how to secure support and recognise if it is present and the necessary conditions for success have been created.
Stay tuned for Part 2 when I will cover creating conditions for success.