13 Resolutions for Procurement Teams in 2013

As you and your team are preparing to execute your Procurement strategy for 2013, consider adding these resolutions to your “to-do” list:

1. Tell your sourcing story. Has your team transformed processes or implemented new technologies that blew the socks off senior management? Tell everyone by sharing your sourcing stories. Consider creating a quarterly (or monthly) newsletter or e-mail to distribute to the entire company so you can publicize your successes and impact on the organization’s growth and bottom line.

2. Give Procurement a voice. Make 2013 the Year of Procurement. You can gain influence by leveraging compelling sourcing and business-intelligence reporting. Partnering with someone like Iasta will provide you with the technology and expertise to build an enduring, credible reputation for decision-making excellence that supports the corporate growth strategies.

3. Learn something new. Make it a goal to learn how to use at least one of the advanced pieces of functionality found in your sourcing software.

4. Volunteer your time. Contact a non-profit that needs to stretch every dollar, and volunteer to run a sourcing project for them. Pay it forward in 2013.

5. Implement 360-degree reviews with your suppliers. Understand your supplier relationships by allowing your suppliers to evaluate you. Most importantly, establish metrics and take corrective action based on your suppliers’ responses.

6. Develop at least five non-price KPIs. Your success isn’t just about cost savings anymore. Example KPIs include number of projects, average time per event, percentage of spend negotiated via auctions, and global reach. You can watch a video of an Iasta Client, VF Corporation, sharing tips on measuring eSourcing success with various tactical and strategic metrics.

7. Speak like a salesperson, but act like a buyer. To be successful in Procurement today, you need to know how to sell your capabilities, successes, and opportunities to other key business units. It’s critical that you educate your stakeholders on the importance and success of strategic sourcing.

8. Embrace change. Jack Welch once said, “Change before you have to.” Don’t be afraid of change this year. Implement new technology, processes, and KPIs in order to meet the evolving needs of your stakeholders, suppliers, and end-customers!

9. Uncover your stage in the evolution of Procurement. It’s important to understand where your company is and where you want to be on your version of the Procurement progression spectrum (for example: Decentralized, Centralized, Center-Led, and Integrated Category Management). The answer isn’t the same for everyone, but understanding the ideal progression strategy for your organization based on your maturity level is a key step. In addition, ask the various members on your team where they think your organization should fall on the spectrum to make sure you’re on the same page. Lay out a plan for how to achieve your goals by including multiple levels of the team in strategy development.

10. Gain and build trust. Perhaps you’ve heard the quote, “People ask me why it’s so hard to trust people, and I ask why is it so hard to keep a promise?” Trust is the foundation of all good relationships. Be accountable for your actions. In addition, start lunch & learns to teach others and increase your transparency across the organization.

11. Develop new templates for internal stakeholders. Use these new templates to gather commodity or service information from your stakeholders.

12.  Better manage your contracts. Remember all the pricing, settlement discounts, quality standards, and renewal terms you spent so much time negotiating last year? Too often, contracted terms are stuck in a file and then forgotten. Contract management solutions allow you to easily track and manage agreements throughout their lifespan. Use search, sorting, and filtering functionality to make it easy to find key components of an agreement and upcoming contract expiration dates.

13. Make education a priority. Attend industry Webinars, download whitepapers, follow industry influencers on Twitter, attend conferences, join LinkedIn groups to join and post conversations, and so on. You can always learn more. Always.

Happy New Year!

-The Iasta Team

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