Procurement, historically transactional and cost-focused, is transforming into a strategic advisory function that brings value far beyond cost savings. Procurement operations, of course, differ from company to company; the same as corporate culture and practices. When Procurement is able to evolve their performance metrics beyond cost savings, there is great benefit in forming a close partnership with business process owners long before there is a RFP in progress.
A strategic Procurement partner will:
- Seek ‘best value’ rather than ‘lowest cost’
- Drive innovation and gain a deeper view of the market and the company Mobility function
- Focus on supplier relationship management at the highest levels (e.g. treat suppliers as customers)
- Measure and motivate suppliers to excel
- Focus on supply-chain risk management (e.g. supplier financial stability, knowledge of supplier’s supply chain management, external risk factors)
Growing a trusting partnership with your Procurement colleagues will greatly benefit the Mobility function. Support Procurement:
- Include them in the planning and design stages – don’t wait for supplier negotiations
- Share essential expertise (e.g. terminology, philosophies, policies, positions, processes, tools)
- Share industry trends, the competitive landscape and gaps in the company mobility program
- Ensure they understand the needs of the mobile workforce (e.g. support for the family)
- Help them appreciate the importance of the subjective aspects of a supplier relationship (e.g. cultural fit, trust, shared vision, aligned values)
- Build common goals - find a balance between a cost-only focus and a strategic value focus
Mobility is complex from an operational, human and supplier procurement perspective. Welcome your Procurement team to your world so they may become a more valuable partner.