Procurement – Strategic Business Partnership

November 10, 2014

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.


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