Here's a great annual repost from our Mark Davis.
Now that fall is approaching its midpoint and the holidays are around the corner, how are you planning for 2014?
Today’s post is by Mark Davis; Sr. Vice President of Operations and CTO at SafeSourcing.
Procurement professionals our success is dependent on how well we are continuing to think forward to the coming months so that we are prepared when the business is ready to go out and make spend decisions. This usually can’t be done in just a few weeks, it requires looking months in advance at new projects, new spends and existing contracts and reviews of the market for the best offering.
Typically this type of planning involves sitting down with your department heads to understand what their budgets, spends, and plans for the business are in the future so that you can get ahead of what is coming.
With fall just beginning and the holiday season right around the corner, now is the time to begin scheduling those sessions with the departments and looking at the contracts that are due to expire in the first and second quarter in 2014. Coordinating these meetings can take time and the larger your company, the more lead time you are likely to need to get on the appropriate peoples’ schedules.
Waiting until after the first of the year to do this when budgets have officially been set may be too late to get this done, as people are generally coming back from the holidays and catching up on the other items that have been awaiting their attention. It can be the end of January or early February before you get your meetings scheduled which will likely mean you will lose an opportunity to help them source some items in the first quarter.
Get your meetings scheduled by the first or second week in November. Using a three step approach like the one followed by SafeSourcing Managers, look for those departments which have a higher number of easy, high opportunity categories. This includes spends with fast approaching contract deadlines. Also look at those departments that have more complex projects but with high dollar spends followed by the departments involving the most complex spends but with high opportunity. This last group can generally take more time to gather information and strategize so make sure you include time with these departments to get ahead of the projects.
Going through the projects these departments have planned for 2014 is a great exercise in understanding how the procurement department can help them select the right products and services for your company providing better overall value.
For more information on scheduling your internal department head planning sessions or for templates you can use during those sessions to help collect the data you need, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service Representative.
We look forward to your comments.