Today’s post is by Mark Davis; Sr. Vice President and COO at SafeSourcing.
Last week, Marketing Daily, released 2014 survey results on the top loved grocery store chains in America. Personal attention, cleanliness, speedy checkout, and low prices were just some of the reasons the top chains scored well. Overall, however, customers scored their desire to actually DO grocery shopping relatively low, creating potential for improvement for everyone in the space. Many of these reasons mirror the same areas for dissatisfaction that departments within an organization tend to have with their internal procurement team and we will look at some of these today.
Long Checkout times – Nobody likes to wait, and waiting at grocery stores would probably top many people’s list of frustrations. This frustration can also present in the procurement process as understaffed procurement teams takes months to complete even the most straightforward projects. Best practice procurement processes are important and once standardized can save a company much pain and frustration, but without the flexibility to adjust those processes to each individual project, however, projects that should take a few weeks can last months. Balancing the expected results and cost savings with changeover costs and time to contract must happen with each project in order to allow other departments to get what they need in a way that provides the most overall value to the company.
Inability to get what you want – Many companies’ procurement departments tend to be nothing more than price negotiators and contract executers. They let the others departments do their own research, find their own products and select their own suppliers. Because many of the people being allowed to make these decisions have little to no procurement experience, the end result for the company may not be beneficial, especially if that department is having difficulty finding the right service or product to fill their need. When a procurement team can use their experience and internal or 3rd party research team to assist other departments, it is possible to provide them with several options to choose from that will give them more flexibility and provide greater overall value to the company.
Poor Service – This failure by businesses is a universal problem and a universal frustration to their customers. No matter what is being sold, no one likes poor customer service and many times it is this reason that causes people to switch their loyalty from one store or supplier to another. Virtually every successful procurement team around the world has one thing in common; they view the rest of the organization as their customer; they market to them; they sell to them; they service them; and they assist them when emergencies arise. Many of these successful teams have been given staffs to accomplish this and others have 3rd party vendors to act as an extension of their team. By treating the rest of the company like a customer, these teams consistently achieve procurement goals, get better value for their organization and develop a stronger rapport with the rest of the company.
For more information on how SafeSourcing can assist you in creating a procurement team that provides great service to your internal customer or on our “Risk Free” trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service Representative. We have an entire customer services team waiting to assist you today.
We look forward to your comments.