Piloting New Procurement Processes!

January 13th, 2015

When you introduce a new procurement process how will you structure it for success?


Today’s post is from our blog library archive  at  SafeSourcing.

The landscape of procurement is constantly changing and no time more so than in today’s world with company acquiring company, experience and education changes taking place and a workforce that is always in flux as a major generation of employees begins to exit the industry.  With all of these changes it is no wonder that new processes and 3rd party relationships need to develop to accommodate the new landscape.  With each new process and/or partner relationship introduced, laying out the expectations and roles and responsibilities will be crucial to achieving success.  Today we will be looking at some of the things which need to be done before moving forward with the pilot event of a changed procurement department.

Communication – Communication is the foundation for all successful projects and understanding the pieces that are included here and whose responsibility it will be to own is very important.  There are three aspects that need to be determined once a new process begins.  The first piece is communication with internal stakeholders.  Generally this will be handled by the procurement team but must needs to happen before anything else is completed.  Catching your internal stakeholders off guard for a new project that affects their areas is the fastest way to derail a project.  The second piece is external communication with the incumbent suppliers.  The second fastest way to derail a project is to catch your suppliers off guard in a category they are currently supporting.  Advance notice, informing your suppliers what is happening will help ensure they are ready to fight to keep the business they have.  These first two areas are considered “notification” communication and the third would be classified as “status up
date” communication.  This is where the future touch point communication with the suppliers and stakeholders are set so that everyone can be kept up to date with the project.  The more information that can be shared with all interested parties the smoother the project will go. 

Timeline and Milestones – Happening in parallel with the notification communication is the establishment of the milestones that will occur not only for projects in general but specifically for each project on its own.  Each piece of the process should be defined from the time a project is decided through the final contract with the awarded vendor.  These milestones should be well-defined and tentative dates should be attached to each one.  These dates should be connected in a way through a program like Microsoft Project so that the outcome of milestone slippage can be seen immediately by the project team.  This provides prospective for the entire project and also a forum to track the pieces as they occur to keep everything on track.

Roles and Responsibilities – Once the project has been defined the ownership of each piece must be clearly communicated to each affected party.  Officially assigning roles ensures that there is a minimal chance of items falling through the cracks and not getting completed.  Having a well-established template of roles and responsibilities is key but keep in mind that each sourcing project is unique and some departments may have less resources than others to handle all of the items needed.  Milestones like providing spend details are usually owned by the stakeholders but sometimes may get handled by an internal or 3rd party procurement team.  The important thing with roles and responsibilities as that you have a framework but stay flexible with each project.

New procurement processes can lead to great results as long as they are defined and communicated in advance so that everyone knows the part they play.  For more information on how SafeSourcing can assist with structuring standard operating procedures for these projects 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.

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