That Procurement Guy is So Cool!
Tuesday, 22 Jan 2019
Eric Wilson, Senior Vice President & General Manager, North America
Procurement is generally viewed as the bane of everyone's existence. As the rule-keepers and budget-followers, sometimes it’s easy to say, "I hate that procurement guy." Or, "that procurement lady is awful.” But procurement people offer a lot more than just process demands and policy policing.
"That procurement guy is so cool!"
Now there's a phrase you don't hear every day. Maybe "that sales guy," or "that marketing guy," or even "that customer service guy," but never "that procurement guy." And it feels a little unfair. What's so bad about us? Why can't we be the cool ones?
But it's not our fault, right?
Our jobs are hard. We are accountable for making the company follow procurement policy. We are accountable for ensuring the organization follows correct processes. We are accountable for guaranteeing employees and suppliers use the procurement system. We’re tasked with saving the company money. That's our job and it’s what we signed up for. If we don't impose the policy, if we don't enforce the process, if we don't require the use of the system, then we don't have visibility into how the company spends money and therefore we can't do our job. We can't save the company money, nor ensure compliance, nor mitigate organizational risk.
So, it's just a fact of life. We're seen as the bad guys and we're used to it. Everyone has their role: Sales Guy gets to be loved and Procurement Guy gets to be tolerated at best.
But, it doesn't have to be that way.
Believe it or not, there are now many companies out there where Procurement is the hero! Not just the hero to the CFO because they enforced compliance and control. I'm talking about the hero to the people, the employees, the suppliers. All of them. Even that lady in marketing.
In these companies, Procurement made everyone's jobs easier. They made it simple, fast, even fun for everyone to get the stuff they need to get the jobs done.
How did they do that?
It takes a lot more than a pretty user interface, and a lot more than a consumer-like shopping experience. It takes a system that was built to seamlessly fit into how people, the employee and supplier, work.
Our hero, the procurement guy, gave everyone a tool to get the stuff they need, when they need it, wherever they need it. A tool that doesn't require the employee to think about which vendor they are buying from, or how many different shopping carts they need to have, or which items they need to get faster than other items. He gave them a tool that makes supplier relationships better, not worse. And a tool that gets rid of all that excess paper and automatically processes all invoices for our friends in AP. Even better, the tool gives the employees recognition for doing things right. Not to mention, the procurement guys are the one’s helping all departments save money, not creating a roadblock in the process anymore.
That's how they did it. That’s how those procurement guys became heroes! And by being the hero to the people, those procurement guys just happened to also knock it out of the park on 100% spend visibility, compliance, risk mitigation, and savings.
Coworkers can now be heard saying, “That procurement guy helps me get the best value from my contract!” And, “That procurement lady helps take away the stress of negotiation!” Procurement is expanding to include additional talents, like those of a business advisor. Now that's cool!
Ready to learn more?
Ready to learn more about how Basware e-Procurement can make your procurement team the heroes of your business, ensure compliant and on-contract buying, and improve supplier relationships all while keeping your budget in mind? Read our eBook, “7 Secrets for Successful eProcurement.” Questions? Contact us! We’re here to help.