Procurement is about getting the product or goods you need as quick as possible for the least cost right? With this mindset there are some that rush through the process, cutting corners and doing whatever it takes to get the best deal, fast. Before your next major item or service is procured, consider these tips for a successful procurement process.
Take your time and start the process with all the information you need. Consider what needs to be done, who needs to do what aspect(s), and what role to external parties play. Lay out your timeline with advice from the departments involved with investigative periods, approval processes, delivery time, and evaluation of product after it arrives.
Who will be involved in the procurement process and what will their job be? For large businesses these roles are solidified in job descriptions, but be sure everyone knows who is responsible for what. For small to medium businesses it’s more common to have people wearing multiple hats so be sure to designate who is responsible which part of the process.
Don’t fall into the trap of playing favorites. Make sure the process is fully open and transparent so that suppliers are unable to influence decision makers and decision makers don’t do under the table side deals. This can be a grey area, where some extra game tickets are gifted as a way to say thanks, but when you cross that ethical line where the contracts are awarded based on the perks promised you risk problems internally and possibly legally as well. So play it safe and be transparent to help deter inappropriate favoritism.
With every step of the process be sure you are following all the rules. There may be multiple layers and complex issues involved. It’s not simply a matter of following company rules, but also ensuring compliance with the laws of your industry, local government, and state and federal as well.
Do not be so precise and restrictive in your approach to all the details. When working with your supplier look at the end result of what you want to achieve, the desired outcome, and then step back to let them have some creative liberties. Let them bring their expertise to the table and provide exceptional value. The best solution may be one you haven’t considered. Rigidity has its place, but in the procurement process be sure there is room to innovate and deliver value.
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