As the role of procurement continues to increase in scope and importance across organizations, more people are looking at exactly what makes great procurement professionals. While there was a time when procurement was an afterthought for many organizations, its increased role means organizations are looking for talented individuals who can deliver the results needed to thrive. Because countless organizations simply don’t know what they should look for in a procurement professional, we want to provide some clarity by highlighting the five traits that matter most:
If you asked a group of analysts to describe procurement in a single word, there’s a good chance that at least one analyst would choose the word magnetic. The reason for using that specific word is there’s a magnetic quality to the way that procurement attracts certain types of individuals. In fact, there are some cases where that word also applies to procurement’s ability to repulse other types of people.
E-procurement can provide numerous operational benefits to hotels that make the transition to this type of system. To help demonstrate exactly why automating inventory and procurement should be a top priority for hotels as 2015 winds down and 2016 gets nearer, we want to highlight the most significant benefits:
Although the summer is already behind us, there’s still a good amount of time left in 2015. If you want to make most of the remaining months of this year, one thing to focus on is becoming the best purchasing manager possible. Because this is a role that continues to receive more attention and responsibility, you may already be feeling a substantial amount of pressure.
While there are times when pressure becomes too much, it’s something that can also be very motivating. If the amount of pressure you’re experiencing is motivating you to become the best purchasing manager you can be, we have a handful of tips that can help you work towards that goal.
Keep Things in Perspective
Even though it may sound like New Age advice, keeping the various professional obstacles you encounter in perspective can truly help your performance. Staying focused on what matters the most and finding small but meaningful ways to improve will add up to a significant change.
Stay on Top of Changes
Technology means that changes and developments across industries are moving faster than ever before. As a result, purchasing managers can benefit from carving out time each week to keep up with new issues and trends. Consistently doing this will give you a strong, strategic understanding of where your company is moving.
Make Diverse Interactions a Priority
Just as staying on top of what’s changing can be very beneficial, getting different inputs on what people truly want from procurement can help you focus your attention on the right tasks. That’s why it’s worth making a concerted effort to regularly speak with a diverse spectrum of professionals both inside and outside of the company.
Use the Best Tools Possible
If you put the three items we covered above into action, you will see a boost in your performance as a purchasing manager. But if you want to perform at your absolute best, there is one more key step that you need to take. That step is to take advantage of everything that quality purchasing software has to offer.
The reason that purchase order software can revolutionize your performance as a purchasing manager is it provides all the functionality that’s needed to supercharge procurement. Specifically, you’ll be able to easily automate any purchasing process that you want. This in turn will help eliminate the need for paper.
Instead of feeling basically helpless in regards to budget thresholds, using software means that you will have the ability to enforce approvals and put an end to maverick spending. All of this streamlining and enforcement will save you a ton of time every single week.
What’s even better is you can reap all the benefits of this type of software without needing IT support. And to top things off, you’ll be able to leverage vendor pricing through the use of historical data. The ability of our software to help purchasing managers be the best at what they do is why over 1,000 professionals like you have given it a top usability rating.
In the current business environment, purchasing professionals need to have a variety of skills. One set of skills that can greatly benefit these professionals is the ability to sell. While purchasing pros obviously have different job requirements than salespeople, there are definitely some skills that the former can learn from the latter. Here are the sales skills that individuals who do purchasing can benefit from utilizing:
When a sales professional is interacting with a potential buyer, they’re not going to let the conversation drag on forever. Instead, sales pros know when it’s time to close the deal by asking for the sale. Although taking the initiative to close a deal can feel uncomfortable, it’s something that has to be done. So when someone in purchasing knows that an option is the best one to take, they should have the confidence to make that clear to all other parties that are involved.
Clearly Conveying Benefits
One of the traits that sets sales professionals apart from amateurs is that the former group focuses on the specific benefits that a product or service has to offer. While features are definitely important, benefits are what ultimately sways people to make a purchase. This lesson can be very beneficial to purchasing managers and team members who remember it. Whether it’s a fellow employee or another stakeholder, focusing on the benefits someone will receive can be useful in conversations ranging from specific purchases to why they should get on board with certain procedures.
Eliminating Discomfort from Discussions About Numbers
Numbers aren’t something that people always want to talk about. However, in order for a procurement professional to do the best job possible, they need to be able to negotiate prices. That reality is why those in purchasing should look to salespeople for guidance on how to best address the subject of numbers. Not only are great salespeople able to bring up the topic of numbers without making anyone uncomfortable, but they’re also able to frame them in a way that is beneficial to what they’re trying to accomplish.
Framing Conversations Around Value
This ties into the previous point about how salespeople are able to frame numbers in a way that is useful to what they want to accomplish. When a salesperson talks about what someone is going to get out of a product or service, they know the importance of communicating the direct value that individual is going to receive. While the subjects being discussed are going to differ, purchasing managers should take the same approach. By framing conversations around direct value, everything from vendor negotiations to enforcing budget thresholds becomes easier. The reason everything will become easier is because discussing value gives the other parties involved a clear reason to get on board with what a purchasing manager wants to do.
Whether you’re speaking to a purchasing professional or someone in another department of an organization, most people agree that the role of procurement has noticeably expanded in recent years. One of the reasons that procurement has changed is because companies have realized that when handled correctly, procurement can have a noticeable impact on a company’s bottom line.
While purchase managers have more on their plate than ever before, that doesn’t mean training has kept up with the demands of this job. A common theme across companies of all sizes is that the current training for procurement just isn’t reflective of what’s required of this type of job on a daily basis.