Throughout the public sector, there is a lot of pressure on departments and individuals to save money. Although the mandate to save money is clear, it needs to be accomplished without degrading the quality of goods or services that are delivered. This combination creates a procurement challenge that is quite significant. As a result of that challenge, there is a very real need for purchasing managers who have the right mix of experience and skills.
Since this type of procurement requires more than just cutting costs, staffers need to be problem solvers who can bring valuable ideas and solutions to the table. Because that’s not something that happens overnight, we want to provide a few suggestions for ways that training can help individuals in or entering this line of work develop the skills they need to succeed:
Training Should Focus on Both Specific and Broad Topics
In order for someone to thrive in a procurement role, they need to be able to tackle very specific tasks. But in addition to that requirement, procurement professionals also need the ability to look at certain issues in the context of a bigger picture. Given that the job requires a varied approach to work, it’s something that procurement training should reflect.
Sales and Marketing Should Have Overlaps with Procurement
Far too many organizations put procurement and sales & marketing in completely different silos. While it does make sense for these departments to function independently, it’s important to acknowledge that there should be some overlap and synergy. Any organization that wants to maximize the effectiveness of both areas should make it a priority to get the right supporting training programs in place.
Learning is An Ongoing Process
While lots of upfront education and training is obviously important for people who are thinking about getting into procurement, it’s important to remember that learning isn’t something with an expiration date. The best procurement professionals are those who have a commitment to lifelong learning. Because that approach can have lots of positive effects, it’s something that public sector procurement training should be set up to support.
Confidence to Take Advantage of the Latest Technology
The modern world moves very fast. Since that’s a simple fact, procurement professionals need to be able to take advantage of tools that can make their work as efficient as possible. Of all the available tools in that category, purchasing software is at the top of the list. By using purchasing software, procurement professionals can ensure all the features they need are at their fingertips. And while making the most of a piece of purchasing software can require some upfront training, with an easy to use system like the platform offered by Bellwether Purchasing Software, the learning curve for this kind of workflow improvement software isn’t overwhelming at all.
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