Despite more CPOs reporting directly to CFOs, as well as lots of talk about the importance of synergy between procurement and finance, many organizations still keep these functions in very distinct silos. If your organization has more space than you’d like between the two departments, the good news is bringing them together can be a relatively smooth process. A big part of why organizations can find a lot of success by bringing procurement and finance into closer alignment is the two departments already have a lot in common. So with that in mind, here are a handful of steps that can be very useful in encouraging successful collaboration:
Processes Over Savings
One of the biggest misconceptions that finance and other departments have about procurement is that it fully revolves around savings. Given that existing bias, this isn’t the ideal place to start conversations. Processes are a much better place to focus. Instead of causing a CFO’s internal red flags to go up as soon as they start hearing savings numbers being thrown around, framing discussions around processes such as sourcing and demand management will put procurement in a much more favorable light.
There is a Place for Savings
Although the last section made it clear that savings are not the right place to start a conversation, that doesn’t mean they can’t be discussed at all. In the context of speaking with finance or a CFO, savings work best as the icing on top. Just remember that your audience will only be receptive to these types of numbers once you’ve established the credibility of your department.
Partnerships Are the Way to Go
While it’s easy to focus on the weaknesses of other departments, procurement isn’t without its flaws. One of the most common flaws is wanting to do everything through mandates. Even though there may be times when mandates seem like the only way to get things done, alliances and partnerships are much better for sustainable results. This is just as true for purchasing processes as it is for creating future budgets.
Create A Seamless Experience
If your company wants to create positive synergy between procurement and finance, as well as throughout the rest of the organization, purchasing software can help. By using purchase order software, the purchasing process can be streamlined and made as efficient as possible through customized work flows. This type of software eliminates many of the inefficiencies that plague organizations and frees up procurement professionals to focus on things like vendor research and vendor negotiations. In fact, our purchasing software includes useful features for those tasks as well.