At 2018’s Sourcing Outlook we had the honor of having Bonava’s CPO, Mia Lewis, host a roundtable on starting a completely new Procurement organization from scratch. During the active discussion many points were brought up that I believe can be helpful for any Procurement organization, old or new, that is looking for inspiration in 2019.
Focus on soft skills
Having all the Procurement knowledge in the world is of little benefit if no one turns to you for help. Excellent communication skills are a key differentiator for Procurement to get invited to the table. Getting invited early in the process, instead at the moment when preferred suppliers have already been selected means you get a chance to add as much value as possible. As Procurement’s role continues to expand, this is ever more critical.
For a team to be more than just the sum of its parts, you need to have a strong team-culture. This consists of hiring people that will bring more than just their specific category experience. By building a team with a diverse background you foster a culture of innovation that can push people to think outside of the box.
Dare to mix it up
Someone that has experience being a category manager for the interior of trucks might deliver a fresh new take on designing kitchens. And the person that has a background in sales might have valuable insights and skills that were missing from your department. Don’t be afraid to try something new.
The future is destined to bring us a lot of change as times are more unpredictable than they’ve ever been before. While it’s important to have the big picture, you can’t expect to predict the exact demands facing you as a Procurement professional 5 years from now. Be sure to have a flexible team that is willing to embrace coming changes and turn them to their advantage. Similarly, make sure you have the right digital tools available that can change with you.
For some more Procurement tips have a look at this study for the Hackett group on key Procurement issues in 2019.
If you would like to meet Mia’s in person, she will be speaking at the Louvre in Paris during Ivalua Now and will be available to meet during the meet the speaker session.