Before launching into a full procurement transformation initiative, one of the first key steps is to assess the current state of procurement operations. In striving for continuous improvement, it is important to know where you stand in the moment. In addition to technology, metrics, and processes, having the right people carrying out processes and adding value to your strategic sourcing and procurement department is critical. Therefore, personnel should be a focal point of your current-state evaluation.

Undoubtedly, your employees add value to your company, and more specifically, to your sourcing department. Depending on your objectives, you should examine different aspects of your procurement talent. Your assessment could be very high level, addressing staffing demands, individual skills and expertise, team cohesiveness, and the effectiveness of training programs. This will give you a general sense of how your employees fit into the sourcing process, and how to address big problems. On the other hand, you could also perform a more detailed evaluation. You may want to assess the relative responsibility level of each individual, individual performance, suitability of titles, appropriateness of salaries, or even the organization of the hierarchy within the department. This sort of evaluation will give you a more detailed picture of how your employees support your procurement process or, perhaps, how they could improve on an individual basis.

Overall, the most important part of this evaluation, whether it is role- or performance-based, is to understand how your employees fit into the procurement department and processes. To foster progress, adaptability, and improvement, you need to be assured that your people are a good fit, and understand the ways in which they influence the overall function of the department. Knowledgeable, flexible, and experienced people will respond well to change and allow your procurement department to evolve and improve over time.

In the summer of 2015, Source One released, Is It Time to Transform Your Procurement Operations?, a whitepaper guide to evaluating your current state, focused specifically on people as well as processes, technology, and reporting.
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