Some of the easiest ways to know if your Procurement organization is working properly is by looking at these metrics:
- How much of Procurement’s time is spent putting out fires (last minute requisitions, vendor issues, chasing down approvals, etc.)?
- At what stage do business groups engage Procurement into their sourcing process?
- Are end users often complaining about cumbersome and difficult-to-follow policies?
- Does Procurement purchase everything “onesy-twosy” as it comes up, or is it done on a more holistic view?
The answers to these should be fairly obvious: If you are not happy with the answers to one or more questions, your Procurement organization is likely not operating as well as it could be, and is not generating the true value to the business that should be expected.
As long as Procurement spends most of their time dealing with never-ending day to day issues, there is no time to invest in more strategic initiatives. We often find that needing to use a large portion of a Procurement team’s resources towards consistent fire drills are indicative of a broken process rather than part of a typical Procurement organization.
Many of these can be solved through a Procurement transformation. Look at where the process is broken. See how your existing technology could be better leveraged, or if what you have is not optimal. Ensure your people are in the right roles to match their skillsets and the company’s needs.
Define your end goals and determine which metrics will show a proper turnaround, and ensure you are not sliding back into old practices. And most importantly, work to elevate the role of Procurement so that departments across the company see the organization as a strategic asset rather than another required step to making a purchase.