One of the biggest sources of inefficiency within businesses that even have a passing relationship to the broader supply chain crops up when companies don't have a holistic look at their needs. If one department is ordering from a supplier, and then a second department makes an order from that same supplier a few days later, you're likely to pay more for shipping and you will likely see increased difficulties in tracking both orders.

For that reason, it's important to make sure your company either has a centralized procurement department, or that its strategies on this front are aligned from the top down, according to Purchase Control. What often happens within companies that don't have a holistic vision of their purchasing needs is one hand often doesn't know what the other is doing, and you lose both efficiency and insight into your overall processes as a result.

Typically, your teams will work together on all sorts of collaborative projects, so forming a committee or an entirely new team to oversee procurement efforts for your whole company can go a long way toward keeping everything pointed in the same direction, the report said. Often, these efforts fall apart because individuals or teams feel other participants are only looking out for themselves, or there is not enough accountability. When you centralize these processes, those concerns can dissipate quickly.

Does your company have a centralized procurement process?Does your company have a centralized procurement process?

Where to begin
When you are forming this kind of team or committee, it's important to first lay out what the procurement processes they follow in Situations X, Y or Z will be, and what the overall effort should look like in an ideal scenario, according to Supply Chain Dive. Once you have that kind of standardized practice in place, you can then focus on getting the right people who have the necessary skills related to procurement and teamwork involved in further fleshing out the process based on their teams' unique needs.

This can also be an opportunity for further training or skills development so everyone is operating from a place of understanding, if not fully on the same page from the outset, the report said. Once that happens, you can push your carefully laid plans into motion; processes can be perfect in concept, but in actual practice, you will almost certainly need to tweak things here and there as time goes on.

Why it matters
The kind of communication and teamwork that undergirds an overall procurement strategy for your company will be highly important to your long-term success for a number of reasons, according to ProcureAbility. These include avoiding conflict and waste (both in terms of time and money) and increasing visibility into various processes that rub up against one another to potentially create friction. Furthermore, you will likely gain the benefit of tapping a lot of different perspectives on challenges and potential solutions your organization faces in the months and years ahead.

With all this in mind, now is the time to start building your team or committee so you can start realizing the above benefits as soon as possible, making you more efficient and cost-effective in short order.

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