Companies in any industry should always strive to make sure their employees have the skills they need to do the job in the most effective and efficient ways possible. That certainly includes the professionals on your procurement team, whose success in dealing with others both inside and outside your company can either ensure long-term success for your entire organization, or set it back significantly.
With that in mind, you might be wondering which skills you would be wise to build up in your procurement team; we have some suggestions:
1) Build and maintain supply chain relationships
Perhaps the most important single aspect of working in the supply chain is being able to keep many different plates spinning at once and fully aligning every external issue with your internal needs. To do that effectively, you must have strong communication skills and a personable approach, according to Blue Ocean Academy. Building up these qualities in your procurement team should be the first thing on any training list.
2) Make sure they're expert negotiators
Along similar lines, you need your team to be able to advocate for the things your company needs and not be "pushed around" by competing interests, Blue Ocean Academy added. Negotiating to find the best solution that works for everyone will help ensure ongoing success, and this too is a skill that needs to be built up over time.
3) Set them up for success
Because the procurement team is the hub around which many aspects of your business likely rotates, your staffers need to be able to get projects off the ground effectively, according to Vendor Centric. That means they may need new skills that help them become more prepared to plan strategically and then take the right steps to ensure the initial phases of that plan go off without a hitch.
4) Teamwork makes the dream work
Much like your team needs to be able to talk to their counterparts with other companies effectively, they also have to be able to collaborate with each other, and with the people who work in different departments at your company, Vendor Centric said. Put simply, you need your entire organization to be aligned on your procurement strategy, and that starts with internal coordination, empathy and teamwork.
5) Always finding ways to improve
Ideally, your employees will always be looking for ways to make their own work better and more efficient, and that takes some strategic thinking, according to Concord. You want your procurement team to be able to look at their past work and step outside themselves to be honest about what's working, what isn't, and how best to simultaneously lean into the former and reduce the impact of the latter.
6) Understand developing tech
Finally, your workers should never be in a situation where they can't understand the new software or hardware you're introducing into your procurement processes, and training is the best way to get there, Concord advised. When workers have the time and bandwidth to get a real feel for new tech, everyone benefits.