One of the things that can really help your company take a step in the right direction when it comes to efficiency and clarity is by centralizing your procurement efforts. Too often, though, companies silo off purchasing to their individual departments, meaning that each team orders what it needs. That leaves you with a classic case of one hand not knowing what the other is doing, potentially costing more in terms of dollars and time.
However, by centralizing these efforts, you can make sure you get what you need, when you need it, all at a price that makes sense. Leveraging unique procurement skills and relationships can go a long way, but how do you achieve it? We have some suggestions:
Crunch the numbers
One of the big reasons your organization might not have a dedicated procurement department is if leaders don't fully understand the value in making this (potentially drastic) shift, according to Procure Desk. As such, it's important for stakeholders to examine past procurement efforts and see where time or money could have been saved along the way. The odds are good that, when you take a top-down view of the effort, you'll find plenty of areas where you can increase efficiency.
Find common suppliers
Perhaps the easiest way to identify these issues is by looking at the suppliers you have relied on for all your purchasing in the past, and see where there's overlap, Procure Desk added. Once you identify areas where you can consolidate at least some of your orders, you can start to pick up steam and build strong positive momentum. Of course, not everything is easy on this front, and sometimes it's impossible to nail down a small number of suppliers for everything your company needs, but a little effort here goes a long way.
Compile the right team members
Often, if you have multiple departments handling their own procurement needs, you either have talented, trained purchasing pros working more or less on their own, or people making orders who aren't fully qualified to do it — and that can be a problem, according to Supply Chain Game Changer. You either need to commit to having all those people in the same room, or hiring people who will get procurement efforts right the first time.
You can't reasonably expect your new centralized procurement team to get everything up to fully ideal operations within days, weeks or potentially even months after it is assembled, Supply Chain Game Changer advised. Instead, building that sort of efficiency takes time and all involved need to be aware of what it will take to get to the top-level projections you laid out early on.
Finally, if you have not made the proper investments in the latest and greatest procurement tech that suits your organization's needs, you're not setting your team up for success, according to Scan Market. Research and the financial backing to get it exactly right will lay the groundwork for success that could last for years or more.