Procurement teams have their work cut out for them. Strategic sourcing takes a significant amount of effort, investment and the right players to get it done successfully. But with a keen eye focused on Procurement Performance Management (PPM) and the right tools, the process can be greatly simplified and offer immense potential for savings. However, when companies use cost as the sole factor in guiding their procurement strategy, businesses are often left with rigid tools and a lack of adoption.
Procurement is an essential cog in the wheel of business development and managing Procurement Performance enables you to identify priorities and allocate resources according to your projects. As a result, the collaboration between the Procurement team and all the company stakeholders is now essential for long-term success.
You may be asking, “What is Procurement Performance Management (PPM)?” PPM Is the ongoing process of measuring the efficiency and spend of procurement teams, with goals of increasing visibility and enhancing the value of procurement within an organization. By engaging in PPM, organizations can save money and more efficiently manage their sourcing pipeline and business operations.
In a context where digitalization is transforming organizations and reinventing how we do business, the mission of procurement teams and the tools they use have also evolved. Digital transformation makes it easier to overcome this lack of collaboration and it contributes to make buyers’ actions visible to internal stakeholders.
Convinced yet? Once you make the decision to move forward with PPM, you need a plan. How can you get started with PPM? Regrettably cost reduction is too often the primary metric used to measure the contribution of procurement teams. However, there comes a time when it is no longer possible to bring significant price reductions, which is why purchasing professionals need to assert their value in the company through other means. For this reason, it’s important for procurement professionals to measure and manage Procurement Performance.
Here are 6 essential steps you can take to effectively manage performance in your procurement department.
1. Identify opportunities
Procurement Performance Management is all about optimizing the process. A significant part of this involves greater visibility into existing structures and modifying processes to improve efficiency and value. To begin, identify all cost reduction opportunities, decrease risks, and improve the quality of your supplier products. Take measures to remain informed of all contract expiration dates, requests from sales teams and external events, such as potential risks with some of your current suppliers.
2. Prioritize your next steps
The next step involves determining which opportunities need your immediate attention and which can wait until a later date. Document all of your opportunities and prioritize the projects in your sourcing pipeline, based on value or risk, giving those with high stakes your immediate attention Make sure to engage your purchasing team in this exercise. Purchasing teams typically know exactly what they should focus on first and they also have a clear vision on what they need to do. Finally, re-allocate resources where necessary.
3. Forecast your savings
Now, we arrive at savings, that seemingly all-important metric. Make a realistic forecast of contractual savings for each sourcing project. Be sure to continuously re-evaluate savings forecasts as sourcing projects progress. In addition to the qualitative benefits, you will have a reliable figure that indicates the total expected savings per contract your team is committed to achieving within specific timeframes (month, quarter, fiscal close, etc.). These figures go a long way toward showcasing procurements value to executive teams.
4. Collaborate with your teams
Collaboration is one of the most important steps! The gathering of information and restructuring will all fall short if you don’t communicate your goals and work with your teams to see them through. In addition, gaining complete transparency of the sourcing pipeline enables agile management and accelerates savings and project completion.
As you work to increase your collaboration, make sure to anticipate bottlenecks. The PPM process will enable greater agility and equip you to better respond to the demands of your business stakeholders.
5. Measure your progress
You want to be able to illustrate your progress to others so you can keep with the PPM process and continue improving. Measure your progress as you work to achieve your procurement objectives. Be aware of events and bottlenecks that can threaten the effectiveness of your team and adjust to optimize your processes. Get quantitative and qualitative results to demonstrate the contribution of purchasing to the business. Show your value!
6. Communicate your progress and expectations
The final step in being a PPM pro is sharing clear progress reports—with all your company’s stakeholders. The point of optimizing your approach is to become more efficient and demonstrate the impact you are having on the business. Structure your reporting to illustrate your progress in the following areas:
- Risk reduction
- Improvement of supplier quality
- Cost reduction
Stop being viewed as the spend police or cost killers and make your procurement team a strategic business function.
Does any of this ring a bell? Access our white paper dedicated to this topic ? Procurement Performance Management defined: A best practice guide for a new decade
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