Barb Sexton was named a 2019 Pro to Know by Supply and Demand Chain Executive for the second year in a row.
Aligning with internal stakeholders can be a challenge for procurement leaders but it has never been as critical as it is today. Uncover why and how to begin the conversation with your end users.
The future of supply chain will bring new challenges and opportunities to procurement leaders, while exacerbating core issues of the past. This is because as the speed and scope of supply chain innovation increases, resources and time decrease, challenging procurement to embrace, adapt and communicate change effectively and more efficiently. This continued challenge creates a consistent need to more closely align stakeholder change management goals with those of overarching company strategy.
Additionally, this develops an even larger and more evasive challenge for procurement and supply chain leaders enacting as positive disrupters in the organization, which is imperative to overall efficiencies and spend management success. As procurement is continuously being tasked to uncover new savings in existing agreements and discover new double-digit savings opportunities, while being stretched even thinner via headcount, professionals must align and collaborate within the organization from the top on down.
Gaining buy-in from the end user/stakeholder is even more critical than in previous years. In order to better align with key decision-makers and the broader company strategy, supply chain professionals need to enact as change agents by leading their teams to embrace new ideas and challenges. It is vital to be collaborative with your internal stakeholders and, even one step further, your supplier partners. Procurement leaders can enact as positive disrupters and become internal sales leaders by understanding their company’s various departmental goals and priorities. This will enable them to more closely align goals with each stakeholder and organization strategy, in return gaining adequate buy-in with end users throughout the organization.
As procurement leaders work towards achieving this vital interdepartmental alignment, they can enact as internal champions by showcasing how procurement and supply chain leaders can be relied upon as a key resource to the entire organization through shared goals with better efficiencies and change implementation. Procurement can achieve this through educational efforts that showcase its credibility and capabilities, allowing it to gain traction and achieve access to areas of spend that typically may not fall into procurement’s spend cube (areas like HR, travel, marketing and more).
Resolve for Alignment in the New Year
When this level of alignment and buy-in has been developed, procurement is able to focus on goals that seem evasive — like double-digit savings on new and existing contracts.
Ongoing strategy development and continuous improvement efforts will be necessary to maintain a collaborative and efficient network of success. If you are looking for ways to gauge your current alignment you can ask your stakeholders these six questions to jumpstart alignment.