Have you ever wanted something so bad that you were willing to cheat, lie, fight and bully your way until you got it? Well, that’s where procurement fits into the picture. For procurement professionals, the challenge is keeping the playing field equal and helping both sides achieve their specific goals. But… Ok, mostly our side of course…
Let’s take a closer look at some of the roles of a procurement function:
1 – Counselor
Yep, sometimes when it gets down to intense negotiations someone needs a hug. It can be something as simple as trying to locate the right supplier for the purchase and having to convince the buyer that the right choice is right in front of them.
2 – Referee
Sometimes the price is the hurdle. It can turn into a full-contact, no-holds-barred, fight to the finish. Emotions run rampant, things are said in the heat of the moment and somebody ends up on the short end of the stick. With a procurement professional on the job, the fighting is reduced to a minimum with victory viewed as the ultimate goal.
3 – Salesman
Here’s where you can really save a bundle with someone on your side. The procurement process is all about sales. The right pitch can sound like a perfect solution but with a professional in your corner, they can weed through the bad stuff and find you the best possible deal because they know all about the games played by slick sales departments.
4 – Negotiator
Often the only way to get through to a stubborn seller (or buyer) is through skillful negotiation. This takes patience, understanding and a firmness that only a professional can pull off and still get you the deal of a lifetime. Without a good negotiator pitching in, you could get ripped off and that would really ruin your day.
5 – Organizer
One of the most important roles played by a procurement professional is that of an organizer. This includes tasks related to timelines, budgets, identifying good quality from poor, being able to secure the correct quantity and the means to transport or store it on behalf of the buyer. All of this is possible with the right person in charge.
6 – Advisor
When caught in the middle of intense bidding common sense and reasoning can be tossed out the window. This is where you need a calm, steady voice coming from a procurement professional telling you what your next move should or should not be. They will be able to see all sides of the situation and although they are working for you, they will have an unbiased perspective on what is actually going on. Their advice is meant to assist you, not confuse you.
7 – Wrestler
Even if you don’t have tights or a great finishing move, your procurement professional is fit and ready to take on even the biggest, meanest and nastiest of opponents. They can see right through the flash, costumes, pomp, and ceremony. They say professional wrestling is fake? Not quite. It’s a form of entertainment so get yourself a bag of popcorn, a soft drink and watch the show. You already have a ringside seat, you may as well enjoy the work being done on your behalf.
8 – Herder
Gathering all the correct, up-to-date information required for the purchase requires the skills of a champion herder. Only the data is pulled together in one cohesive grouping does not have four legs, hooves, horns or can trample you in a stampede. Your procurement professional knows exactly how to research the necessary information regarding your selected product and will do some really serious homework on it.
9 – Babysitter
Okay, it happens. Sometimes someone throws a tantrum. It isn’t always the vendor, either. We get that there are times when the situation appears impossible when panic sets in. There are times when both sides need to take a ‘time out’ and sit in the corner with nothing to do but think about how they are acting. We aren’t saying anyone is a big baby, but acting like one doesn’t get the sale finished any quicker.
The Bottom Line
When you have a professional working with and for you, procurement is a lot easier than going at it alone. We can reduce the risk associated with fraud and collusion and keep everything in order so purchasing can be done with professionalism.
Need a hand with your next big project? Get a Procurement Department on the job – you’ll never try it on your own again.