5 Effective Procurement Strategies in Manufacturing
Being an essential aspect of any larger business, procurement comes with a number of responsibilities and complex tasks. These include identification of buying needs, negotiation, vendor management, payment processing and the like. When it comes to manufacturing, the right procurement processes can open doors to better cost management, risk reduction, stimulation of supplier innovation for higher competitive advantage, etc. But what strategies can help procurement professionals and supply chain functions improve procurement performance in manufacturing? Keep reading to find the answer to this and many other relevant questions and learn how to improve your procurement strategies.
As a procurement professional, you should not only be able to manage the organizational spend, but also implement correct procurement policies in order to reach balance in the overall process. However, these make up only a small part of the whole procurement challenge awaiting you. Such activities as contract management and supplier lifecycle management fall under the large list of your responsibilities as well. It’s completely natural that among all the responsibilities you might come across a number of different issues and challenges. The day of a procurement manager is never boring or slow. Being flooded with a number of tasks to be done, you will have to find ways to solve the above-mentioned procurement challenges that appear on your path.
What Common Challenges Do Procurement Professionals Face?
Let’s first have a look at some of the most common issues that procurement managers stumble upon. This way you will be able to dive deeper into the matter and think of better procurement solutions yourself:
- Internal or External Stakeholder Communication: Communication both within your departments and with your vendors and suppliers is of crucial importance. Poor communication can lead to misunderstandings and other resulting issues. A supply chain can be successful only through the productivity of each person involved in the procurement. The latter point depends not only on good work but also stable communication within the team. As a procurement manager, you should develop a strong procurement strategy which integrates with the general corporate strategy. This way you’ll be able to collaborate with the upper-level management team and keep everyone in tune with what’s going on in the supply chain. In addition, you should also be on good terms with your suppliers.
- Cost Management: Another issue that you might have to deal with is cost control. It goes without saying that the costs of products, materials and transportation are constantly fluctuating. Moreover, demand and value are also undergoing changes. You will need to keep up with these shifts and make sure they don’t affect your business relatively negatively.
- Proactive Supplier Management: And last but not least, it’s important to have effective supplier relationship management strategies. Here we can go back to the preservation of solid communication with your suppliers, which can be the key to improving your supplier relationship.
As it becomes obvious from the above-listed issues, procurement is not an easy responsibility to carry out but with the right tactics and wisely chosen strategies you can surely be a success in it.
5 Strategies to Help You Boost Your Procurement
In order to help you in paving the road to a successful procurement execution, we have made a list of the 5 most effective procurement strategies. The implementation of these strategies combined with a well-thought procurement plan will highly boost your business and take your procurement game to the next level.
1. Consistent Management of Supplier Relations and Supplier Performance
The risk of supply chain disruption can be minimized with the help of trusted suppliers. Businesses depend on suppliers when it comes to such issues as cost reduction, delivery service, product quality improvement, product innovations and better and faster product creation. Keep consistent contact with your suppliers and track their performance consistently and share the performance data with them consistently. This way you will be able to deliver the highest quality procurement services and have trustworthy suppliers, who will focus on the KPIs you share with them.
2. Acceleration of Innovation, Production and Time to Market
Successful organizations expand into new markets by creating and offering new, unique and innovative products. You should do your best to deliver what your customers want ahead of the competition. This way you’ll highly boost your business and enhance the collaboration with your suppliers creating stronger bonds and business connections. Procurement itself is an essential part of contributing to this evolution by creating cross-functional teams and operational efficiency. Development of a well-thought and effective process in order to have a high-quality new product introduction and improve supplier innovation is also important.
3. Develop your Knowledge of Supply Chain Management
Learning and gaining deeper knowledge about procurement and supply chain management always come in handy for procurement professionals.
4. Customer-Oriented Services and Processes
As a procurement leader, the purpose of procurement processes is to make the procurement professionals or the whole department more efficient. However, these processes should, first of all, focus on making the internal customer service more effective. It’s common knowledge that most world-class procurement organizations aim their processes at meeting the needs and demands of the internal stakeholders or customers.
5. Implement Innovative Software Solutions for Better SRM
The new era makes different business processes much easier for everyone and procurement is not an exception. Take advantage of the innovative software technologies and improve your supplier relationship management making it more effective and organized.
A user-friendly SRM solution will come with a number of advantageous features some of which are as follows:
- Highly simplified supplier management and collaboration process
- Collection of all the required data in one easily accessible place saving you time
- Improved and enhanced supplier performance due to better and more consistent measurement
- Reduced risk of disruptions due to supplier delivery failure
To narrow down your search for the right software solution, you can check out LeanLinking. This user-friendly solution will enable you to measure and benchmark the services of your suppliers, logistics, quality, innovation and willingness to cooperate. With the help of LeanLinking, you will get an executive summary for every supplier in just one click. Moreover, your suppliers will also have the needed data shared with them in real-time.