Noteworthy results require extraordinary teams. Extraordinary teams are comprised of notable procurement talent that when combined brings exceptional performance. Extraordinary procurement teams are strategic.  They have learned to unlock the power of procurement by working collaboratively toward common goals, achieving amazing results.

Attributes

Extraordinary procurement teams have attributes that bring continued value to their businesses.  The attributes include:

  1. Trusted Advisors to the C-Suite – The top procurement teams are tied directly to the C-suite, assisting with strategy, planning and the budgeting process. Procurement’s trusted advisor status enables proactive solutions for the benefit of the whole organization, a huge step beyond the function-only benefits.
  2. Collaborators with Internal Stakeholders – Working closely with stakeholders, the team understands value required, leverages information and delivers results that benefit the entire organization.
  3. Supplier Innovation Drivers – Extraordinary procurement teams drive innovation funnels with their suppliers. The innovation funnel isn’t just for preferred suppliers, but all suppliers and tier levels, resulting in continuous improvement across the value chain.
  4. On Demand Talent – Working closely with contingent labor, outsourcing and professional services firms, extraordinary procurement teams recognize their talent is mobile, agile, effective and efficient.
  5. Risk Management is Critical – Extraordinary procurement teams have one main goal to eliminate or reduce risk within the supply base as much as possible. They do not just have a program, they live the program.

Skills

Extraordinary procurement teams have varying skill levels and experience.  From a long history of experience in procurement to supply chain and financial backgrounds the teams vary. The most strategic teams have the following skills within their team

  1. Communication – Relationship building and listening skills are paramount in the most strategic procurement teams. Interacting with stakeholders, customers and suppliers is critical to this team.
  2. Financial Acumen – A clear focus on cash flow, income statement, balance sheet and the cost of capital are critical to structuring the right relationships, understanding the business needs and metrics and delivering real substantiated value.
  3. Analytics – Facts are where it is at including understanding what the data is telling you; what if scenarios to look at possible outcomes; should cost analysis; clean sheet costing; and predictive analysis are critical to structuring the right agreements and meeting demands. .
  4. Research Abilities – Market analysis and forecasts along with supplier discovery are crucial components of sourcing and risk management.
  5. Industry and/or Category Expertise – Without understanding a specific category such as transportation or marketing, the wrong decisions can be made. Similarly moving from the banking to automotive supply chain, procurement can also increase the ability to make a wrong decision.  Why?  Because each industry and category have their own nuances that must be handled differently to achieve value.
  6. Technology Acceptance – Technology is the enabler of efficiency in strategic procurement organizations. Extraordinary technology firms utilize broad suites, such as BravoAdvantage; recognize their technology partners are their partners and work with them to bring more to the table; and are not afraid to move away from home grown systems or systems that no longer meet their needs.

Extraordinary procurement teams have become strategic because they know that the right attributes and skills make a difference to their businesses outcomes.