DEC 20 2023 Blog Intake

Grow Procurement’s Impact: How to Win Trust & Influence Stakeholders

The success of your procurement team hinges on its ability to weed out inefficiencies and potential bottlenecks in your procurement system. But drawn-out procurement cycles, lack of resources, and reliance on outdated, manual tools can hinder the delivery of timely cost savings and value.

Not only that, but complicated or confusing processes can drive employees to find other ways to buy what they need. This leads to limited visibility and unchecked spending.

To counter these challenges, you need an effective approach that doesn’t just improve processes, but also strengthens stakeholder relationships.

Enhance Procurement Processes with Technology

Technology, especially automation, plays a key role in your stakeholder engagement strategy, helping you to overcome these challenges and achieve more. By leveraging advanced tools, you can transform cumbersome procurement processes into efficient, transparent, and user-friendly systems.

This shift to technology is crucial to win the trust of both internal stakeholders and external stakeholders, and lays the foundation for a successful procurement strategy.

Invest in the Right Procurement Technology to Drive Transparency

Understanding the specific challenges and bottlenecks your organization faces and how different technologies can address these is the first step towards a more open and trusted procurement operation.

Transparency in your processes, achieved through the right technology and tools, is critical for building trust and establishing clear communications with your stakeholders.

Simplify Purchasing for Stakeholders with Automation

That’s where automation steps in as a game-changer. In fact, one-third of organizations view automation as the best way to prevent disruptions and bottlenecks in procurement.¹ And twenty-three percent of organizations are already evaluating or implementing automation solutions.²

By creating automated workflows, you guide employees and different stakeholder groups through the proper purchasing and approval steps, offering greater access to your services without overburdening your procurement managers’ resources. This makes procurement not just faster but also a more transparent and engaging process for stakeholders.

Why Is Stakeholder Management Important?

Automation not only streamlines processes but it also plays a vital role in helping you manage stakeholder relationships. And the success of any company in handling multiple stakeholder groups hinges on balancing the different demands, especially those from top management.

Develop and Sustain Strong Relationships with Stakeholders

Your procurement success is about more than simply saving money. It’s about creating value through stronger relationships with everyone involved, from your suppliers to the decision-makers in finance and operations, all the way up to top management.

To build and maintain these positive relationships, it’s vital to go beyond the standard interactions, and delve into what each stakeholder in your business needs and values.

Managing stakeholder relationships means understanding their needs and speaking their language. This requires not only a keen understanding of the various functions and hierarchies within your organization but also the ability to engage and communicate with stakeholders in a way that aligns with their interests and goals.

Through effective stakeholder engagement, you demonstrate that procurement is about more than just cost savings, ultimately creating a more collaborative environment that supports overall business objectives.

Identify and Prioritize Your Key Stakeholders

Not all stakeholders carry equal weight in a project. Identifying key stakeholders based on their interest and influence is crucial. Those with significant vested interest or influence typically should be your primary focus. Regular stakeholder engagement and transparent communication are key to a strong relationship and gaining their trust and support.

Communicate Effectively with Stakeholders

Good communication is vital to establishing and maintaining strong stakeholder relationships. By aligning your processes and expectations with stakeholders’ goals and expectations and using language that resonates with them, you can enhance the quality of these relationships.

What Are the Benefits of Automation & Stakeholder Management?

By integrating technology with effective stakeholder management, you can transform the role of procurement professionals in your organization from gatekeepers to facilitators. This will instantly elevate your influence and help win stakeholders’ trust.

By automating procurement processes and managing stakeholder relationships, your procurement teams can shift from being seen as cost centers to valued strategic partners within your organization. This transition is critical to the long-term success and influence of procurement professionals in any business.

Best Practices to Automate Purchasing Intake for Stakeholders

Consider the following best practices to flush out inefficiencies in your procurement process and get the maximum value out of your stakeholder partnerships. 

  • Define the process you want to automate — The goal here is to create more efficiency for your procurement team as well as for your stakeholders. With a well-defined process, your team knows which tasks are essential and what actions must be taken to get the work done. Determine which processes you want to automate and develop the business rules that control these automated functions. 

  • Create a step-by-step workflow — Establish the specific steps in your purchasing process and outline how those actions should be performed step-by-step. From there, build digital forms that support the workflow. 

    For example, consider creating an automated purchasing request form that guides stakeholders through the process. First, stakeholders would need to categorize the type of purchase, and then enter the location and cost of the desired item or service. From there, we recommend that your system display a list of your approved and preferred suppliers who offer that specific product or service. This ensures legal and CSR compliance and mitigates risk. Once the purchasing form is filled out, it would route through the proper workflow sequence for approval based on your organization’s predetermined rules and policies.

    Graphite Connect makes purchasing easy with automated workflows and purchasing paths that guide employees at your organization through the procurement request process with simple, customizable questionnaires.

  • Identify primary procurement stakeholders and their roles — Choose the stakeholder group responsible for managing each task. Be sure to provide training on your procurement policies and processes so your stakeholder group is equipped with the know-how to handle obstacles as they arise.

  • Build a central hub to collect data and store documents — It’s essential to have a central location where stakeholder groups can access contracts and other necessary documents. Having a single, secure place for stakeholders to easily access documentation ensures consistency in your negotiations, fewer errors, and less time wasted fixing inaccuracies. 

    Graphite Connect enables procurement teams to automatically validate and easily manage supplier data in one central location.

Streamline Operations to Improve Stakeholder Relationships

By automating your purchasing intake system and other processes, stakeholder groups will view your procurement team as a facilitator rather than a bottleneck, fostering stronger, more positive relationships. This enhanced perception not only streamlines your processes but also positions your team as a key player in strategic decision-making. And you’ll be better equipped to reign in maverick spending to ensure your company benefits from the better prices and terms you’ve negotiated.

With automated supplier validation and risk assessments, and a direct ERP integration, Graphite Connect can equip your team and stakeholders with the tools needed to not only improve operational efficiency but strengthen stakeholder trust and collaboration, and contribute significantly to your company’s success. 

Ready to Learn More?

Discover how Graphite’s Guided Intake feature can enhance your stakeholder relationships and streamline purchasing across your entire organization without straining already stretched procurement resources.

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¹ “Supply Chain Resilience Report: Industry trends and supply chain strategy for manufacturing.” supply_chain_resilience_report_2020.pdf (

² 2020 Global Supply chain Disruption and Future Strategies Survey Report. September 2020.

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