JAN 12 2023 Blog Procurement

Procurement’s Guide to a Positive Internal Reputation

It’s unfortunate, but sometimes procurement can develop a reputation of being an unnecessary roadblock to business success. Being inside of procurement, you know that’s simply not true. Your team performs the essential tasks of saving the business money and keeping it safe from risk. 

But do other employees know that? Without help, most people only understand their own world, their own goals, and their own issues. It’s your job to help them see beyond that small scope and understand procurement’s imperative value.

If that hits home, it might be time for your team to perform a reputation makeover. Here are a few ideas to help you get started.

1. Create a centralized intake process 

Chances are that your intake process is a bit of a mess. Low visibility and unclear procedures can slow down your team and decrease your value in the eyes of your fellow employees. If you want procurement to be synonymous with efficiency and helpfulness, this is something that you need to change.

Creating a centralized intake process will allow stakeholders visibility every step of the way. It will eliminate confusion and create clarity. In addition, using a supplier management tool like Graphite will allow you to create a list of preferred suppliers and centralized supplier management, making your supplier onboarding program more efficient. 

2. Create ease and visibility with supplier data management

Does your team have a centralized way to store the most updated supplier data? Too often, the answer is no. Instead, supplier data lives on individual computers and floats between teammates, making visibility difficult and keeping data up-to-date even harder. Whatever your tool, your team will work more efficiently and accurately if your documents have a centralized home. 

It’s also essential to think about how your suppliers are providing you with data. Is the process quick, easy, and streamlined? Is it different for each supplier? A simplified procedure of how suppliers give you data will help your team increase efficiency and produce more quality work. 

With a process like that, it becomes much easier to quickly vet the given data’s accuracy. The accuracy of different aspects of data can be assessed at each stage of your supplier onboarding program. And, if you accurately store that data, expanding and promoting preferred supplier lists to other employees becomes easier than ever.

3. Meet employees where they are

The last thing you want is for employees to see procurement as just another hurdle to jump before they can get something done. Instead, procurement should be an aid and a facilitator to employees to speed up the tasks they have to complete.

However, procurement systems often get bogged down with too many unclear steps. As a result, it can become difficult for employees to maintain visibility into the program or understand why they must take certain steps.

Additionally, procurement creates more work for itself when constantly taking on new suppliers rather than utilizing current or approved suppliers. 

But all that can change if you meet employees where they are. Procurement must be the one to reach out to employees, to help them understand where to begin onboarding a new supplier and how they can maintain visibility throughout the process.

If you’ve successfully centralized your intake process, as we suggest in step one, meeting employees where they are (rather than expecting them to come to you) will be an easy and advantageous next step.

4. Advertise your team internally

Even with the best intentions to meet employees where they are, if they don’t even know you exist, you’ll find they still don’t use the processes you’ve put right in front of them. Most of the company’s focus is outward: selling products to businesses or consumers outside the organization. Your job in procurement is to sell yourselves internally.

Advertising your procurement team will not happen organically or automatically. You’ll have to create internal marketing campaigns to ensure that every employee at the business knows who you are, what you stand for, and how they can use your services to speed up their work.

With the proper messaging (combined with the right centralized processes), you’ll find that procurement becomes a department that is no longer held in a negative light. Instead, procurement will become a department that employees don’t know what they’d do without.

What’s next?

If you’re looking for a solution to centralize your intake process, increase visibility for stakeholders, and become the team your business can’t live without– Graphite might be the solution for you. 

Graphite Connect allows procurement teams to implement a centralized onboarding process that makes requesting suppliers a breeze. It can also help you increase visibility, find new suppliers, keep track of critical metrics, and store supplier data. 
Interested in learning more? Click here to request a demo.

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#supplier management
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