Procurement Xmas Wish #2
When was the last time that your internal client called you because of an urgent request?He immediately needs a proposal for budget calculation for an important project, or an urgent delivery. Especially at the end of the year, it could be a matter of life and death and the CxO will not be happy if you don’t get it done.
It surely happen to you that you didn’t receive detailed specification and, because of urgency, in your first email to suppliers you didn’t describe clearly and completely your basic requirements of the goods or services. You will not save time if it becomes back-and-forth conversation with your supplier and internal customer, and you want that product or service is delivered as required, right?
And how many times, when you put everything aside to call few suppliers and ask for a quick quotation, suddenly it became not so urgent? Sometimes you don’t even hear from your internal client any more.
I am sure you can specify at least three urgent situations in the last couple of weeks. As a matter of fact, according to my questionnaire, from Procurement people’s perspective, „urgent“ is the word they most associate with Procurement. So what about savings in emergency situations?
Cost savings is the main KPI for many procurement teams. Still, when something is really urgent, focusing on cost savings and spending time on negotiations could result with late delivery and more problems for business. Today, however, everything is presented as urgent. We should know how to manage our time and find a way for savings opportunities.
There are many ways to handle urgent situations and achieve savings. Here is what worked for me:
- Is it really urgent: when end users have to tick in a box to mark urgent requests, the number of urgent requests is drastically falling. Nobody wants to be „Mister/Madame emergency“ in your reports so they think twice before they mark it as urgent.
- How urgent it is: sometimes urgent doesn’t mean immediately. I always contact end user to check his expectations
- e-auctions: if convenient, I use e-auctions to negotiate more quickly and drive down costs
- e-catalogues: I do my work with pre-negotiated prices, terms and specifications so end users can place the orders from agreed catalogues in few minutes
- Supplier availability: I measure how my suppliers are responding to urgent requests
- Distinguish short-term “urgent” from long-term “important” – I investigate, prioritize and keep my flexibility
- One by one: Procurement is often overworked and understaffed – sometimes all we can do is to go with the flow.
Paulo Coelho said: “Everything that happens once can never happen again. But everything that happens twice will surely happen a third time.” We can manage urgent requests by managing our internal clients.
I wish you less emergency purchases and more savings!
Keep on working on your #ProcurementXmasWish List 🙂