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The 5 Top Learnings from 500 Episodes of Art of Procurement

By July 28, 2022No Comments

Last week marked a milestone for Art of Procurement: our 500th episode. Art of Procurement has been listened to over 800,000 times since the very first episode in 2015, and has grown 80% just this year! 

The team and I are so grateful for your time and energy – you continue to inspire us with the ‘art of the possible’ just like I hope we inspire you to meet each day’s challenges with creativity and resolve.

Since I hosted last week’s Procurement 6, a short-form Friday podcast in the AOP feed that rounds up the week’s top stories, I took the opportunity to pull together what I see as the top 5 ways that leading procurement organizations make themselves independable to their company.  

Leading procurement organizations…

Drive business outcomes, not procurement outcomes

Procurement needs to understand that despite their performance metrics, they exist to support the business. It shouldn’t take special, procurement-only metrics to capture their impact. Procurement’s contributions should be apparent in every facet of the operation and in all third party relationships. In cases where different stakeholder groups within the business have competing interests, procurement should serve as a mediator, ultimately driving the outcomes that the business as a whole needs.

Inspire and catalyze change

We’ve always believed in challenging the status quo here at Art of Procurement, and leading procurement organizations do the same every day.  They seek creative solutions to new and lingering problems without being directed to by leadership and then partner with stakeholders to implement those  ideas. By making a conscious choice to drive change, they voluntarily and proactively contribute to the company’s competitive advantage.

Facilitate differentiated decision making

Procurement is often responsible for informing the decisions made by others in the company. If those decisions seem to follow predictable patterns, or if they don’t lead to desired outcomes, procurement has the opportunity to change the input and processes for decision making. More information and perspectives play an important role in this as does having greater context. Each category of spend, stakeholder need, and business situation offers a fresh opportunity for procurement to influence not just decisions, but perspective and mindset as well.

Utilize a fit-for-purpose operating model

I’ve never believed in the idea of ‘best-in-class’ procurement. Every organization is unique, and each procurement team has to be completely aligned with what that business needs. As such, procurement must build an operating model that suits the business they work in and maintain that alignment as the business changes and procurement matures. That is the best way to maximize the power of the procurement ecosystem across people, processes, and technology.

And finally… they possess an entrepreneurial mindset

The fact that Art of Procurement is marking our 500th podcast is proof of how important an entrepreneurial mindset is and how much value it has to offer procurement. Even if you’re in a salaried role, you can still embrace the entrepreneurial way. By staying positive no matter what, and adhering to the benefits of creative problem solving, accountability, creativity, tenacity, and resilience, you can remain action-oriented and operate as a team.

Don’t ever give up, but do have the courage to revisit plans when conditions change. Most importantly of all, take ownership and never compromise on your ethics. 

For more on these leading procurement capabilities… plus one more… join Kelly Barner and I for a special podcast on August 1st. We’ll share more about the 10X journey that our team is on – one that we are inviting the global procurement community to take with us!

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