Six important things to look for in procurement consulting providers – When looking for a procurement consultancy to support your organisation there are some key factors that you should consider. Here are some pointers.
You want a consultancy that’s had lots of experience in the field and has worked with organisations or businesses in a variety of sectors.
Note that this isn’t just about having practical knowledge of how to do things; it’s also about having witnessed the challenges of procurement, how to plan for potential pitfalls and how to overcome them if they do arise.
It’s about knowing what works and what doesn’t in certain circumstances, whether that’s supplier negotiation or conducting a procurement transformation.
Of course, dealing with a consultancy that has experience in different sectors is important, but take care to find one that has specific experience in your sector. This experience brings greater compatibility as you’ll be working with someone who can get quickly up to speed on your situation and how it relates to your sector. Your provider is also likely to have contacts and working relationships with suitable vendors and be able to secure better terms for the supply of goods and services.
A good understanding of supply chain value
Your suppliers are important. They feed into your business or organisation, and your consultancy must understand the supply chain and the value your suppliers contribute to your business or organisation. This lays the foundations to determine how to best work with them. Working with suppliers isn’t just about securing items at the best price. Your consultancy should be able to improve your supplier relationships.
Building strong relationships between you and your supplier will enable the latter to understand your business or organisation better and will enable a smoother supply chain that experiences fewer delays. If issues do arise, you’ll be willing to communicate and resolve them before they become overwhelming or create even bigger problems.
Deep knowledge of your category
Category management entails grouping certain goods or services into a single category for easier management. It can streamline procurement, reduce costs, facilitate better cooperation between the supplier and the buyer, reduce duplication, make it more straightforward to track purchases and ensure greater consistency in terms of quality and timelines. It’s a long-term procurement approach, and your procurement consultants should understand how this can align with your business aims.
A provider’s specialist knowledge of your category can make all the difference in the size of the impact, so this understanding of the link between the category management and your business aims is essential. It’s an opportunity to transform procurement in your business or organisation deeply, especially if your provider is assisting you in a high impact category, and implement measures that set you up well for the future. Your provider’s knowledge, experience and insight will help you to achieve faster delivery and awareness of how to navigate procurement pitfalls, rewarding valuable lessons for further successful procurement.
Insight to drive innovation and reduce risk
Your procurement specialists should be able to provide you with insight that helps you to make decisions that carry your business or organisation forward and reduce risks. One way your consultancy should do this is with digital procurement tools that enable you to understand your needs, identify areas for improvement and drive change in your business.
Ability to prove they can identify opportunities and achieve results
Don’t just assume a procurement consultancy provider is good; look for case studies and proof they can deliver results. If they can’t prove their competence, steer clear of them. You want someone who is clearly capable of generating the results agreed.
A desire to create a legacy
Good procurement consulting providers want you to go further than just help you to improve your own procurement; they want to leave a legacy, by empowering you to conduct procurement without their help. Through the knowledge and experience you build while working with them, they want to set you up to develop strong relationships with suppliers, form effective procurement strategies, document operations and more. When a consultancy team leaves your organisation the procurement team should feel in confident to run your procurement projects confidently and successfully.