4 Reasons Why Procurement Leaders Should Be Your Best Friend
It’s National Procurement Month! In addition to heaping praise and appreciation on your procurement team for all they manage, this month offers city and finance managers, and really all budget leaders, a chance to reflect on the many ways increased collaboration with your procurement department can enhance broader initiatives such as equity, digital transformation, and sustainability.
After all, there’s no “I” in procurement.
When you really think about it, procurement sits at the center of it all. Procurement leaders find themselves on a parallel path to IT leaders, whose job descriptions looked very different five or ten years ago but have evolved to encompass innovation, employee experience, risk and resiliency, and citizen services. The same can be said for purchasing–the stronger the strategic vision in procurement, the better experience for employees, citizens, and the community.
Given that procurement interacts with every internal department in your organization, here are four areas where stronger procurement partnerships can enhance ongoing strategic initiatives. You can also consider this a shortlist of all the reasons procurement officers should be your office bestie.
1. Equity and Inclusion
Government purchasing has a fiduciary responsibility and plays directly into equity, helping cities put dollars behind their commitments to diversity and inclusion. Whether the goal is sourcing more local, women-owned, or BIPOC businesses, supplier diversity initiatives help ensure that services and products are sourced in a way that helps the local business community thrive while protecting the public coffers.
For inspiration on how other communities are rising to this challenge, check out the latest report from Living Cities which details a range of strategies procurement offices across 10 communities are leveraging to promote economic equity.
2. Collaborative Decision-Making
Working in government can sometimes feel siloed, with certain departments singularly focused on the task at hand, even when cross-functional communication is necessary to accomplish broader goals.
Take housing, one of the most commonly-cited initiatives, for instance. Increasing access to affordable housing will involve multiple departments–budget, building and planning, economic development, and others. With the right tools, department leaders can collaborate more easily across teams so everyone has visibility into an initiative’s progress. Those tools have to first be procured, of course, which is why procurement is poised to lead innovation and transform internal processes.
Yes, procurement teams can prioritize partnering with green suppliers, but they can have an even more immediate impact on green initiatives by going paperless with eprocurement technology. Printing multiple copies of those 40-page RFxs? No longer necessary. Digital features like online signatures, revision history, comment ability, and reminder alerts responsibly remove the need for paper-backed processes without compromising process integrity.
Plus, eliminating a paper process allows all team members to collaborate on a single source of truth.
4. Risk Management
New tools like eprocurement technology allows for a greater degree of control through monitoring custom benchmarks, analyzing spend over time, and scenario-planning for short and long-term periods. Better scoring and analysis means better results, minimizing risk and maximizing value.
Build a Better Bond with Procurement
For all of the reasons above, take this as your cue to send a note of appreciation to your procurement team in celebration of National Procurement Month. The sky’s the limit for what you all can accomplish together in 2022.