How to perform most wisely when wanting to convince internal and external stakeholders to act as stated in the latest management board statement is a multimillion question. Enforcing change in behaviour have been a commonly used tactic, especially when talking about transaction automation, internal control and supplier motivation. Needless to say that tactic have had a somewhat low effect on the desired result – more effective and more economically agile organisations.
In this article a former CPO elaborates on the lack of internal stakeholder engagement, and EBG can only agree.
“A core element of supply chain management is the axiom that every involved person or department forms part of an end-to-end process, working with business partners on the upstream as well as on the downstream site. For procurement these partners are – in an admittedly very simplistic model – suppliers and internal customers. The management of suppliers includes many facets from price negotiations, performance evaluation and risk analysis all the way down to innovation and collaboration management.You can find numerous blogs and articles about Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) in newsletters and internet forums and a full-fledged suite of methods and software tools is available to support day-to-day operations as well as strategic sourcing activities.
On the downstream site the landscape looks much less “inhabited” and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) still plays an ancillary role on the agenda of procurement. Quite wrongly so from my point of view: the transition of procurement from an “embedded” operational function to a corporate service provider and the consolidation in centralized shared services changes the relations and communication channels between procurement employees and their internal customers fundamentally, as described in my former blogs on procurement transformation.
The new role of procurement requires a systematic approach to better understand the expectations and concerns of the internal customers and to actively communicate procurement activities, results and challenges in order to build lasting partnerships with the key stakeholders. For many procurement employees this is a major change of their mind-set and during my times as CPO we had to spend significant time and effort on CRM trainings and the development of our people to become “ambassadors” of their profession.”