As most specialist procurement recruitment consultancies can testify, the search is on for the most tech-savvy candidates for contemporary procurement and supply chain jobs – but how do procurement practitioners decide which technologies will have the most effective impact on the struggle to gain a comprehensive overview of organisational spend? A recent ‘Virtual Roundtable’ teleconference organised by the procurement network and intelligence platform, Procurement Leaders, came up with some practical answers.
Firstly, practitioners in procurement jobs shouldn’t overlook a potential source of knowledge from right under their noses – their stakeholders, many of whom know exactly where the pain points are. Approaching them in a genuine spirit of inquiry to pinpoint these areas can help build valuable collaborative relationships, which can be crucial for persuading executives to sign-off spending on the right tech.
Doing some careful market research and bringing tech suggestions to stakeholders, and explaining why they are valuable, can also aid this process, but the overarching aim to is make their lives easier and simpler. Tech solutions which take six months to learn how to use won’t be of much appeal, but identifying providers that support onboarding your internal teams will be of immense help during the critical phase of the internal rollout.
Gaining executive sponsorship for these initiatives is critical to securing sign-off for purchase. Booking a demo immediately with a potential vendor, and bringing as many stakeholders as possible to it, is one of the best ways of securing this executive backing. Getting a trial ‘sandbox’ version of the digital solution to share internally before purchasing is even better. Even a more limited trial on a smaller project can help – having a real-life example of success strengthens the business case for a purchase.
Last but not least, don’t be shy of asking fellow procurement practitioners, in your organisation and elsewhere, what tech solutions have worked for them, and attend trade fairs whenever possible. Both yield invaluable information to support your business case.