One of the most important advantages of a global procurement strategy is the ability to meet and exceed customer expectations. A global procurement strategy allows your organization to streamline purchasing, achieve greater efficiencies, and negotiate more customer-friendly deals. When you develop a global procurement strategy, you begin to think very differently. You look more holistically at opportunities for process improvement, how to incorporate technology into decision-making, and how to improve relationships across the spectrum, from suppliers to customers.
The best part is that all of these changes you make also will save you money and cut down on your costs. Indeed, global procurement is a win-win for both you and your customers. Let’s explore the ways that a global procurement strategy will help you deliver on promises to your customers and ultimately make you more money:
- You’ll be able to make systematic procurement decisions: Too many businesses leave their procurement decisions up to the preferences and whims of whomever happens to be in charge of those procurements. Consequently, procurement becomes an uneven and arbitrary process, where customers can’t count on consistent outcomes. A global procurement strategy insists that decisions are made systematically, with the use of computer algorithms and big data analytics to guide decision-making processes. In this way, nothing slips through the cracks, and customers benefit from optimized order-to-delivery times; the most efficient, cost-effective routes for all business processes are systematically selected.
- You’ll be more flexible and adaptable: One of the hallmarks of a global procurement strategy is continuous process improvement. There’s simply no opportunity for procurement managers to slip into auto-pilot or a complacent lull; they are required to constantly be examining their data and analytics – if for nothing else, so they can defend their decision-making to their superiors. When procurement is focused on continuous improvement, it leads to greater flexibility and adaptability across the organization. In particular, the organization gets better at listening to its customers and making changes based on their preferences and wishes.
- You’ll stay on or under budget: A global procurement strategy emphasizes achieving cost savings through rigorous analysis of the data. All costs are regularly assessed, from raw materials to overhead to labor resources, and sophisticated computer analytics instantaneously evaluate all possible combinations of scenarios and make recommendations that appropriately weigh all competing factors. The final decisions that you make represent the maximum value the lowest possible cost—savings that are directly passed onto your customer.
- You’ll strengthen your supplier relationships: Because a global procurement strategy is focused on looking holistically at processes to improve outcomes, a global procurement strategy leads to close working relationships with suppliers. These productive relationships change how suppliers perceive your business; you go from being just another client to being a true business partner that is as invested in the supplier’s success as much as your own success. When you and your supplier make that mental leap, you move to the front of the line; the supplier wants to work proactively with you to get you the best deals, the best treatment, and the best results—all outcomes that you can pass directly onto your customers.
- Your time will be freed up to think outside the box: A global procurement strategy eliminates the capricious decisions that are made at will by procurement managers. Instead of giving individuals the authority—and the responsibility—to make these decisions, you consistently take a best-practices approach that is based on what the data and analytics show you. Because so much of the procurement process becomes automated, your procurement managers’ time is suddenly freed up; they can focus on thinking outside the box on creative ways to improve working relationships among individuals within the organization, as well suppliers and customers. The end goal, of course, is greater efficiencies and happier customers.
A global procurement strategy is essential in helping organizations understand the value of strong relationships in driving the kind of process improvements that keep customers satisfied. When your No. 1 goal is to deliver on the promises you make to your customers, you need assurance that decisions are being made systematically, that you have maximized your adaptability, that you are consistently assessing opportunities to save money, that you have the closest possible relationships with your suppliers, and that your procurement team isn’t being bogged down by processes that are best completed through automation and technology.