Engagement is a popular theme these days. Everywhere you look people are talking about it in terms of employees, consumers – you name it. But this post specifically addresses stakeholder engagement: unlocking a procurement consultant’s value.
And that’s precisely what engaging with internal client stakeholders does. It allows procurement consultants to get up close and personal with the people deriving value from the relationship. It takes that relationship between provider and client to the next level – deeper – bringing relatability and trust to the procurement function.
Let’s talk about what a “high-touch” client experience means to procurement consultants and how it adds value to the service we offer our clients.
Meeting specific need
The first step toward creating a lasting relationship is understanding what the other party needs. That means drilling down. Breaching the boundary between the client (company) and its internal stakeholders means garnering knowledge about the requirements of their individual mandates.
That understanding leads procurement consultants straight to the heart of the matter – the drivers which are responsible for creating value intra-departmentally.
What looks good to one stakeholder may look quite different to another, so getting a handle on objectives held by internal people allows procurement consultants to answer specific demands for value which directly impact those objectives.
Out of invisibility
It’s too often the case that procurement is viewed form the standpoint of being solely a cost-cutting enterprise. While it’s true that the right procurement consultant is going to save you money, it’s also true that smart procurement adds value in many other ways.
And procurement has been addressing the perception problem by shifting the focus from the bottom line to the KPI (key performance indicator) effect it can have on business.
The ongoing shift to greater sustainability and transparency in the supply chain is answering the need for companies to live up to their mission and values statements. By working with suppliers to ensure these qualities are top-of-mind, procurement consultants add value, bringing them out of the cost-savings-focused shadows.
Risk management is part of that, as well as encouraging innovation from suppliers to better live up to the client’s stated commitment to a sustainable supply chain.
Acting as a liaison between client and suppliers, procurement consultants bring something new to the party. It’s no longer all about the cost savings. It’s about companies being who they say they are and ensuring that all parties in the supply chain are on board and honoring a commitment which has been publicly stated.
Creating communicative opportunities allows procurement consultants to learn what is most important to internal stakeholders in a variety of business units, from finance to risk management. This allows them to offer the value-added solutions that deliver a greater ROI beyond basic cost savings.
By participating in the business objectives of clients, procurement consultants align their work with that of senior stakeholders, adding value by sharing key goals.
Relationships matter. When they’re intentionally constructed, procurement consultants become partners in the achievements their clients have top of mind.
CenterPoint Group is a trusted procurement advisor. Contact us.