Making the Case:
How to Get Buy-In for New Procurement Initiatives Procurement is constantly changing and evolving, and consequently, your department may be faced with new demands, shifting priorities, financial pressure, budget cuts and continuously being asked - do more with less. Innovative procurement methods and technology can streamline processes, maximize resources and improve efficiency, but altering your organization’s culture can be challenging. In order to get leadership’s buy-in, you need to show them that you’re thinking strategically about the future of procurement. Use the following tips and best practices, provided by industry professionals in a recent webinar with the National Association of Educational Procurement (NAEP), to gain approval on the solutions needed to help you better support your organization’s mission:
Ensure Procurement Aligns with Your Organization’s Mission As procurement professionals, you’re tasked with providing the highest quality goods, services and programs while maximizing value and mitigating risk. But is procurement viewed as a strategic function within your organization? Begin with a quick assessment: What do your customers/ leadership believe about you? What do you want your customers/leaders to believe about you? Once you understand the differences or gaps, aligning your procurement strategy will become clear.
Frame your department to be the go-to source for problem resolution.
Are you seen as a trusted advisor?
Do you deliver on basic services and promises?
Does your culture of service model excellence?
Can you demonstrate your impact to the financial health of the organization?
Form Strategic Partnerships with Your Solution Providers You’ve spent significant time evaluating and vetting suppliers that provide the solutions needed to make necessary improvements. While you are excited about this partnership, you will likely be met with resistance during the approval process. Show leadership the supplier is a strategic partner by:
Providing value beyond just cost savings
Producing long-term opportunities and benefits
Understanding and adhering to your organization’s internal processes and regulations
Assisting with and alleviating the implementation burden(s)
Educating the community on the benefits of this new solution
Throughout the approval process, the best partners will:
Provide references from similar organizations
Educate all levels about this new solution and demonstrate proven results
Teach you how to overcome common objections
Include Right Data in Your Business Case Data is critical. The challenge is how to best utilize all of the available data to get your message across. When developing your business case, follow these tips to help maximize data and ensure you gain approval: Use credible sources: Gather input from end-users Use real experiences and examples Supplier case studies
eProcurement tools References and their lessons learned
Tell a story: The business case is really a narrative supported by data supported by information. Telling a good story is critical to receiving buy-in. Demonstrate the consequences if you DON’T move forward: Use examples of how the solution will mitigate risk now and later. Show your methodology: How did you arrive these conclusions? Alignment is key: Align with the organization’s objectives, goals, mission and/or strategy. What is important to leadership? Rethink and Reframe: Be creative and innovative. Look at the problem and solution from a different point of view. Teach: Illustrate a problem leadership may not be aware of, as well as how the proposed solution will solve it. Know when enough is enough: Do not overwhelm leadership with data. Focus on and highlight the key facts and figures that support your story. Keep