Managing Procurement: Facts You Need to Know
Okay, we admit it—if you’re managing procurement for your company, chances are you already know a lot of what you need to know. But there are still things that are good for you to know and tidbits of information to keep in mind. Information that will either help you do your job better or will dazzle and awe your colleagues in the lunch room when you throw down these bits of knowledge. Read them, study them, know them. You can thank us later.
Every Company Procures Things
Every company makes purchases. Some of those purchases are minor, such as pens or staples. Others are huge, such as an office building. Companies that make many minor purchases or high-value purchases tend to have procurement departments to streamline the purchasing process. Whether your company has a formal purchasing program or not, it’s still making purchases.
The Companies You Purchase From Affect Your Reputation
Your company isn’t separate from the companies it does business with. An unethical supplier in your procurement chain can have a huge affect on your company’s reputation. Flaws in components supplied by subcontractors will affect your profits, and could result in lawsuits against you. Sounds frightening, but if you do your research and closely examine the companies you’re doing business with, you can protect your company. Remember the number one rule: If a proposal sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
You’ll Never Compare to The Canadian Government
The Government of Canada is one of the largest public buyers of goods and services in Canada, spending around $16 billion on programs and projects. Their procurement is done either through a competitive or non-competitive procurement process. If your company offers goods or services the Government of Canada can use, you could look into bidding on a contract.
Procurement Managers Do More Than Order Items
Procurement managers are obviously the people to go to for ordering, but they have so many unappreciated skills. Many procurement managers are also responsible for negotiating better contracts, obtaining lower prices, interviewing vendors, ensuring quality of goods or services delivered, and analyzing contracts. Some may even play the piano or harmonica. They’re the unsung heroes of the corporate world.
It’s a fact (completely made up) that 9 out of 10 procurement managers like to laugh. If you want a little humor to lighten your day, check out these tongue-in-cheek pipe specifications from Spend Matters. As these specifications show, it’s always better to be detailed about your needs (because who wants an uphill pipe, when only a downhill pipe will do?).