Engaging stakeholders to achieve procurement goals
As procurement consultants, we know how important it is to engage stakeholders across the organisation. Without engaging stakeholders to gain their support and involvement, we cannot deliver the best outcomes for the business. However, we also know that stakeholder engagement can be challenging, especially when we are new to an engagement and can be seen as an obstacle or a threat to their existing ways of working.
That is why we have developed some effective strategies to overcome stakeholder resistance and build trust and collaboration. In this blog post, we will share some of our insights and tips on how to engage stakeholders and achieve procurement excellence.
Why does stakeholder engagement matter?
Engaging stakeholders is not just a nice-to-have, it is a must-have for successful procurement. Without stakeholder engagement, we risk:
- Missing out on valuable insights and information from key individuals and departments
- Facing delays and obstacles in implementing procurement initiatives
- Losing credibility and influence as procurement professionals
- Failing to deliver the expected savings and benefits for the business
With stakeholder engagement, we can:
- Gain a deeper understanding of the business needs, challenges, and opportunities
- Align our procurement objectives and activities with the strategic goals of the organisation
- Engage and empower stakeholders in the decision-making and problem-solving process
- Leverage their expertise, networks, and resources to achieve better results
- Enhance our reputation and value as procurement professionals
How can you engage stakeholders effectively?
Stakeholder engagement is not a one-off activity, it is an ongoing process that requires planning, communication, and evaluation. It is a relationship that you must work hard to develop and maintain.
Here are some of the steps we follow to engage stakeholders effectively:
- Identify who the key stakeholders are for each procurement project or category. You can use tools such as stakeholder maps or matrices to analyse their level of interest, influence, and impact on the project.
- Understand their needs, expectations, and concerns. We listen to them actively and empathetically, asking open-ended questions and probing for details. We also conduct surveys, interviews, or focus groups to gather feedback and data.
- Communicate with them regularly and transparently. We keep them informed of the project progress, milestones, risks, and issues. Use their preferred channels and formats, such as emails, newsletters, reports, presentations, or meetings. We also tailor our messages to suit their preferences and styles.
- Involve them in the project activities and decisions. We invite them to participate in workshops, brainstorming sessions, negotiations, or evaluations. We seek their input and feedback on key aspects of the project, such as specifications, criteria, or suppliers. We also acknowledge their contributions and recognise their achievements.
- Empower them to take ownership and responsibility for the project outcomes. We provide teams with training, coaching, or mentoring to enhance their skills and knowledge. We also delegate tasks or roles to them according to their strengths and interests. We also encourage them to share best practices and lessons learned with others.
By following these steps, we have been able to engage stakeholders successfully in our procurement projects. We have seen how stakeholder engagement can lead to improved performance, innovation, and satisfaction for both the business and the procurement function.
Sharing Procurement Expertise
Here at Ebit we have worked with many companies to assist them as they continue to grow or navigate business challenges. Whether on short-term engagements to provide expertise on a single subject or retained engagements as a fully operating procurement service and department we have a proven track record of;
- Identifying opportunities to cut costs
- Improve service offerings
- Provide strategic roadmaps and actionable
- Engage stakeholders
- Implement effective Supplier Relationship Management programmes
- Develop procurement skills and knowledge
- Implement software and tools
- Developing Processes and Policies
- Providing upskilling/ training
Contact us as we would love to have the opportunity to learn about your company or group and understand how we can work with you as you grow.