Stakeholder Engagement and Procurement

As Procurement Consultants we can sometimes feel like an elephant in the room. Nobody necessarily wants to acknowledge we are there and we can be perceived as a barrier to Business-As-Usual activities by unengaged business functions.  When working within a business the key to overcoming any reticence is to ensure that we have successful stakeholder engagement.

From our perspective, stakeholder engagement is critical at all levels. It is used primarily to gain knowledge, understanding, and ideas from key individuals and departments within the organisation.

Why should you work to engage stakeholders?

With stakeholder engagement, you can achieve your goals. Without stakeholder engagement, you are fighting an uphill battle to achieve savings.

It is critical that we can identify who the key stakeholders are within the business. By gaining a clear understanding of what they want, care for and influence across the organisation it is possible to align with their aims and objectives.

Essentially, the earlier you can engage with the relevant stakeholders the better the outcome. As part of a strategic procurement plan, you will gain their participation in negotiations. With good levels of stakeholder engagement, this participation will deliver better results.

By acknowledging and then acting on stakeholder input a project is far more likely to achieve a successful outcome.  Having a positive working relationship with stakeholders means the output will be of higher value and their interest more significant.

When there are changes in a project, stakeholders must feel like they’re a part of the decision-making process. This enables them to ensure they add value and generate ownership of the solution.

How can you engage stakeholders?

It is essential that procurement professionals listen to their stakeholders to understand and manage their expectations. Many of the most engaging and rewarding projects come by listening to stakeholders, understanding their real challenges and digging that bit deeper. This enables you to identify the real pain points.

This listening enables you to prove your worth. By identifying their challenges effectively, it is possible to pick up some quick wins that they will appreciate and this will encourage the relationship to develop. There is nothing more satisfying than when engaged stakeholders come to you with their challenges. Knowing they can trust you and you can help them to address these challenges is a great sign of stakeholder engagement.

As the relationship develops work with the stakeholders and their departments to empower them. Running sessions to promote best practice in Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) or effective tender writing will add great value to any department. They can become empowered to maintain and identify business improvement. Build the workshop around their challenges and provide value to their team.

Don’t forget external stakeholders – the existing suppliers a company has may be able to offer extra value through new products or changes to terms, make sure they are included in any discussions. Suppliers are specialist in their market and due to the knowledge they have can add best practice, and innovations relevant to their market. Good SRM will provide this extra level of engagement and unearth synergies to benefit all.

Once you have engaged stakeholders let them act as beacons to show other business functions how you have worked with them to resolve their challenges. This will help to bring on board any potential stakeholders who have been less engaged in your work.

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.

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