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Five ways procurement can work better with internal stakeholders

Posted on 08/07/2014 by Jamie Eaton in Category Managed Services
We recently held a webinar with Spend Matters to debate ways in which procurement professionals can work better with internal stakeholders. The webinar featured expert opinion from Peter Smith, Managing Editor of Spend Matters and our very own Jon Milton, Business Development Director​.

Better working relationships with internal stakeholders have never been more important in procurement, as professionals from Category Managers to CPO’s look to add greater value to the business at large. Working better with internal stakeholders sounds fairly simple but large businesses are complex and, without collaboration of strategy, objectives and working practices, situations can quickly develop where there are misaligned and contradictory practices.

In the category of temporary labour, it is essential for procurement to collaborate with colleagues in human resources, finance and operations to ensure the businesses’ temporary recruitment needs are met with value for money. The webinar highlighted five ways procurement can work better with internal stakeholders and from a temporary labour perspective, these are:

1. Put yourself in the shoes of your stakeholders

Firstly, it is important for procurement to take the time to understand their stakeholder’s role and the key issues concerning their hiring activity, spend and usage of temporary labour. Having this ability to view situations from a variety of perspectives is important to get buy-in from various stakeholders.

To effectively manage temporary recruitment in complex and diverse businesses can be a challenge. Procurement must ensure they understand the needs of all hiring managers and departments in terms of their approach to hiring (short-term unplanned to long-term planned), the types of roles, volumes of workers, usage patterns (such as seasonal trends) and the number of recruitment agencies used. Understanding these challenges from the perspective of the stakeholder is crucial for procurement to add value.

2. Identify and support what is most important to them and achievement of their goals

Secondly, being personal in your approach to identify and support your various stakeholders is crucial for procurement. The usage of temporary workers is likely to vary by division, location and even by hiring manager. You may have divisions that have a high volume of homogenous temporary roles that require workers to be available with little notice. Others may have low or disparate usage but require a long lead in time to secure the best available candidates. Identifying this complexity is crucial in order to procure a solution that helps your stakeholders achieve their goals.

3. Work together in terms of input into key elements of the procurement process – e.g. selection of suppliers, performance management and review

Having put yourself in the shoes of your stakeholders and identifying what is important to them, it is essential for your stakeholders to have input into key elements of the procurement process. From a temporary labour perspective, this will be the type of recruitment model required (from a sole supply arrangement, Preferred Supplier List (PSL) or Managed Service Provider in either a neutral vendor or master vendor basis) or the quality of service required. Agreement of performance management metrics and review processes is also essential for procurement to ensure on-going collaboration with stakeholders.

4. Provide a feedback loop in terms of supplier (and indeed procurement) performance

An agreed process for feedback is essential for procurement and your internal stakeholders. This helps procurement ensure recruitment agencies are helping your stakeholders achieve their objectives and to sense check that the services procured are fit for purpose.

5. Find and use technology that works as an enabler, not a barrier

Too often procurement purchase technology to help better manage the temporary recruitment category through central control of usage, visibility of recruitment spend and management information. This can frustrate hiring managers if the system is overly complex, cumbersome or an administrative burden. Getting stakeholder buy-in to the use of technology is crucial for it to be an enabler and not a barrier.

By following the five steps highlighted and explained in further detail on the webinar, you’ll dramatically improve stakeholder engagement. You can view the full webinar now on our Youtube channel​.​