The time has come to seek outside advice on your business matters. You've hired a procurement consultant, or are in the process of doing so. And while it may prove a potential boon for your business, it is often an apprehensive one, given what can go awry in supply chain management. Still, when done right, the advantages of using a procurement consulting expert can far outweigh the negatives. Here are a few ways to up the ante for your chosen consultant to get the most bang for your buck:
1. Convey Your Standards
A proactive company (and consultant, for that matter) takes the time to become acquainted with the other's capabilities and value they can provide. Most consultants are experts in a specific area of purchasing processes, and it is crucial that you communicate to your team how to best utilize your outside hires. This includes being the integrated supply aficionado and monitoring it closely, so you can know the strengths and weaknesses and how to play to both. A procurement consulting expert will take that knowledge and act on it, giving you solutions and additional prowess to drive your company forward.
2. Don't Be Afraid to Talk Strategy
Procurement consultants are helpful, but they aren't wizards. Walking through any process step-by-step never hurts, and it guarantees thorough involvement with your products and employees. Time spent dissecting any facet of your supply chain is not wasted; in fact, it can be a positive, as it avoids causing confusion when maintaining efficiency on all levels. Ensuring that everyone is on the same page will promote organization and clarity throughout.
3. Be Transparent with Your Procurement Consultant
Often, bringing in an outside opinion is seen as a risk for companies, since consultants are not primary contributors to daily functions. It's natural to have concerns about consultant outsourcing, especially when switching at any time. To minimize loss and have your consultant live up to expectations, keep that line of communication open with them as well. In addition, any in-house procurement strategies will be useful in leveling the experience for all employees involved, and is inclusive to all tiers of the company.
4. Establish a Solid Relationship
Don't limit your consultant's uses to one category! If they appear to be a good match for your company and have successfully saved you in resources and headaches, consider expanding their responsibilities to other departments. This is the true cost-efficient way to use procurement consulting to its full advantage, because not only will they excel in other areas, but they can contribute to the optimization of even the most minute of details.
5. Maintain An Open Mind
In order to eke out every bit of financial wisdom from your consultant, an element of trust has to be present. A truly competent procurement consultant will streamline your business practices and bring new ideas to the table, and can assist in bringing new clients to the company or directly sourcing from other reliable vendors. Even the implementation of new technology can bring your business to the forefront of efficiency, and that willingness to adapt is invaluable from every angle. Hiring a procurement consulting can be a positive, beneficial experience, and one that is worth investing in.
About Michael Wilson
Michael Wilson is AFFLINK'S Vice President of Marketing and Communications. He has been with the organization since 2005 and provides strategic leadership for the entire supply chain team. In his free time, Michael enjoys working with the Wounded Warrior Project, fishing, and improving his cooking skills.