Strategic alignment

Aligning procurement activity with broader business strategy delivers sustainable outcome, improved stakeholder engagement and competitive advantage

Maximise procurement alignment with business strategy to deliver sustainable outcomes, improved ROI and competitive advantage

Understanding stakeholder strategies and priorities are used to build a jointly agreed pipeline of category and supplier projects.

Only 14% of organisations secure sufficient time from stakeholders for category management activities

Procurement teams that agree an annual plan of projects with business stakeholders deliver 3x the value of teams that don’t

66% of leading category management performers agree a joint plan of projects with business stakeholders

Planning for success

Real procurement leadership goes further than category and supplier management excellence. It is about understanding business and functional strategies and using this knowledge to prioritise procurement activities for the next 12-24 months.

We call this strategic alignment.

Aligning procurement activity with business priorities and developing a pipeline of category and supplier projects is often inconsistently done and left to the individual preferences of category leaders. This can lead to variable stakeholder consultation, wrong projects being prioritised, and insufficient business buy-in and pre-launch planning. This damages procurement’s credibility, and ultimately ROI.

Having an agreed standardised approach, synchronised with the organisation planning cycle, allows joint annual strategic planning activity across all spend. This requires collaboration with senior business stakeholders and a full understanding of their strategies, plans and budgets.

Putting in place an approach to align procurement effort and resource with key business strategy and outcomes ensures a higher degree of stakeholder engagement and participation.

Benefits of focusing organisation power on priority projects

Strategic alignment is one of the most powerful practices that a procurement team can adopt. It produces a co-developed pipeline of priority projects that the business fully supports.

Because of this, senior stakeholders are willing to commit adequate resource time to the agreed category and supplier projects. With properly resourced cross-functional teams, all available improvement opportunities are identified and supported through to implementation – ensuring that full value is realised from each category and supplier relationship.

It allows procurement to engage executive stakeholders and provide strategic insight and direction across the suppliers and categories within their budget area. It also makes clear the linkages between procurement activity and delivering their own functional objectives.

Resetting perceptions and maximising efficiency

It compels procurement to understand the challenges faced by stakeholders and provides a forum to suggest potential solutions. It allows procurement leaders to influence the business from a commercial perspective, shape their priorities and change the way that procurement is perceived.

In addition, getting the relevant parties around the table early to strategically discuss and agree one shared list of priority initiatives ensures early involvement in key business projects that have a procurement component.

As a result, the amount of unplanned activity is reduced and procurement resources work on the right projects with the right business resources, in committed teams – accessing all value levers and maximising ROI from each category group.

Our approach to strategic alignment

Future Purchasing’s strategic alignment methodology generates a mutually agreed category and supplier project pipeline within 4-8 weeks that becomes a permanently embedded aspect of your business planning cycle.

Understanding stakeholder priorities

This process is designed to sit above category and supplier management and help “join the dots”. It is built around a sequence of review meetings where stakeholders share strategies, plans and budgets that are aligned with business planning cycle. It is central to our Track8 strategic procurement toolkit. 

Our team has been developing and refining our approach to understanding stakeholders’ functional strategies and aligning procurement activity for over 17 years.

Woman looking out of Window

Seeing the bigger picture

Performing a high-level analysis across all categories and suppliers within a category group formally refreshes your activity pipeline and benefit targets every 6 or 12 months. Our approach also prompts teams to take a holistic view across categories, suppliers and functional boundaries to identify strategic opportunities and solutions that are often not visible through a category or supplier management lens.

Reputational uplift

Our clients’ procurement teams recognise that our proven methodology fills a strategic gap. Strategic alignment plans gain a high profile among senior stakeholders, who use them to form a key input to their own benefit forecasts. 

When these are well constructed and the value is clearly articulated, they ensure that Procurement and business stakeholders do not pursue separate priority projects. As our approach can be implemented within 4-8 weeks, clients quickly start to see a beneficial change in the way that procurement activities are planned and resourced. The outcome is a more effective and highly regarded collaborative procurement organisation that is able to truly deliver. 

Man standing by skyscrapers

How we can work with you to maximise procurement alignment to deliver sustainable outcomes, improved SRM and competitive advantage

Our consulting, coaching and training services deliver strategic alignment excellence. They are available to both procurement professionals and stakeholders alike. ​

We blend and customise our three core services to fit your team’s requirements.

Consultancy

We fill gaps in procurement teams where in-house capability is missing. We undertake planning and strategic alignment activities where there is no internal resource.

Coaching

We work on real strategic alignment projects, providing coached planning support and facilitating key meetings with stakeholders to ensure that tools are applied correctly.

Training

Our experts lead virtual or face-to-face classroom events by introducing the key tools and concepts of strategic alignment. Participants build their own strategic alignment plans.