Maximise procurement alignment with business strategy to deliver sustainable outcomes, improved ROI and competitive advantage.
Build understanding of stakeholder strategies and priorities 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.
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.
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.
“The FP tool kit is already delivering better results for us, and I am confident that we will embed category management successfully this time“Global industrial gases and engineering company
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.
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.
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.
We work on real strategic alignment projects, providing coached planning support and facilitating key meetings with stakeholders to ensure that tools are applied correctly.
Other areas of expertise
We work with design teams and procurement leaders to identify priority behavioural and technical skills to include in your personalised development programme. We aim for long term skills transfer and we prioritise the transfer of ownership of any change to you, enabling you to define and develop exceptional procurement competence over time.
All our programmes are instructor led and contain the optimum combinations of consultancy, coaching and training based on your requirements.
In collaboration with you, we custom configure our programme design and material to your team’s unique challenges and the opportunities available for procurement performance improvement in your organisation. These are tightly linked to your overall business objectives and strategies
The resultant capability development programme blends the right elements for you from our broad range of consultancy, coaching and training programmes, to precisely meet your organisation’s needs and deliver maximum benefits.
We continually refresh our approach based on the findings of our world-renowned category management benchmark survey.
Everyone in the Future Purchasing team is a procurement expert with a minimum of 10 years line and consulting experience. They excel in shifting mind-sets, developing capability, engaging stakeholders and role modelling best practice. All our consultants are adept at dealing with the challenges of embedding learning in large, complex organisations.
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