The final session of the excelerateds2p Global Procurement Summit 2022 focuses on the drivers for procurement transformation. Joining Sam Rayborn, Customer Engagement Lead at excelerateds2p, on this panel discussion, we are pleased to welcome special guests from two of the largest private and publicly owned companies in the US: Jane Kaufman, Procurement Director at JM Family Enterprises and Michael DeWitt, VP of International Strategic Sourcing at Walmart.
Sharing their procurement transformation thoughts and experiences, both expand on the key drivers for transformation, the impacts of Covid-19 on project delivery, how to achieve desired business benefits from new technology investments, and what their priorities are for 2022.
We’ve rounded up the key takeaways from the session, however you can watch the full episode on demand here.
1. Plan and prepare your transformation journey
Michael says that, for him, “the important factor, before you even start, is having a clearly defined plan”. This should take in what you want to do, when you want to do it, what you want to prioritize, and how you are going to measure your KPIs. Agreeing with Michael, Jane adds that you should “figure out what your objectives are and where you want to come out at the end of the process”.
It is crucial to plan and prepare for your procurement transformation journey before you start
2. Understand your stakeholders
Getting each stakeholder to see the long-term value in your procurement transformation is essential to its success as they can affect, or be affected by, its outcome. Michael says “you need to make sure you are understanding your stakeholders and their individual ROI”. Expectations can differ greatly from stakeholder to stakeholder and knowing this is key to them buying into your project.
Understanding stakeholder needs is crucial to them buying into your transformation
3. Get stakeholder buy-in early
How you prepare and define your transformation project will help you get buy-in from key stakeholders right from the start. Alongside a clear plan, Jane recommends completing “a cost-benefit analysis on optimizing what you have versus making a change” to convince stakeholders. A key point from Michael expands on this, adding “knowing what you want to deliver will help you communicate its importance to stakeholders above you more clearly”. You will also be able to expand on certain areas to stakeholders below you, making it easier for them to focus on specific tasks.
Involve key stakeholders as early as possible in your transformation journey
4. Plan for unforeseen issues
Covid-19 has shown how unforeseen issues can impact your plans or derail them completely. Preparation to handle any worst-case scenarios when they happen is essential. Look at how your transformation plans will change and assess what areas need to be prioritized, including any supply chain issues. Ensure systems are in place to guarantee successful remote or hybrid working for existing and any new employees. Jane summarizes this by saying “if you never walk into your physical office again, can you get everything done that you were able to do before?”
Prepare for worst-case scenarios in your planning process
5. Leverage a successful People, Process, and Technology framework
People, process, and technology are essential to your procurement transformation success, but in what order? “From my experience”, says Michael “you have to make sure you have the right people in place first, so for me, it is: people > process > technology”. Your people’s buy-in to the project will enable them to maximize the value of the process you want to put in place. “That is absolutely the best way to do it” agrees Jane. “People, then process, and the technology just enhances it”.
Ensure the right people and processes are in place first, with technology added later
6. Introduce effective change management
Your procurement transformation will benefit from the knowledge, skill, and experience of your people, staff, and stakeholders to make it a success. Make sure processes and training procedures are clear, consistent, and well documented to minimize the risk during any change in personnel. Michael highlights the importance of this by adding “You have to have technologies that enable your processes so that it is embedded in your ways of working and in your systems, and that it outlives changeover.” This will ensure that future staff and stakeholders can continue to build on them.
Build a business case for change management to ensure your ways of working are embedded
7. Plan for the future
You should continue to plan, optimize, and embed your processes along your transformation journey. “It is all about planning, becoming a more efficient strategic partner with internal customers, and moving forward” says Jane. This, alongside rolling out more advanced technologies and continuing to update your stakeholders on the value of the transformation, should help you sustain your procurement transformation project for the long term.
Procurement transformation is an ongoing process that requires an agile approach, before, during, and beyond project implementation