How Purchasing Wins Favor In The C-Suite

PurchTips edition #171


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Is Your Work Valued By C-Level Execs?

A strong relationship between Purchasing and the "C-suite" (CEO, CFO, CIO) increases the effectiveness of your department because C-level executives can open doors and energize initiatives through their support. To obtain and maintain access to the C-suite, you must be able to effectively communicate with C-level executives.

Know What To Communicate – The C-suite expects you to know their strategic goals and initiatives. Purchasing becomes more relevant to the C-suite when its operations align with C-suite goals. Don't know their goals? Ask! The question itself indicates alignment.

Be Prepared - Have correct and detailed information on your spend, your suppliers, and the state of the markets at your fingertips. You never know when the opportunity to speak with C-suite executives will present itself.

Speak Their Language – Always present requests for resources or support with a clear commitment to deliver a specific value. "If you allow me X, I'll return you Y."

Use Your Time Wisely – C-level executives have busy schedules and often get called out of already-short meetings for urgent priorities. Don't make the mistake of getting stuck in the details of your department when presenting to the C-suite. Instead focus on how Purchasing can add value and create a competitive advantage for the company. Be concise and relevant.

Use Visuals – Often, the quickest way to get your message across is by using visuals such as a spreadsheet showing a comparison or a graph showing a trend line.

Stay Visible – Meet with your closest C-suite executive regularly and provide updates on your plan. It's best to meet before his/her C-suite management meeting and provide him/her with key points to take to the meeting.

Communicating effectively with the C-suite increases Purchasing's perceived value. Treat every interaction as a step to win favor in the C-suite.

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Are You Getting The Most Out of Your NLPA Membership?

Members of the NLPA get more than just articles like this by email. As a member, you also get access to:

  • The Procurement Training & Certification Starter Kit
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  • Leading-Edge Supply Management™ magazine
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  • And more!

If you haven't been taking advantage of these benefits, why not log in and start now?