How Careless Purchasers Lose Credibility
PurchTips edition #54
Are You One Of These Careless Purchasers?
Stakeholders are those individuals in your organization who have a vested interest in the outcome of your work. They may include end users, budget holders, and even senior management.
If success in a purchasing role is important to you, you must have credibility in the eyes of these stakeholders. Careless purchasers don't spend much time trying to gain or sustain credibility. Yet, they constantly wonder why Purchasing gets no respect.
Here are four mistakes that cause careless purchasers to lose credibility. Avoid these mistakes at all costs!
Mistake #1 Failing To Involve Stakeholders. In general, people resist changes to their work routine when such changes are forced upon them. If you want your stakeholders to "Buy In" to a change, such as using a new supplier, you have to include them in the decision-making process. They need to feel ownership of the decision in order to fully support it.
Mistake #2 Failing To Address Stakeholder Interests. Even if they don't consciously realize it, people always think, "What's in it for me?" Learn what your stakeholders' interests are and *communicate* how your actions benefit them. Otherwise, they will assume that you are taking action solely to benefit yourself.
Mistake #3 Failing To Demonstrate Success. In some organizations, Purchasing is an unpopular department. To overcome negative perceptions, you must demonstrate a track record of success. That's why it's better to pursue easy initiatives with friendly stakeholders first. Early victories turn skeptics into cooperative partners, especially if other stakeholders tout the benefits of collaborating with Purchasing.
Mistake #4 Pretending That You Know It All. If you act as if your technical expertise exceeds that of a stakeholder, you'll lose credibility fast. Stakeholders might ask "Do you know what ____ is?" Admit what you don't know. Ask questions. Value stakeholders' expertise. It gives them a feeling of power. When you give that power, you gain cooperation and credibility.
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