Service Principles For Purchasing, Part I
PurchTips edition #31
How To Better Serve Your Internal Customers
As a purchaser, you have customers. End users of the products you buy, management, engineers, the shop floor - these are all examples of your customers. And they want good service. They expect to be treated like patrons at a restaurant, guests at a hotel, shoppers at a store. This resource will give you some service principles that will enable you to delight your customers.
Principle #1 Document & Share Your Action Plan
The first thing you should do when working on a project involving an internal customer is to communicate, in writing, what you are going to do and when you will be done. This helps customers understand all of the work involved in meeting their needs and sets their expectations for what constitutes a timely completion.
Principle #2 Under-Promise & Over-Deliver
Imagine this: One pizza shop promised to deliver your pizza in 30 minutes, but actually delivered it in 40 minutes. Another pizza shop promised to deliver your pizza in 45 minutes, but actually delivered it in 40 minutes. Which pizza shop would you be upset with? Certainly not the one who performed better than the expectations that it set.
When you communicate timelines to your customers, under-promise. Give them a date that you can not only meet, but beat. They'll think you're excellent when you over-deliver (i.e., perform better than expected). If you do the opposite over-promising and under-delivering you'll quickly gain a reputation of incompetence.
Principle #3 Update Customers Regularly
When there is a significant amount of time between the communication of your action plan and your completion of your work, give your customers regular updates of your progress. Without periodic communication, your customers will fear that you have forgotten their needs. Simply sending your customers a brief weekly email will give them comfort in planning their work while avoiding any impatient, ill-timed calls to you.
Do You Want a More Rewarding Procurement Career?
Are you tired of not getting enough opportunities, respect, and money out of your procurement career? Well, guess what? Nothing will change unless you take action towards becoming a world-class procurement professional.
Earning your SPSM® Certification is the action to take if you want to bring the most modern procurement practices into your organization and achieve your career potential. Download the SPSM® Certification Guide today to learn how to get started on your journey to a more rewarding procurement career!
Need Better Performance From Your Procurement Team?
Are you a procurement leader whose team isn't achieving the results you know are possible? Maybe it's not enough cost savings. Or frustrating performance from the supply base. Or dissatisfied internal customers.
You need a performance improvement plan that's easy to implement and quick to produce results. The NLPA can help.
Download our whitepaper "The Procurement Leader's Guide To A More Successful Team." You'll learn the 7 steps for transforming your staff into a results-producing, world-class procurement team.
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
- The latest Purchasing & Supply Management Salaries Report
- Leading-Edge Supply Management™ magazine
- Members-only webinars 10x per year
- And more!
If you haven't been taking advantage of these benefits, why not log in and start now?
Copyright 2003. This article is the property of Next Level Purchasing and may not be copied or republished in any form without the express written consent of Next Level Purchasing.
Click here to request republishing permission.
By Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3
Other Editions of PurchTips:
|« 30 Interview With Former ISM President Robert A. Kemp, Ph.D., C.P.M.||32 Service Principles For Purchasing, Part II »|