Welcome back to another installment of Whitepaper Wednesday here on the Purchasing Certification Blog. This week, I’ll be reviewing a whitepaper entitled “Seven Points of Engagement for Procurement and Finance to Improve Collaboration” from Basware and ZDNet.
This whitepaper strongly encourages collaboration between procurement and finance teams. Why is such collaboration important? The whitepaper claims that, by collaborating, these two teams “can unlock financial forecasting, savings, working capital and risk reduction opportunities that sit at the intersection of the two functions.”
The big question is: how do you start collaborating if there has historically not been much communication?
Well, at the core of the whitepaper are seven examples of topics that can be discussed to kickstart that relationship. I won’t cover each of them here, but I will address a couple of my favorites:
Starting a dialogue and planning for procurement’s involvement in the budgeting and planning process. This discussion helps ensure that identified savings become actual savings. In addition, the procurement department can coordinate common needs among departments that do not typically make any efforts at consolidating their purchases.
Educating procurement on finance objectives, measurements and goals. The whitepaper acknowledges that the majority of procurement professionals lack a finance background. Yet, the quality of procurement performance can help or hinder the achievement of an organization’s financial goals. Naturally, then, it is important for procurement professionals to learn as much about finance as they can!
Getting functional finance involvement in vendor scorecard and supplier performance measurement. This type of activity can help a procurement department communicate how finance can contribute to “enhancing [supplier] relationships and overall performance (e.g., through offering flexibility on discounting and payment terms when suppliers may have less access to available capital to fund an increase in order volumes).”
If you know me, you know that I am a big-time advocate of procurement and finance working together. So, this first whitepaper I’ve reviewed from Basware made a good impression on me. If you’d like your own copy of the whitepaper (with the other four potential discussions), you can download your own copy from the ZDNet website (registration required).
To Your Career,
Charles Dominick, SPSM
President & Chief Procurement Officer
Next Level Purchasing, Inc.
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