Whew, we have finally made it to the final four procurement tips!  We have previously shared our March Madness Procurement Tips and our Sweet 16 Procurement Tips. Now, here are our final four procurement tips for purchasing professionals:

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#4.  I have had the pleasure of working with multiple purchasing professionals over the past few years. I recently wrote an article in celebration of Procurement Month that included one of my favorite quotes that really gives a great perspective on the procurement profession. So, my best advice would be to believe in yourself and believe in this quote. I have copied the quote and my explanation within the recent article here:

ralph-waldo-emerson-quote“Money is of no value; it cannot spend itself. All depends on the skill of the spender.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

This quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson was made at a speech in 1844 to the Mercantile Library Association, in Boston, MA. There is true skill in buying within the public sector and the procurement profession in general. Nearly 175 years later, it is doubtful that anyone could say it better.

I would also say that being transparent is extremely important advice. Working with public sector purchasing departments, transparency is needed. However, even within the private sector, having a transparent sourcing process only helps the organization. Transparency in spend, transparency in qualified vendors, transparency in responses.
Kim Cullen | Director of Marketing | BidNet | SourceSuite@SourceSuite


#3.  With a growing number of consumers taking a greater interest in a company’s procurement practices, supply chain professionals need to ensure that a stringent supplier selection vetting process is in place. Building an open, constructive and collaborative relationship with new and existing suppliers will help keep companies out of negative headlines in the press. At the same time a competitive advantage in the eyes of consumers can be built upon through increasingly transparent procurement processes.
David Weaver | Inventory & Supply Chain Division| INFORM Institute | Inventory and Supply Chain Blog | @Weaver_davidw


#2.  This advice to me came from my boss when I was a young purchasing manager in my first job in the profession. “Never be afraid to ask questions” he said. That is sensible in life generally but in the context of talking to, working and negotiating with suppliers, it is excellent advice. So if you are going round a supplier’s plant for instance, don’t be intimidated, ask what might seem to be stupid questions – they are often the ones that get the most information or revealing answers. “Why isn’t that machine running”?

“Can you explain what you mean by this paragraph” with respect to a proposal or tender is another good example of when we should never be frightened to ask even apparently simple questions. And in negotiation, obviously if we are trying to generate “options for mutual gain” (as per Getting to Yes), then questions are often the best way of doing that. Why do you want that concession? What could you do in return if I agreed that? How could we work together to help you get a higher profile? So never be afraid to ask.
Peter Smith | Managing Director | SpendMatters UK | @spendmattersuk


The 2015 National Champion
of Procurement Tips

national-champion-procurement-advice-2015If you want continuous improvement in your career (and your paycheck), you must continually improve your qualifications.  And that’s where a procurement certification can come in.

To “certify” means to “officially recognize someone as possessing certain qualifications or meeting certain standards.”  Therefore, when someone is not certified, this casts doubt on whether a person possesses qualifications or meets standards.  And it should.

Compared to qualifications like graduate degrees, earning a procurement certification is neither expensive nor oppressively time-consuming.  Therefore, it is a qualification that absolutely should be pursued by nearly every member of the profession.

There are very few legitimate excuses that can justify someone in a professional procurement role not being certified.  Certainly not excuses like “I don’t have time,” or “I’m not good at tests,” or “I don’t need it.”

In my opinion, those reasons for not being certified are euphemistic ways of saying “I’m not confident that I could succeed at earning a procurement certification.”  And someone that lacks that basic confidence in themselves is unlikely to earn the confidence of an executive team appointing someone to a higher-level procurement position where challenges are many and decisions are difficult.

A procurement certification proves not only that someone possesses qualifications and meets standards in the profession.  It shows that someone is a doer, not an excuse-maker.  It demonstrates that they are serious about their profession.  And it proves quite convincingly that they can set a goal and put in the effort and intellectual horsepower to achieve it.

Now those are the type of people that the procurement profession needs, especially at higher levels.  So, if you really want to advance in procurement, I advise you to pursue the qualification that will show how valuable and serious you are:  your procurement certification.
Charles Dominick | President and Chief Procurement Officer | Next Level Purchasing Association@nextlevelpurch


There you have it, our Final Four procurement Tips.  Thank you so much for taking the time to contribute, read and share these valuable procurement tips!  If cased you missed them, here are our March Madness Procurement Tips and our Sweet 16 Procurement Tips.

Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3

Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3 is an internationally-recognized business expert, legendary procurement thought leader, award-winning entrepreneur, and provocative blogger. Charles founded the Next Level Purchasing Association in 2000, oversaw its incredible growth, and successfully led the organization to its acquisition by the Certitrek Group in 2016. He continues to blog and provide advisory services for the NLPA on a part-time basis as he incubates his upcoming business innovations. Charles is also the co-author of the wildly popular, groundbreaking book, "The Procurement Game Plan: Winning Strategies & Techniques For Supply Management Professionals."

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