Well, if you haven’t noticed yet, Charles has not been at the reigns for the blog this week. I have taken over the reigns, well the keyboard at least, and have been doing some guest blogging. (Don’t worry, Charles will return he’s currently working on a super-secret project that will be revealed shortly.) My primary role here at Next Level Purchasing is in Marketing and External Relations, and I know what you may be thinking- what does a marketer know about procurement? Well I think there’s a lot that different departments can learn from one another and I wanted to share with you a lesson that procurement can learn from marketing.
Over the past few years, I’ve talked with many procurement professionals who have shared with that they feel a lack of respect for procurement while other departments get all of the glory. So, why is it that other departments are more respected? Well, because they tell the rest of the company why they should be respected!
Marketing departments are quick to share their success, after all, marketing is a function based on communication. Procurement, on the other hand, often lets their successes go unsung. If your company doesn’t know how you supported corporate objectives, why would you expect them to praise you?
But, take this into consideration: Procurement has a definite and measurable impact on the bottom-line of a company, specifically the “Cost of Goods Sold.” If Procurement can decrease the cost required to produce a product or provide a service that allows for larger profit margins, which in turn allow a Marketing and Sales department greater flexibility in their pricing and offers, and better pricing or offers usually lead to more sales. As a result, procurement has helped to support the success of the Marketing department and the company as a whole.
So, how do you market procurement’s success in a way that improves the respect you receive from other departments? Well, marketing is all about selling the benefits. Companies want to know what they are getting back for what they are spending, so for the Marketing Department, reports focuses on metrics, especially return on investment. By the way, leading procurement departments are emulating this and are starting to implement similar measurements and you can as well.
The next time you achieve significant results, share the metrics and benefits in terms that each specific department will understand. For example, the marketing department will appreciate how your results will help to make your product or service more appealing to potential customers (i.e. better quality, lower price, faster delivery, etc) and Finance and Accounting will appreciate how the better terms that you negotiated will improve cash flow.
In the end, if you help make another department’s job easier, they will respect you more for the job that you do. You just need to “market” your procurement efforts better.
To your career,
Megan Tyrseck, SPSM
Senior Marketing & External Relations Coordinator
Next Level Purchasing, Inc.
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