Friday 11 January 2013

Becoming a Successful CPO: A Three-Month Plan

Authored by Richard Hogg

Whether you’re just beginning your career at the executive level or joining a new company, the first 90 days as a CPO are critical for establishing long- term success, and your work starts before the first day on the job.

Before you start, ask:
  • How willing are people in and outside procurement to change?
  • What additional resources are available for new technology, training or consultants?
  • Who are procurement’s best fans? Blockers?

Ideally, a new CPO will have access to comprehensive spend data before day 1 to establish a clear baseline to measure progress against. However, improving saving numbers shouldn't be the only focus area. Past customer satisfaction surveys, skill assessments and any supplier audits can aid a new CPO in identifying needed improvements.

By the 30-day mark: Identify key stakeholders and categories. Explain what you have observed so far, where you’d like the team to focus and what’s likely to change. Achieve quick wins and establish your credibility as an executive of action.

By the 60-day mark: Understand who the stars, the up-and-comers and the laggards are in your organisation - this will help to create a training plan. Communicate what you’d like to accomplish in the short term (3-6 months), at the one-year milestone and through long term plan (2-5 years).

By the 90-day mark: Create new best practices for how the procurement team functions – anything from filling out supplier profiles to optimising the use of e-sourcing tools. At this conjunction, the entire staff should understand your standards for process and technology.

Guy Allen did a terrific job of explaining the challenges new a CPO faces during the first three months in this video  Also we would love to hear about your experiences on the job as a new CPO!

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