Wednesday 12 June 2013

Hoping for a Crystal Ball

by Steve Balding

In my career I’ve been lucky enough to meet many really good procurement practitioners. Just like any profession, their experiences informs their opinions.

Ask them the question, “What’s the one thing you’d change in your job” and you’ll hear a common response: “Gain earlier engagement from the Business, they leave it too late to ask for our support, then we can’t deliver it to their timescale”.

I agree, it doesn’t matter how good the Procurement process is, if the Business areas don’t engage with the team, it becomes impossible to deliver the best commercial arrangement, and this is always the procurement team's fault!

So how do you overcome this? Well you can hope for a crystal ball. Or you could convince the team managing your organisations business cases to get you “in the loop” by persuading them to add two questions to your company Business Case template: “Does this Business Case require Procurement activity”, if it does “Confirm who in procurement has been informed?”

Politely prompting every Business Case author to engage your team right at the start of their journey will transform Procurement from a necessary evil to core team members and allow you to proactively architect and deliver a complementary procurement plan that confirms your place as trusted experts. 


  1. its great to see you offer a free (complimentary) procurement plan!

  2. Well spotted Anonymous, of course it should be a complementary procurement plan. Though if an organisation generates good quality business cases that ask focused questions on the procurement route, you would be able to consolidate all the business case return information to generate a procurement plan for free!