Wednesday 11 June 2014

100 Days of Efficiency

By Soraya Sackey 

The recent social media craze '100 days of happiness' challenged participants to capture an image every day for 100 days of something that made them smile - posing the question, ‘Can you be happy for 100 days in a row?' The aim of the challenge was to encourage people to train themselves to focus on the little things that lift their spirits every single day.

So what if we used the same concept but applied it to our everyday working lives... Instead of 100 days of Happiness, we challenged ourselves to 100 days of efficiency within the work place.

I’ll begin by highlighting the first 5 days of the 100 day challenge for your first week in the office. Sticking to the procurement department, (although this challenge is open to all working professionals) I have identified 5 ways in which you can make your procurement process more efficient:

1. Analyse your spend – Organisations need best-in-class visibility to support continuous improvement in strategic decision making. Why not start day one by evaluating the condition of your data; you may be the one to realise untapped opportunities for total cost savings if that’s high on your agenda.

2. Make the last day of the week your first day of the week – (This applies to everyone) Make the last working day of the week your first working day; get all the admin finalised, plan your meetings etc. so on Monday, you are ready to start the week with energy.

3. Establish a relationship with your vendors - Vendor relationship management is a key component to any procurement process, maintaining a relationship with your vendors allows you to effectively identify risk, trends and problem areas within the partnership. One way to improve efficiency is to keep a scorecard in place which will capture key performance indicators (KPIs). Why not start day three by evaluating one of your top vendors, scoring them against the KPIs you have identified, a great way to begin managing the relationships under your radar.

4. Identify your areas of risk – get a pad and pen and brainstorm all the factors you can think of that may be seen as a risk to the organisation’s key strategies. Now rate your activity according to likelihood and impact and share this with the whole department. This is the first step to putting in motion an effective programme for managing risk. Remember, you can’t do this alone; your wider team needs to be aligned for an effective programme to be realised.

5. Improve your tendering process – Make sure you have a clear understanding of what you want to buy and a comprehensive RFQ template. An easy way to improve efficiency when dealing with suppliers is to build structured templates that include your pre-qualified technical and commercial questions. This will ensure strategic alignment and will definitely save you time in the long run.

So are you up for the challenge? Are you ready for 100 days of efficiency? We’d love to hear some of the steps you’ve taken to making your working day that little bit more efficient.

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