How to Get the Most Out of your Procurement Consultant Engagement

By: GPO Organization,

CenterPoint Group
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If you are like most procurement professionals are beginning to strategize how to affectively maneuver in what may be a tight market, then you may be considering working with a consultant now to get out ahead of the impending financial slowdown.  If you have retained or are thinking about retaining the services of a procurement consultant, then you are probably looking for a partner that can help you to rethink and reshape your purchasing practices and help provide a steadier hand as we transition into what may be an economic recession.

That approach to purchasing, holistic and detailed application of industry and technology best-practices, is exactly what procurement consulting can do for you.  Especially in the complex world of indirect spend, a procurement consultant can provide the insights, leverage, and supply chain stability your company needs to get the most out of purchasing -- efficiently and efficiently.

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However, do enter into a consulting relationship without first understanding what is needed to build a successful relationship and get the most out of your engagement. Let’s look at procurement consulting:  tips for getting the most out of your experience and get you ready to exploit your new relationship to optimal benefit.


Exchange knowledge

You know your strength and weaknesses.  That’s important information for a procurement consultant.  But you need reciprocation for the relationship to work.

What you’ll discover as you’re getting to know your consultant is that expertise you need is coming through the door.  But what your new team needs from you is total transparency – and your existing team needs that too. Everyone needs to be on the same page to derive everything you can from this relationship.

A procurement consultant worth its salt is going to work with the knowledge you share and provide solutions and focused expertise that get your purchasing solutions working for your company.


Share strategy

Hiring a procurement consultant doesn’t mean the process is completely out of your hands.  It’s a collaborative effort which involves devoting yourself to sharing strategy and the processes in place.  This gives your consultant a connection to what you do and to the people who do it for you – your employees.

Talking about your supply chain is important.  This provides your consultant with important insight and clarity, creating a window into what’s going right and what’s going wrong.


Communicate openly

Is there any obscure corner of life which wouldn’t benefit from a little clear, open communication?  No. Working with a procurement consultant is no different. Some people in your organization are going to be nervous about handing this function off to an outside influence.  But clear communication will serve to dispel any doubts. It will also get you the best results. How is a consultant of any kind to deliver the kind of benefit they’re capable of without keeping the lines of communication open and clear?

It’s that kind of forthright communication that can build a mutually beneficial relationship.


Be open-minded

All mutually beneficial relationships are built on trust.  Your procurement consultant is there to pull all the strands of your purchasing operation into a nice, tight bunch, bringing you fresh approaches and new ideas.  You may even find they bring you reliable vendors and shared experiences from their portfolio of clients.

Your consultant can also connect you to technology that takes human error out of the equation, opening the door to automation and data analysis that lets you see the big picture.

But you need to keep an open mind to let your consultant get all that done.


CenterPoint Group

CenterPoint is a Group Purchasing Organization (GPO) and trusted procurement advisor, leveraging the power of an indirect collective spend of over $850 million.  Economies of scales aren’t the only thing that saves our members money, though. At CenterPoint, we make managing indirect spend a seamless process that doesn’t strain your human resources (or even hurt a bit).

Find out what your CenterPoint team can do for you today!

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CenterPoint Group provides discounts to key suppliers such as Office Depot, Travel Leaders Corporate, W.W. Grainger, Verizon Wireless and more...

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The information contained in this article is intended for general information purposes only and is based on information available as of the initial date of publication. No representation is made that the information or references are complete or remain current. This article is not a substitute for review of current applicable government regulations, industry standards, or other standards specific to your business and/or activities and should not be construed as legal advice or opinion. Readers with specific questions should refer to the applicable standards or consult with an attorney.

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