Many firms are dependent on the services of procurement interims to fill any urgent skills gaps or to lead short-term projects. While these professionals are welcomed with open arms, the general opinion is that procurement interims cannot make a meaningful contribution through innovation and should just respond to the immediate needs of the organisation. But this is far from true.

If you are an interim procurement leader, you can transform procurement into a strategic function in the short time available to you.

Get your procurement team out of office

As a procurement leader, you need to motivate your team to get out of the office and engage with internal and external stakeholders. You should teach them the importance of networking with other colleagues. This will enable them to understand their internal clients and forge meaningful relationships with suppliers and vendors. You should also encourage them to attend conferences to learn the latest trends in procurement so that they can return to the office and implement what they have learnt.

Build a close relationship with strategic suppliers

The key to successful procurement is having a close and mutually beneficial relationship with strategic suppliers. This lays the foundation for innovation. Suppliers are well aware of the market, your competition and your business. Therefore, by cultivating a good relationship with them, you can harness their knowledge to your benefit.

Implement your team’s ideas

Many procurement teams have innovative ideas which never get implemented on the assumption that the change will be difficult to deal with or that C-suite decision makers will not allow the change. As an interim procurement leader, however, you should never be afraid to implement change by selling it passionately to other managers. While many may not agree with you the first time around, you should persist until they relent.

Have data ready

Finally, you should always back up any innovative ideas that you want to implement with sound data. This will increase the likelihood of internal customers accepting your procurement improvement projects, especially when they have a numerical representation of benefits, especially in terms of cost reduction and improved efficiency.

Procurement interims can radically transform an organisation’s traditional procurement processes with innovative and out-of-the-box ideas. Bringing about positive change means that the company will enjoy a competitive advantage while attracting and retaining procurement talent.

To find your next procurement or supply chain interim position click here