Procurement and supply operations are critical to an organization’s mission and competitive advantage. Continuously improving these operations is becoming a priority in many industries, and rightly so.

If you cannot convince management to support your ideas or invest in your initiatives, then your ability to make a meaningful change will be severely limited. Therefore, possessing the capacity to make a persuasive pitch is essential to procurement success.

The procurement professional needs to put together a plan that describes how their organization can benefit from conducting its procurement activities similar to leading organizations and presents this plan to management.

Management reviews and approves the plan and provides the procurement professional with the resources to implement changes. The procurement professional implements those changes, measures the value of the improvements, shares the results with management, and gets rewarded with higher pay or a promotion.

To facilitate these actions, the Next Level Purchasing Association has developed a 7-Step Process for Building your Case for Better Procurement and presenting it to management, and getting the attention of your CEO.

The framework below describes how to approach using metrics for baselining procurement performance and the best ways to express the value of procurement improvements.

  1. Have a clear idea of what you want to change
  2. Identify the problem with the current state of affairs
  3. Baseline where your organization is today
  4. Estimate the value of your proposed improvements
  5. Choose a presentation strategy
  6. Prepare your presentation
  7. Conduct your presentation expertly

Attention-Getting Statements

The following statements are all examples of issues that could get the attention of an executive. These statements should help you crystalize in your mind what is so bad about the current situation and why it is critical to fix it. You obviously should not make any statement that does not apply to your organization or your situation.

If one of the following statements is true for your organization, it is a good indicator that you have selected the right project to address:

  • The cost of this problem will result in the organization losing money this year
  • The cost of this problem will significantly erode profits
  • Employee or customer safety will be compromised if the problem is not solved
  • Customer satisfaction will decrease
  • The organization will be exposed to risk

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