Hot Tips (Purchasing)

Strategic Procurement

The benefits of a strategic procurement operation can be significant and far-reaching. Here’s are tips to consider when attempting to become more strategic.

Align the goals of your strategic sourcing and procurement function with the institution goals. This is one of the most important things to consider.

Ensure you have a solid Spend Analytics program in place. Understanding, analyzing, and managing your institutional spend is a key component to success.

Develop a strategic sourcing plan. Use your spend data to develop a strategic sourcing plan that determines where you’re going to get the biggest ROI.

Establish the right competitive solicitation thresholds. If these thresholds, contract terms, and limits are too low, it restricts the ability of a procurement function to be truly strategic.

Make sure you have an effective eprocurement system or solution. This can significantly improve process efficiencies.

Leverage cooperative contracts and other group purchasing opportunities. Cooperative and/or group purchasing contracts provide significant time savings and financial incentives.

Continue to utilize emerging tools, such as reverse auctions. Reverse auctions bring transparency, savings, and speed to the bidding process, while ensuring that you receive the best value available.

Review and manage your payment services and processes. An e-payables solution is critical to the success of any procure-topay organization process.

Monitor your contract utilization and compliance. You may have great contracts in place, but if there is too much maverick spend and people are not using those contracts, or if your suppliers are not complying with those contracts, then you’re leaving money on the table.

This article originally appeared in the February 2018 issue of School Planning & Management.

About the Author

Gary D. Link, C.P.M., is senior vice president of E&I Consulting Group & Contracts. He can be reached at glink@eandi.org.

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