Four ways buyers can help their company get back to business

July 30th, 2020
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The end of 2020 is set to be a difficult period for all businesses, in which buyers will have a very active role.

Here are four great ways to encourage buyers as they prepare to get their businesses up and running again: 

Take part in training to improve buyer skills

The current climate requires buyers to be highly adaptable so that they can cope with often unprecedented situations. What better way to support post-COVID-19 recovery than by developing new skills?

There are many training topics that professional buyers can access. Here are just a few examples taken from the catalogue of a well-known training institute to give an idea of the range of possibilities available:

  • Procurement negotiations
  • Purchasing agreements and legal risks
  • International procurement
  • Managing supplier relationships

By dedicating just a couple of half days to these training sessions, buyers have the valuable opportunity of reminding themselves about the basics of their role.

Get more involved in professional buyer networks

Given the extraordinary nature of the current climate, buyers are facing difficulties they have rarely encountered before. At times, these challenges can jeopardise business continuity.

Consequently, practices that have arisen as a result of the crisis and proven their effectiveness have provided buyers with valuable experience.

All buyers within their business sector will have identified and perfected successful practices.

  • What works here can certainly help to solve issues elsewhere.
  • The challenges faced by one particular sector may indicate difficulties in other contexts.

Associations, networks and think tanks exist to explore and develop new practices. Join them!

Expand digitalisation of the procurement process

The constraints of remote working and suddenly having to reassess the way that processes have been organised previously have accelerated the need to renew buyers' equipment.

However, the digital transformation of procurement practices is a proven solution to the majority of the challenges facing buyers:

  • Developing how procurement data is collected, processed and analysed
  • Speeding up information transmission and decision-making
  • Building stronger relationships with suppliers to strengthen networks
  • Facilitating collective cross-department intelligence to come up with new solutions

The digital transformation of procurement practices is a long and iterative process. Clearly, the current situation should encourage teams to redouble their efforts towards completing this project.

Consolidate the procurement basics

Interaction with internal customers

The company's internal customers give meaning to buyers' work. Spend time evaluating collaborations over the previous period to identify areas for improvement.

Priorities for innovation

In particular, interactions with the company's internal customers and general management should help to reassess the priorities for the period ahead.

Contract platforms

New partners and channels may have been incorporated into buyer networks in record time to help ensure business continuity. Now is the time to align contractual provisions in order to keep a cohesive repository.  

Supplier and partner networks

During recent periods of severe strain, the strength of supplier and partner networks has demonstrated its potential. There are likely to be many lessons that can be learnt and agile practices that should be standardised.

In conclusion, there are multiple ways for buyers to strengthen their contribution to their company's recovery. Skills, tools and networks can be infinitely improved for the benefit of procurement departments.