In business, procurement is full of a diverse array of people, a variety perhaps as rich as the animal kingdom itself. While buyers may share the same views on the three strategic challenges facing procurement, they are all unique in terms of their skills, characteristics and strategies. Just like in the wild, the world of procurement is home to a vast number of species with a whole host of behaviours.
In this article, find out which animal best suits your buyer profile based on your personality traits:
- The fox: clever and meticulous
- The bear: strong and formidable
- The shark: guided by your senses
- The wolf: patient and enduring
- The dog: loyal and reliable
- The eagle: in search of the bigger picture
- The octopus: resourceful and able to multitask
- The beaver: ingenious and methodical
- The dolphin: empathetic and supportive
- The ant: hard-working and tenacious
You're daring, but not reckless. At times discreet, but always thorough in your approach. You calculate every move you make, your sights are firmly set on your goal, and your sharp wits are your closest ally.
If this is ringing any bells, you could be to procurement what the fox has been for centuries in the fictional world of Reynard the Fox! You value your independence, shaped by your keen intellect.
You're the juggernaut of the procurement world: powerful and imposing. Woe betide anyone who is fooled by your seemingly clumsy exterior, or those who confuse your nonchalance for quietness; it won't take long for them to see you're one of the biggest predators out there.
Despite its size, a bear can run up to 35 mph and climb trees. Like you, it's a force of nature that shouldn't be underestimated.
This is an image you just can't shake: "They're a real shark". Why? Because you're solitary hunter, a resolute marine predator that never stops once it has chosen its prey.
But above all, you've built your reputation in procurement by being able to navigate through troubled waters, your ability to identify threats and opportunities within your environment before anyone else. You use your sharpened senses, your exceptional perception, to analyse every situation, before others are even aware of what's going on.
Your effectiveness as a buyer stems from your ability to work as a team, or rather to hunt as a pack!
You fit naturally into a complex social order, always operating in a coordinated manner. You chase your prey, knowing it will eventually succumb to exhaustion. Your strength lies in your patience, endurance and commitment to the group.
All your customers will readily agree: you're a partner whose loyalty is indisputable. The thought that you could ever act against their interests would never even occur to them.
You're a member of the procurement world's most reliable species, which is why others enjoy working with you so much. You build exclusive relationships of trust with your suppliers.
You soar through the procurement world like an eagle, preferring to be high in the sky, way above the rest. Your aim is not to control, but to use your keen eyes to gain a better overview. Up here, you fear few threats and have the time to thoughtfully observe the world from above.
Land-based species are spellbound when they gaze upon your imperial flight. They're bewitched by your gigantic wings that majestically cut through the clouds. That's why everyone listens to your advice.
At work, you're a true multitasker. You can achieve your goal by performing multiple tasks simultaneously, just like an octopus using its tentacles.
Your suppliers value your dexterity, which is matched only by your resourcefulness. If there's any species in the procurement world able to find a way out of inextricable situations using intellect and praxis, it's yours.
Rather than battling the elements, why not use them to your advantage? Just like a beaver, you're ingenious. You are the architect of the procurement world, able to devise constructs designed to protect resources.
Whether it's the perfect location, the most effective techniques or the most suitable choice of tools, with you, nothing's left to chance. You're a master of your craft, with a sound understanding of your environment.
There are few species in the ocean as selfless as yours. You're incredibly compassionate, and you possess a sharp mind and one of the animal kingdom's most sophisticated communication systems.
Thanks to you and your kind, procurement can take pride in having people who stand out for their ability to sympathise and create sincere human connections, as well as their willingness to support anyone who crosses their path, just as dolphins swim alongside boats.
Work takes priority. As a team, in large numbers, and efficiently. If procurement departments were filled with people like you, they could probably move mountains.
Because you're an ant. You work for the good of your community, with tenacity and fighting spirit. You never give up and tirelessly work towards your goal, task after task.
You may have spotted traits of your buyer personality in some of the animal species. Of course, similarities are relative and comparisons just for fun. While it's important to disregard procurement clichés and avoid falling into the trap of simplistically reducing someone to a category of species, comparisons can sometimes help us learn more about ourselves and adapt to become more effective in every situation. For example, preserving buyers' good instincts, even in times of crisis. We can learn from approaches observed in the animal kingdom, draw on ideas based on species' strategies and behaviours, and adopt them in order to reinvent ourselves.