Best practices in IT procurement

The rapidly changing technology trends have made it imperative for the IT procurement managers to be in sync with changes so that they are able to service their internal clients with any type of requirements they might give them. Hence they have to be always updated and in know-how of any new technology that comes in the market.

So for IT procurement managers, it’s not just the question of cost all the time. The bigger problem for them is to be able to bring in better and innovative solutions to the issues faced by their stakeholders, depending on the market trends and engage with them on an on-going basis. They have to be able to look at the larger picture and come up with the appropriate strategies depending on the prevalent market conditions.

So the overall set of skills required by the IT procurement managers, is not just to have the basic knowledge of procurement and supply chain but also to possess a wider range of skill sets with regards to knowledge of IT product and solutions, so as to be able to perform their tasks to the best of their ability when they are in that role. In order to acquire these skills, there are a few steps that need to be followed by the IT procurement managers.

a) Increasing their Knowledge base

Even though it’s a given fact that, increased skill and knowledge is a win-win for both the individual and the organization, however still the individuals find it difficult on their part to take out time from their daily activities to develop the additional skill sets required to perform better in their jobs. The procurement managers do realize the fact that if they are able to invest this additional time to their self-improvement, it is going to be rewarding to them in the long run. Not only that, they will also get a lot of job satisfaction out of it. They will be able to find lot of opportunities for self-improvement, if they are able to take that extra step of reading a research paper or going to a supplier conference.

b) Working with Interns

Procurement organizations globally are considering the strategy of supplementing their teams with knowledgeable interns to support their procurement department. The task given to these interns is to bring in fresh knowledge and perspective on the new best practices and the current trends going on in the market. They can help bring in the market intelligence and boost the skills of the current team. Hence they are considered a great asset by the procurement organizations to aid the current procurement managers in growing their knowledge base.

c) Taking a larger global perspective

For the IT procurement managers working in the multinational companies, they have the benefit of having the knowledge and awareness of the global trends. IT outsourcing has made it possible to select suppliers from any part of the globe. Even the server locations are not a constraint as they can be located anywhere in the world. It’s almost become the need of the hour to select global suppliers so as to have better efficiency and productivity of business processes. Also the fact that countries in Asia Pacific and South America offer the option of providing world-class services at a much lower cost increases the profitability of the business event further. Hence it is important for any procurement manager to be in know-how of these global trends and suppliers suppliers who can provide better service at a much lower price. In the end, to summarize, the most successful IT procurement managers need to have the skill sets of managing risks, gathering sharp market intelligence, capability to build long term relationship with the suppliers and be constantly aware of the changing global trends. A good procurement manager should be able to influence the IT leaders within the organizations and bring an added value by working as an extension of the IT team and not as a member of the procurement department.

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