5 Key Skills for Successful Procurement Professionals

The global procurement landscape is rapidly changing, from digital opportunities to the increasingly international nature of our work. Yet at its heart the industry is still one driven by the key talents and skills of procurement professionals. Here are 5 key procurement skills for you to nurture towards success.

Great relationship management

Great relationships are often the foundation of effective procurement. That’s not just working with suppliers or customers to build relationships you can trust, but also working within your own company to ensure your strategic procurement function is operating seamlessly to understand and meet the needs of your colleagues and organisation.

Remember that great business relationships are founded on mutual respect as much as personal connections, that means managing expectations and working in a transparent environment to always deliver what you say you will, when you say you will.

Strong negotiation skills

Good relationships are the foundation, but strong negotiation skills are vital to delivering real value to your business. Remember negotiation isn’t just about being tenacious in search of your goals, it’s about understanding and exploring the needs and aims of the other party in any discussion. The ability to read people and recognise when to compromise based on that understanding is a skill you should nurture. Every negotiation is unique, that means your ability to be flexible is a crucial part of success.

Impeccable time-management

The ability to deliver procurement in a timescale that works for your business is important to reduce downtime and avoid barriers to productivity. The modern digital environment, with the support of e-procurement tools like Procurehere, offer some exciting capabilities in helping you reduce turnarounds and time loss in your business, but it’s still up to you to manage those timescales.

Ensuring tenders are completed in the right timeframe, that requisitions move smoothly through required approval channels, and that expectations are both given and met, is a vital skill to ensure your procurement function delivers the most for your business.

Strategic thinking

Strategic thinking is about the ability to analyse beyond the everyday, to ensure you’re keeping up to date with potential shocks or future demand. Your ability to keep up to date on supply market shifts, future predicted demand, and how these things might impact your business help your organisation stay competitive in a dynamic modern marketplace.

Part of that modern strategic thinking is a need to develop and encourage cultural intelligence, the ability to operate within diverse business environments and varied cultural contexts. That not only ensures your ability to build relationships with international partners, but provides a method of thought that encourages innovation and flexibility to change.

Change positive

Finally, don’t be afraid of change! Effective procurement is about realising the opportunity to reduce costs and support a stronger, more sustainable and positive business environment for your organisation. As new opportunities emerge you need to be ready to embrace them to deliver the best possible outcome for your business. In today’s modern workplace that can mean something as simple as sourcing more energy efficient light bulbs, to adopting the significant benefits of an e-procurement system like Procurehere.

It’s not just technology which is rapidly changing, but the global trade systems and regulations that are increasingly impacting our businesses in an interconnected international landscape. Be ready to explore change with an open mind, and optimistic in your understanding of the opportunity that these new developments can deliver.