IT Briefcase Exclusive Interview: IT and Procurement Should Partner Up As a SuperpowerApril 18, 2017 No Comments
Both IT and procurement are dominant forces in their own rights. The ultimate goal is getting these two departments to harness their talents together to become the ultimate superpower. Getting to that point of collaboration can be difficult, but it’s well worth the effort. Chris Crane, co-founder and VP of product at Scout RFP, explores not only why joining IT and procurement forces is a smart move for any business, but also some tips on how to bring both departments together to form the ultimate power couple.
- Q: What can IT and procurement really bring to the table?
A: Procurement professionals are expert negotiators. They negotiate deals and contracts for the benefit of the company all the time – it’s one major component of their job. Procurement has a wealth of expertise to lend to the IT team, whether it’s assisting with pricing, eyeing the fine print, or bringing in knowledge from previously successful agreements and vendors. With their specialized knowledge, procurement can help keep IT — and, really, the business as a whole — on the right track with well-executed contract deals that cater to the company’s overall well-being and goals.
IT, on the other hand, is able to navigate a world that is completely foreign to most of us. They’re the experts in the fields of software, hardware, digital services, and beyond — and for tech-based businesses, it would be impossible to thrive without them. Oftentimes, especially in larger organizations, negotiations with tech vendors are left to IT because they’re the only ones who truly understand the ins and outs of the most current technology.
- Q: What are the benefits that come from these two departments working together?
A: I touched on this above, but basically, when procurement and IT work together like a well-oiled machine, they yield a more effective and efficient procurement process. By making sure that procurement is well-versed in all the major vendors in the tech industry, and that the IT team is aware and onboard for the actual vendor decisions, businesses can eliminate the silos that both teams oftentimes find themselves in and truly execute strategic sourcing.
The key to fostering this collaborative relationship is joining IT and Procurement’s leadership. Make sure each team gives a thorough walkthrough of their needs and processes so that the other understands why they do what they do. This co-understanding will only make it easier for the teams to collaborate effectively and efficiently.
- Q: How do I find common ground for IT and Procurement to build this relationship?
A: I think you’ll quickly find that IT and procurement already have quite a few shared goals. To start with two pretty obvious ones, members of both teams want to A) be great at their respective jobs and B) increase success for their team and the business.
If you’ve built a well-rounded team, both departments are bound to have some innovators who are proactively seeking ways to improve efficiency and output. Following a leadership sync, these high-performing employees are a great place to start for learning a broader business function beyond their immediate role and department.
A survey by The Powering Productivity showed thatinefficient processes were the primary cause of wasted time during the workday. Of course, processes are an unavoidable part of everyone’s job, regardless of the department, so both teams be excited about the opportunity to streamline by optimizing IT-procurement operations. This will happen when everyone is not only on the same page, but also when they have the appropriate tools and the right information to do their job most effectively.
Joining your power players may take some serious effort and a step outside the comfort zone, but it’s more than worth it. Once IT and Procurement join up for success, it’s only a matter of time before you start seeing the benefits in your business.
About the Author
As Co-Founder & VP of Product at Scout RFP, Chris Crane leads the product direction here at Scout RFP. He has a mechanical engineering degree from Case Western Reserve University which he used while working at ERICO. He has a passion for designing & building solutions to make life easier and today his mission is to make the world of sourcing simpler for all.
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