Procurement Consultant: Selecting the Right One

The right procurement consultant for your needs

If you’re in the hunt for the right procurement consultant, now is the time to strike. The pandemic has moved a lot of great procurement talent to the bench and, with the recession, many organisations are in the process of restructuring. Unfortunately, most restructurings aren’t perfect. One company’s misstep, though, is another’s opportunity.

Over the coming months, we can expect top procurement talent to become available for hire either permanently or on a consultancy basis. The trick is avoiding the missteps and ensuring you hire the right procurement consultant.

What can a procurement consultant do for you?

Identifying your needs is the first step to understanding exactly what type of procurement consultant will best suit your organisation. Acquire has highlighted five situations where you might need the assistance of a procurement consultant. Let’s take a look.

Approval is where a project problem is known and the internal team has found a solution. However, the internal team wants external validation of the procurement plan – an objective eye, basically. In this situation, you need to be aware of two potential issues. You don’t want to simply hire a rubber stamp, but you also don’t want a consultant who’ll raise issues for the sake of raising issues. Keep your spend low and go with someone willing to challenge plans if needed.

Insight involves the procurement team, or the executive function, seeking more understanding of where the money is going and what opportunities exist to improve reporting and supply/value chain ROI. In this situation, you want a consultant with strong spend analysis skills – one who is up to date on the latest tools and techniques. A good consultant may well recommend a process change that allows you to gain insights into your organisational spend continuously.

Insurance An independent, third-party probity function can add rigour to the procurement function and substantially mitigate challenges and disputes. In this case, you want to go with consultants with known procurement expertise.

Execution You know the destination but your existing team can’t get you there. Consultants are a good way to scale procurement function up and down in line with your business needs, enabling you to grow quickly without adding unnecessary operational complexity or risk. Similar to insurance, this is the case where the talent with the most experience and expertise gets the job.

Transformation is the main reason why you want a procurement consultant. Transformation means investing more time, energy and money in conceptualising the future. This might have been a luxury before COVID-19, but the pandemic has changed the landscape. In 2021, you will need procurement consultants to lead digital transformation so you can survive (and thrive) in the decade to come.

A Procurement Consultant to Lead Digital Transformation

2021 will be the year of digital transformation and innovation, and the right procurement consultant can show you the way. As highlighted by Visichain, a procurement consultant should be able to provide:

  • ​End-to-end transformation solutions
  • In-depth knowledge of your specific challenges
  • Extensive experience in procurement transformation
  • In-house capability, from custom code to system design and architecture
  • API-first integrations with all customisation
  • ​Adapt to work how your business works, not force your business into their off-the-shelf platform
  • On-site availability to work with your tech team, CIO, and leadership to understand your exact specifications and quickly begin outputting results with real business impact
  • ​Clear benchmarks for success
  • Case studies of competencies as world-class performers
  • ​Collaborative working with your team
  • ​A service delivery model
  • Insight to drive innovation and reduce risk

Visichain also highlights two red flags when it comes to procurement consultants:

  • Platform ‘off-the-shelf’ solutions that don’t quite fit into the way your unique business operates and may lead to additional expenses down the line when you try to customise.
  • A consultant lacking agile frameworks and still working in the outdated waterfall development style. But it is very unlikely that any consultant worth their salt will not be using agile frameworks in 2021

Too Long, Didn’t Read

The tl;dr of procurement consultants is that you want to judge them on:

  1. Procurement expertise
  2. Their procurement innovation experience.

Make sure they have the skillsets you need and think carefully about why you want them on board. Every dollar you spend on the right consultant can provide a hundred fold return, so this is a spend that you should carefully consider.

Comprara can be your consultant. We work with you to ensure that your people are capable and well equipped with smart tools and sharp insights to get the job done. So contact us today, and let’s discuss your needs.