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Procurement Best Practices 8: Invest in a Strong Training Program


Procurement Management TrainingAn important part of the procurement management process is to establish a good working relationship with your vendors. Many leading companies have set an excellent procurement management plan example by focusing on improving relations and training in procurement. This makes good business sense whether your company is large, mid-sized or small. It is human nature to want to do a good job for someone that you know and like. The vendors you do business with should not be considered as simple product providers. Instead, they can become powerful partners who can help to advance your business goals. Best practices in procurement should include training that accomplishes better communications, mechanisms for quick problem solving, performance objectives and monitoring, and ongoing improvements. 

Better Communications 

Can anyone at your company simply pick up the phone and place an order? If so, this practice should be stopped immediately. It is difficult for your company and the vendor to figure out who is who and keep track of orders when purchasing becomes a free for all. Creating better communications between your company and the vendor should be a top priority. Get started by creating a procurement management training program for only select employees. These should be people who you know you can trust to order services and supplies responsibly. Implement a formal internal process where all other employees must give their request to the designated purchasing person. In turn, these persons are authorized to place orders into a purchasing software system, write purchase orders and contact vendors. See if the vendor can arrange to have a specific contact person on their end. 

Quick Problem Solving 

From time to time problems will pop up with certain orders and this requires that you communicate the problem to the vendor so they can resolve it. When you have already established a good working relationship with a vendor partner, it is much easier to have mechanisms in place that can allow the vendor to help resolve issues faster. Also, work with the vendor to set up this system so that they know you expect top customer service on their end.

 Performance Objectives and Monitoring 

Train your employees to monitor vendor reliability in meeting deliveries, providing product to your exact specifications and overall customer service. Let vendors know what your standards are and if anything needs improving, work closely with them to get their performance up to speed. This may even include a jointly created vendor training program. 

Ongoing Improvements 

Training can take place on both ends to ensure that the business goals of both buyer and seller are continuously being met.