Managing the transition to Strategic Procurement

When an organisation elevates the strategic role of the Procurement function it is important that change management plays a pivotal role in aligning employees to new policies, processes and systems. In managing a transition it is important that an organisation‘s key asset people, drive the new strategy forward as its success or failure hinges on them, Thapelo Petje, Independent Supply Chain Consultant, tells SmartProcurement.

Employees will experience significant change throughout the implementation of a new system in an organisation, says Petje.

“People are at the heart of any transformation process. If you miss the people, the organisation will lose. If people don’t share the organisation’s vision, then success will not be achieved,” he says.

When an organisation implements strategic procurement, success rests in involving the people of an organisation:

• Involvement and commitment of the leadership team.
• Seconded team members from the organisation.
• Having a change receptive culture in the organisation.
• Fostering effective communication.

Barriers to implementing Strategic Procurement include resistance to change, an unsupportive corporate mindset, the level of delegated authority within the organisation, unclear business rules, and a lack of visible leadership and involvement, says Petje.

Thapelo 1.jpgThe many steps and legislation that must be followed in the Strategic Procurement process mean that role players must be competent with the responsibilities that have been delegated to them.

Studies show that in every rand in sales, almost 53% goes out into procuring goods and services. In order for Procurement to contribute to an organisation’s bottom-line it must be aligned to the organisation‘s vision and strategy, which will enable the business to supply products and services to the whole spectrum of the organisation’s target market cost effectively while providing the best possible value, says Petje.

Significant organisational change can affect the alignment between an employee and an organisation‘s vision and strategy, due to a loss of familiarity, control and empowerment at an individual level. During the implementation of a new system employees experience:

• a new organisational structure;
• new work processes;
• new job roles and responsibilities;
• new skills requirements;
• new performance management / measurements;
• new technologies;
• new business strategies; and
• new policies.

Productivity Dip.jpgTherefore, managing the implementation of Strategic Procurement and its impact on employees is imperative, says Petje.

He advocates a seven pillar change management framework for implementing Strategic Procurement:

• Stakeholder management – establish the expectations that stakeholders have of the change process and the implications of the new Procurement structure.
• Roll out communication messages to satisfy identified communication needs.
• Assess change readiness within the organisation, respond to feedback from communication.
• Analyse organisational alignment: the impact that the proposed Strategic Procurement process will have on individuals’ roles and the impact on the business.
• Training evaluation – review training material against expected identified changes and train the trainers.
• Understand the team dynamics: the people that make up the teams and their roles in the project.
• Foster an environment of knowledge transfer between stakeholders.

For more information on managing the change to Strategic Procurement, contact Thapelo Petje on 083 222 1625 or at


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