Authored by Majda Belghar
Most procurement professionals are familiar with practices like spend analysis, supplier appraisals, and effective negotiation, and perhaps most of us have even become experts in listing down all the procurement best practices we know within the click of a finger, continuously challenging ourselves day to day to add to this list with the array of new terms we come across. But let’s be honest - how many of these terms do we really understand and out of those how many do we implement to its full potential?
For various reasons, we find ourselves focusing only on a selected number of best practices throughout our time in the department, continuously drawing on the practices we know best, perfecting them and labeling ourselves as experts in that field. Why not bring a more holistic approach to our roles by advancing our knowledge of the terms we are not so familiar with by going back to basics and breaking down the dictionary definition. By making this part of your life project you will see yourself growing significantly within weeks, months and years.
Below I have listed a dictionary definition of an everyday procurement term that we commonly use. By breaking down each word and highlighting its original meaning, we can begin to join the dots and understand how one part of the function relates and can be incorporated with the other.
To be Sustainable is to be able to maintain at a certain rate or level and to Procure is to be able to obtain (something), especially with care or effort. Now putting the two terms together, we understand that in order to maintain a certain level of procuring, we need to exchange information with our stakeholders on a continuous basis, imparting/sharing our knowledge when speaking, writing or using any other form of mediums to communicate with them. This enhances a certain level of clarity/visibility with our stakeholders. We understand what we are conveying to them, whether the information is useful to them and whether the individual or the organization will actually benefit from that information we provide and act upon it.
So having outlined a term that on face value might appear to have a more complex underlying meaning, we now have a starting point in layman's terms that we can begin using at the simplest of levels.
In my next post we will explore more procurement terms and their definitions in our bid to mastering the terms we so often hear about.