Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Get On the Same Page with External Stakeholders - Part 2

Authored by Mickey North Rizza

This is the second blog in our new series called “Get on the Same Page” where we discuss tips, techniques and benefits of better aligning with the groups of people that procurement comes into contact with every single day. Stay tuned and let us know what challenges you’re facing!

Procurement teams are stressed – this isn’t news to anyone. Budgets and employees are stretched thin, and procurement can barely look up from their to-do list without something else being added on. With all of this commotion, relationships and communication with external stakeholders, such as customers and investors, often get cast to the wayside, causing a vicious cycle of even more stress and chaos.

However, communication is one of the core tenants of business, and cannot be forgotten. Taking the time to cultivate relationships with external stakeholders can foster innovation, efficiency and savings – satisfying more people in the process.But what does this look like?

1. Communicate regularly: It’s easy to forget to pass information on to external stakeholders when you’re immersed in it in the office. Develop a repeatable process to ensure that customers and investors stay up to date with what procurement is up to. Doing so allows you to highlight your success as well as make them feel more connected to your business.

Tip: Electronic newsletters are a quick and easy way to keep external parties in the loop- and you can track its performance.

2. Understand their priorities: Put yourself in the shoes of your outside stakeholders. What are investors’ goals? What do they need? What do the customers want? Understanding the answers to these questions will help you deliver results that please them — ultimately encouraging them to work with you to achieve your goals.

3. Have a plan in place: Now is not the time to offer pie in the sky ideas. When talking with external stakeholders, make sure you clearly outline your plan for procurement. This also includes pointing out potential shortcomings or issues and how you’ll address them. Being proactive shows external advocates that you see the possible problems, and have the willingness and ability to resolve them.

Getting everyone on the same page and effectively communicating with one another can reduce stress and ease headaches. You just have to know where to start.

Want to learn more? Download Five Steps to Improve Communication with Suppliers and Stakeholders and discover what steps you can take to foster new relationships with external advocates.

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