Working with Procurement professionals for more than twenty years now, I find myself yet again involved in recommending candidates for several positions in this line of work. This made me consider what would be the traits that repeatedly found in the teams I´ve being part of. For that I made a short list of traits that I see in common with the contracting and procurement professionals I have worked with, at least the good ones.
1. People person.
Being at the top of the collaborative work, procurement is very much about relationships and networking. Most of the contracting and procurement professionals score high in people relations, as high as sales and commercial people. This follows as deals are made every day internally with stakeholders and externally with vendors, contractors and suppliers.
2. Likes KPI and metrics.
Contracting and procurement is a highly metered activity. Among the main objectives are bringing benefits in a timed matter. Also is the owner of “the spend” and how it it’s spent. For this, procurement professionals are inclined into metrics of spend and benefits and KPI that can reflect the benefit for the stakeholder and the organization.
3. Negotiator by nature.
Not only likes to negotiate it comes as natural as breathing. All the time negotiation is happening in a contracting and procurement department so negotiation should be a natural trait. It happens internally with stakeholders it happens externally with vendors even with your boss. I might even say that is the most inherent trait of a contracting and procurement professional.
4. Unconventional, Out of the box thinker.
Long time ago I learned a negotiation method called “three dimensional negotiations” it mainly implies that you should find answers to though deadlock negotiations in a “third dimension” that is basically thinking out of the box. See when you come to a deadlock there is something missing, your scope is probably stuffed in “the box”, step outside from the box and an array of solutions are waiting for you.
5. Generates process and procedures.
The contracting and procurement professional are generating deals all the time that need to be tracked, filed and revised all the time. Only good process and procedures can get you the needed information. Audits come all the time, contracts are revised and deals come and go as the business progresses.
One of the main purposes in contracting and procurement is to come up with new ways to save money, get benefits and secure supply. The one good way is to spend time investigating how you spend your money and what the market in the outside world is doing. Curiosity can be just the right trait to get you informed on the market and on your spend.
At the end contracting, procurement, sourcing, and the supply chain are about generating a winning strategy. Tactical traits are part of the foundation to get those innovative, creative solutions to your every needs.