Well, I have been in literally hundreds of procurement cycles over the years, both as a buyer and as a seller. As a buyer, I have been guilty of being channelled into rabbit holes that ultimately meant purchasing something that did not fully achieve the outcome I had set out to solve. As a seller, I have had to sacrifice elements of my product(s) for the sake of being competitive, which ultimately did not achieve the outcome of what the seller set out to resolve.
The purpose of procurement
Procurement of HR & payroll services as an organizational process is intended to ensure that the buyer receives goods, services, or works at the best possible price when aspects such as quality, quantity, time, and location are compared, designed to promote fair and open competition and minimise risks such as exposure to fraud and collusion.
I recognise the value of good procurement discipline from both sides of the fence.
As a buyer it gives distance from a seller’s direct sales efforts to steer focus to their product over another, enabling for easier comparison based on specific questions, levelling the playing field. It allows a buyer to be able to assess one products price over another with the comfort that any secondary agendas are removed from the decision-making process.
As a seller it gives an equal opportunity to potentially welcome a new customer to a client portfolio, supported by clear and concise requirements to assess if the products or services meet the customer’s needs. It offers confidence that fair and professional practices are in place and reflects the integrity of a customer following strict and fair processes without influence and conflict of interest.
When we strip the procurement process back to its basic definition, it sounds lovely, doesn’t it?
However sometimes, it really isn’t. I have experienced all aspects of procurement; from the good, the bad and the very ugly. And, through this experience I have defined the key characteristics of what makes a good buyer and a good seller. In this series of articles, I will explain these characteristics in detail, and why I find these to be the most important. My aim is to support buyers procure what they really need, and to provide insights into how to get the most out of purchasing something like HR & payroll services.