5 of the Most-Read Procurement Articles

Don’t miss the five most-read procurement articles on Unaversity, Una’s online resource center dedicated to empowering procurement.

By Hugo Britt | July 25, 2023

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It’s always interesting to discover which articles on a blog drive the most engagement. Doing so reveals the topics that our community of procurement and supply managers are most interested in, from the latest trends to perennial topics that will never go out of date. 

Below, we list the top 5 articles written by the Una team, along with some honorable mentions. As you’ll see, the list reveals a thirst for “Procurement 101” topics and information that can be used to establish, improve or overhaul a procurement function.

7 Supplier KPIs You Should Be Monitoring

What are supplier KPIs? Why do we even need them? What’s in it for us? Can’t we just sign the contract and then deal with any issues as they emerge?

This article explores the importance of monitoring supplier KPIs and why having them in place is key for reducing costs and improving your bottom line.

The first three KPIs we suggest every procurement team should monitor are:

  1. Defect rates
  2. Lead time
  3. Contract compliance

Can you guess what the other four KPIs will be? Read the article to find out.

Top tip:  It can be easy to grow complacent. As a procurement leader, it’s your responsibility to continue monitoring and upholding your suppliers’ performance.

Una's resource center if filled with procurement articles, guides, playbooks, and more. Every free resource is dedicated to empowering procurement to save more money, time, and effort.

10 Stages of the Procurement Cycle

We know that navigating the different stages of procurement can feel daunting. Do you really need to complete every step for every purchase? Does every purchase require an audit? How often should you be reviewing supplier performance?

From determining business needs to reviewing performance and everything in between, this article explores the ten stages of the procurement cycle, provides expert tips on how to navigate each step, and explains ways to drive cost savings and efficiencies. 

Top tip: Did you know it’s possible to streamline and even leapfrog some stages of the procurement cycle with the help of a group purchasing organization?

Una members are able to skip the lengthy supplier selection process, bypass RFPs in certain categories, and take advantage of well-established supplier relationships. We connect our members to ready-to-go supplier contracts that align with your stakeholders’ goals in a matter of weeks.

Where Does Procurement Belong in the Organizational Hierarchy?

Does it matter if procurement reports to the CEO, the CFO or the COO? What if it landed somewhere else entirely within the organizational hierarchy? The role of sourcing is the same, no matter who your CPO’s boss is, right?

Not necessarily! Various executives in your organization will have subtle (or not-so-subtle) differences in focus. Certain individuals prioritize reducing expenses, while others prioritize minimizing risk or enhancing the reputation of the brand. 

Top tip: CEOs tend to be time-poor, which means procurement can help by keeping their communications and reporting as concise as possible. Consider developing a simple, at-a-glance dashboard showing key metrics for the CEO.

The Difference Between Strategic Sourcing & Category Management

They say there are no stupid questions, but sometimes a new team member prefers to quietly Google a question like this rather than ask it in a meeting. This article defines the difference between strategic sourcing and category management and shows how the two concepts work together to drive cost savings and value in procurement.

In this back-to-basics piece, we explain:

  • What is strategic sourcing
  • The benefits of strategic sourcing
  • What is category management
  • The benefits of category management
  • Differences and similarities between the two
  • How to bring the two concepts together

Top tip: Implementing a strategic sourcing process leads to overall spend optimization; category management leads to overall supplier optimization.

Procurement and Supply Chain: What’s the Difference?

Where does procurement end and supply chain management start? Why do most organizations choose to have two different functions? Is procurement a part of supply chain, or vice-versa? 

Generally speaking, procurement professionals are experts in the pre-contractual phase, with proficiency in identifying business needs, sourcing, contracting and negotiation. Supply chain deals more with post-contractual issues including logistics and the hands-on management of suppliers.

Check out this article to learn the differences between procurement and supply chain and gain insight as to how organizations can benefit when the two functions work together.

Top tip: Cross-functional collaboration is critical. Supply chain managers and procurement professionals must rely upon each other for the success of the business. Any sort of silo mentality or lack of collaboration will lead to poor outcomes for both groups.

Una's weekly articles offer a broad overview of topics impacting procurement while our guides and playbooks dive deep into strategy implementation and how practitioners can bring real value to the table.

Other procurement articles to check out:

How to Improve Procurement Efficiency:
Explore 8 ways to improve procurement efficiency and accelerate your organization’s sourcing process.

Benefits of Strategic Sourcing:
Get familiar with the best practices and key benefits of strategic sourcing

How Procurement Can Add Value to an Organization
Procurement teams often have a tendency to focus on a single objective: cost savings. But there’s a whole lot more value we can bring to the table, including generating innovation, reducing risk, and supporting ESG. 

Looking for more information? Visit Unaversity – Una’s online resource center dedicated to empowering procurement to take on today’s biggest sourcing challenges.

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