What to Accomplish in Your First 30 Days in a Procurement Role
Explore key objectives you should aim to achieve during the first 30 days in a procurement role to pave the way for long-term success.
By Hugo Britt | June 27, 2023
Congratulations on securing your new procurement role!
Your next step is to hit the ground running and make a lasting impression. By setting clear goals and achieving them within your first 30 days, you will not only demonstrate your capabilities but also establish the groundwork for generating a tangible return on investment (ROI) for the organization that hired you.
The first 30 days in a procurement role
In this article, we outline some key objectives you should aim to achieve during this critical period to pave the way for long-term success.
But first, it’s important to understand the context of your role. If you are in a junior position within a large procurement team, it’s unlikely that you would be expected to change processes or start renegotiating supplier contracts immediately. In this environment, your main task will be to get up to speed so you can begin generating value for the organization as soon as possible.
Setting clear, attainable goals within your first 30 days in a new procurement role will help you make a lasting impression and pave the way for long-term success.
Understand the organization and procurement processes
During your initial days, immerse yourself in understanding the organization’s structure, culture, and overall procurement processes. Familiarize yourself with existing policies, systems, and procedures. Identify and engage with stakeholders across departments to gain insights into their needs, pain points, and expectations from procurement.
Most organizations will run an onboarding process that will introduce you to key stakeholders and policies. Treat this as a springboard to dive deeper into understanding the organization and the relationships you will need to build.
Procurement is a collaborative function that relies on building strong relationships with internal stakeholders and external suppliers. Take the initiative to introduce yourself and begin conversations with key individuals (don’t rely on the onboarding process to introduce you to everyone).
Understand your internal stakeholders’ roles, responsibilities, and how they contribute to the procurement process. Building rapport early on will facilitate effective communication and foster trust, which are crucial for successful collaboration.
As for your suppliers, it may be unrealistic to try to meet every supplier in your category. Find out if the procurement team has run a segmentation process to identify strategic suppliers, then set up a brief introductory call or in-person visit.
Learn the industry and category
Procurement roles can vary wildly depending on the industry you belong to, so it’s important to gain a solid understanding of the broader industry and specific category in which you’ll be working.
Dedicate time to research market trends, industry regulations, and emerging technologies that can impact your role. Most importantly, seek to understand the supplier landscape – who the key players are, where they are located, and so on. Being well-informed will not only help you make better decisions but also position you as a knowledgeable resource within the organization.
During your research you may discover that some of the suppliers your organization relies on are much bigger than you, leading to a negotiation imbalance. In this case, it may be worth gathering information about how joining a group purchasing organization like Una can dramatically increase your purchasing power.
Identify quick wins
If possible, identify low-hanging fruits or quick wins within the procurement process. Again, this depends on the context of the organization. In a new procurement function there could be dozens of quick wins to achieve, but this may not be the case in a highly mature function. However, sometimes it takes a fresh pair of eyes to spot opportunities that other team members have missed.
Low-hanging fruit could include cost-saving opportunities, process optimizations, or supplier negotiations. By identifying opportunities to deliver tangible results early on, you establish credibility and showcase the value you can bring to the organization.
Evaluate procurement processes
Once you’ve understood existing procurement processes, think about how they could be streamlined or improved. Look for inefficiencies, bottlenecks, and duplication of efforts.
Collaborate with key stakeholders to gather their insights and feedback on how processes can be enhanced. Document your findings and propose actionable solutions to your managers that can improve efficiency, reduce costs, or enhance supplier relationships.
Taking time to understand the organization and existing procurement processes must be done first in order to build relationships and identify areas of improvement.
Procurement is rapidly evolving, and technology plays a pivotal role in its transformation. Familiarize yourself with the procurement tools and software used by the organization.
Explore their functionalities and capabilities, and seek training if necessary. Suggest potential tech that can streamline processes, improve data analysis, or enhance supplier management. For example, you might start experimenting with the power of ChatGPT to optimize procurement processes.
Get familiar with the data that matters. Discover where your procurement data comes from, what sort of state it’s in, where it is centralized, and how it is leveraged.
Develop a roadmap for your next 30 days
Based on your initial observations and insights, develop a roadmap for your future initiatives and objectives. Outline short-term and long-term goals, considering the organization’s overall procurement strategy. Share this roadmap with your supervisor or team to align expectations and garner support for your proposed initiatives.
Your first 30 days in a procurement role offer a crucial window to gather information, make a plan, and impress your organization. By understanding the organization, building relationships, and identifying quick wins, you will establish a strong foundation for bridging the gap between information-gathering to value-generating action.
Ready to learn more about making an impact and jumpstarting procurement? Download our free playbook for industry insights and step-by-step instructions for facilitating sourcing efficiency and profitability.