Building high-performance procurement teams

Jack Bigg   |   May 17, 2023
building high performance procurement teams

As talent shortages sweep through the construction industry and impact productivity, procurement is starting to feel the effects. Focusing on increasing the performance of your procurement team is important to delivering long-term outcomes.


Why now is the time to focus on building a strong procurement team

With industry-wide changes on the horizon and an increased focus on procurement performance, this is the time to strengthen your team and ensure you have the capabilities required to succeed in a decidedly digital future.

As procurement processes and workflows change to increase productivity your procurement team will need to adapt accordingly. Building a team which is agile and resilient creates a strong foundation upon which to improve productivity.

What makes a high-performing procurement team?

Excellent negotiation skills

Successful relationships rely on both sides benefiting, and this is the key to long-term strategic partnerships. Procurement teams that negotiate the best terms for your organisation without sacrificing building strong relationships will deliver the greatest value.

Digitally literate

Procurement operations are undergoing rapid transformation through the digitisation of processes and workflows. Procurement teams will need to adopt new systems and approach activities with a digital first mindset to incrementally improve productivity.

Detail oriented, yet big picture aware

Being detail oriented is critical to managing the specifics required to deliver on supply requirements and mitigate risk. Procurement professionals will also need to maintain a view of long-term strategies and how procurement performance impacts organisation-wide goals and targets.

Fiscally responsible

Fiscal responsibility is a core strength required of procurement professionals. Your team’s focus on financial management and vendor performance should be complemented with a view to drive continual improvement.

Service and collaboration minded

Procurement teams sit in between multiple projects and vendors and as such have to cater to conflicting requirements. Adopting a service-oriented, collaborative mindset will help manage expectations and deliver better outcomes.

How to build a high performing procurement team

Focus on skills rather than just years of experience

When hiring for your procurement team, consider new skills and capabilities alongside years of experience. There are likely capabilities someone with fewer years of experience will have that will be of value. It’s easier to train someone on your organisation’s procurement processes than it is to train digital and soft skills.

Hire diversely

A diverse team   brings unique perspectives, insights and experiences that will enable creative solutions to problems. Hiring professionals with diverse backgrounds will also bolster your team’s culture and promote inclusiveness.

Hire based on your workflow

Assess how your team’s capabilities fit into your procurement workflows to identify any skill gaps. Focus your hiring activities on complementing your team’s existing capabilities and filling any skill gaps.

Look for a learning mindset

Hire people that have demonstrated an ability to pick up new skills on the job. The technology that’s driving change across the industry is continually evolving and the skills required to take advantage of these opportunities can be new to procurement professionals. Teams that can upskill as needed will retain an edge over the competition.

Invest in your team

While hiring the right people is important, investing in your existing team is a risk-free way to upskill. Creating an environment in which your team feels they’re valued and their development is being supported will improve performance and productivity.

Set clear expectations

Define what success looks like from the top down. Set clear expectations for the organisation, for procurement and then set targets for each section of the procurement process. This will help your team understand how their day-to-day decisions impacts the overall strategy.

Make information accessible

An informed team delivers better outcomes. Document and provide access to policies, procedures and workflows. Make sure your team can easily access procurement documents, vendor performance and project statuses so they can make informed decisions.

Enable success

Equip your team with the systems, tools and training they need to succeed in their roles. Procurement teams using modern systems coupled with training and the necessary support will be in the best position to perform efficiently and deliver consistent results.

Investing in an agile, capable and digital team will enable your organisation to keep delivering results. How are you investing in your procurement team’s performance?


Want to see Felix in action? Feel free to request a demo here.

Jack Bigg
Jack is a Business Development Representative at Felix who works closely with construction, utility and mining companies. With a passion for technology, Jack helps clients discover how they can streamline their processes and ensure their procurement systems are aligned with organisational strategy.

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