Innovation is the norm for businesses to survive & exceed customer expectations in today’s dynamic environment. With changing consumer trends, regulations and the drive towards sustainability there is a huge impact on packaging professionals to innovate and evolve materials.
An interview with Ali Sadeddin, Head of Procurement - Khidmah
Head of Procurement
1) Can you shed some light what are the 5 steps to add value to a business?
If you have a look to our current time and explore the globe you will find out that we are living in a dynamic world and customer focused businesses. The existing businesses to have successful should be competitive, adding value and customer focus. To achieve such business model every business should stand on 4 pillars; people (Human Capital), technology (Operating Systems), business partners (Vendors, Suppliers and Service Providers) and customers (Customers). These 4 main pillars are the main driver for the 5 steps that any organization should have to boost its success and add value to the business.
Coming from that we can say that these five steps are the following:
First: every business should have the right talents in place and they should be linked to the right roles. This is where the first pillar stand. Companies and organizations are built by people who are talented and fit to what they are doing or supposed to do. Getting the right people on the right place and retaining them is a very important in the any organization journey to success.
Second: every business should use and utilize technology to streamline its processes and have an efficient and effective organizational atmosphere that embrace the performance culture. Each organization should know its needs and goals and select the technology that helps fulfilling these needs and reaching those goals. This is why technology is standing as the second pillar for any business. However, the selected technology should be user friendly and motivate people to use and implement it. People at the end of the day are the one who will run the system and deploy technology.
Third: Communication is a main key for the teamwork success. Having clear communication channels inside the cooperate will help in having the organizational goals and strategy clarity to all the business units inside the business. Therefore having internal collaboration will be the third step to build your organizational success. This can only be achieved by breaking up any silos inside the organization and having clear communications between all the business units to have all the organization working as a big team.
Fourth: As internal communication helps business to achieve its goals, the external communication have a great impact on any business success. Having an open channels with your vendors (business partners) and customers will allow you to add value to your business and set a clear strategy to achieve your business goals. This where the third and fourth pillars stand. External collaboration between any business and its business partners will help in adding value to the business and always coming with innovative ideas and products to the consumers. Furthermore, external collaboration with the business customers will provide the business with market requirements and consumers expectations which add value to the business by developing range of product that meet such expectation. This will guarantee the business continuation and long presence in the marketplace.
Fifth: the above four steps should be managed and empowered. This can be done by changing the culture through the organization as these steps may not be exist in the running business and the executive team has to make efforts to embrace the change culture and foster any new strategy in the business that helps in having the above things in place. Without having such change management and keep addressing the message that encourage and maintain the above four steps no added value will be put in the business and no success will be there.
2) What would you describe as the right talents and right technology to impact the procurement function performance and profitability?
The procurement function is a fast evolving function and have variety of maturity in different regions and countries across the globe. The business leaders in the countries that have immature or semi-mature procurement function start to realize the added value that procurement professionals may bring to the business and the part the procurement function can take in the organizational success. Based on this fact, organizations start to invest in developing the procurement department by having a talented team on board and having the technology that can help the team to make the change. For example, in the middle east, the businesses dealt with procurement department as the place where we process the purchase order and receive the invoices once delivery has been done, therefore, the level of skills of the purchasers or buyers were very low as the businesses management think that anyone can do the procurement job based on the wrong understanding on what the procurement is and what exactly the role of procurement. Many was thinking that anyone can get a quote, bargain, place order and receiving materials. However, when it comes to spend others’ money, professional people should manage that. This is why having procurement professionals with the right skills is a must to manage others’ money spend.
Fortunately this is changing now a days and many businesses leaders start to understand the importance of having proper procurement function inside the organization. Here where the importance of having the right talents exist. It starts to be obvious that the skills and attributes of the procurement professional should be with specific calipers as there is a lot of soft skills are involved here such as time management, proper communications and negotiations’ skills to name some. Furthermore, eProcurement and eReverse-Auction becomes one of the basic tools for procurement to add value. Spend Analysis also becomes a major source for procurement professionals to set decisions on how to manage the spend of the organization. Having Purchase Request, RFQ, PO computerized help the procurement function to be more efficient and effective.
From the above, having the right talents and right technology in place will for sure results in having an efficient procurement function that can add more to the business profitability by adding value to the business through having the things done in the proper way and within the proper timeframe and up to the required standards and specification within the allotted budget. This is why I consider these two things the first steps any organization should take during its journey to success.
We can’t herein name the skills that the right talent must have or describing the technology that it should be deployed to have performed and profitable procurement. Each and every business has its unique requirements when it comes to the talents and technology. Yes there are general skills and requirements that can be all over the organizations when it comes to talents and technology, however, you can’t generalize these on all. In another words, there is no universal model for the required talents and technology when it comes to procurement. However, soft skills and being able to deal with technology should be main in any talent and having more automation in the processes should be part of any selected technology to say in general. Integrity, communication skills, analytic skills, detailed focused, negotiation skills, transparency and fairness can be the main attributes of the required procurement talents. eProcurement, eAuction, Spend Analysis, Supply Chain Management, computerized and automated PR, RFQ and PO processes can be the main things any technology may have.
3) How important according to you is delivering value to your stakeholders for an organization in today's time?
The metric of being successful in what you are doing in any organization is how much you are adding value to the stakeholders either internal or external and therefore to the organization. It’s become crucial for every business being competitive to have all the organizational business units as an added value units. Coming to procurement function, it becomes very clear that the importance of procurement in the organization on adding value to the business and stakeholders becomes high. Procurement nowadays one of the pillars that the business stand on to be able to compete in today’s time. The organizations that have proper and matured procurement function is the only ones can continue being profitable while they reducing the cost of the business and end products.
I can say that the success of procurement function in any organization is not only by the amount of money it can save for the business. It is more about on the added value that procurement function can bring to the organization’s bottom line. This can be achieved by meeting the needs of stakeholders and helping the organization in meeting the customers expectation through delivering an innovative solutions and products from the organization’s business partners that help the organization to have end products that translate the value of money for the consumers.
Accordingly, the simple answer to the above question is; delivering value to our stakeholders is very important and very crucial for any organization.
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