Optimising small business procurement for the Future of Work

Recently, WorkFutures co-founder Eleanor Matthews shared her four top tips on how procurement teams can optimise the value they bring to the broader business. Alongside the rapid development of business technologies, the role of procurement within an organisation is changing significantly. With supply chains enhanced by new technologies such as AI, automation and bots, procurement now has a more strategic role within the business as a whole.

According to a recent Gartner survey, within the next three years, 55% of technology procurement staff will need to have developed their digital and analytical skills if they are to cope with industry change. So how exactly can procurement teams maximise their influence in this technological age?

Today’s business world is all about utilising technology to enhance your business and automation can really boost efficiency. Automating repetitive admin tasks that draw the team’s focus away from adding true value to the business can have a significant impact. Adopting a simple and inexpensive RPA programme, with a straightforward IFTTT (If This, Then That) solution, will free up your valuable human workers. Their focus can turn to making the business shine. It’s important to not let the size of your business affect your desirability – be sure to find a way to stand out from the crowd! Procurement, like sales, is about finding a niche that can elevate your presence in a crowded market.

In fact, you can always use the size of your business to your advantage! Collaborate with other smaller businesses, either forming a ‘buyers’ club’ which consolidate demand or partnering with a market specialist to gain insight and cost benefits for your small procurement team. Another benefit of a small business is the personality: people buy from people after all, so be sure to utilise this and build a relationship with suppliers rather than simply focusing on sales figures. Personality can power up procurement so look out for how your team can build value for both sides of the table.   

Procurement is key for businesses of all sizes and, when done right, it can unlock benefits for the organisation as a whole.