Proving Procurement’s Power in Crisis, Together

By Mike Derr

During these very unprecedented times — with a potential recession looming amidst unique, intractable, and rapidly-shifting supply chain challenges — as Public Procurement Professionals you should expect more than ever to be asked or tasked with doing more with less.
Throughout my 21-year career as a Chief Procurement Officer (CPO) for a large public agency, I faced some of these very same challenges you’re facing today. We know that when dealing with extreme supply chain issues and looming shortfalls due to current inflation rates, what follows is budget and staffing reductions. And of course, we all know that these reductions hit the purchasing department first.
Part of being a strategic procurement professional means being prepared for these shifts and reacting quickly when the call comes down. While these circumstances can be challenging, I personally and professionally always tried to look at these moments as opportunities. Opportunities to show top leadership just what our agency’s Purchasing Department can do in the face of unplanned challenges or events. The chance to prove the benefits of giving procurement a strategic role in managing crises.
Right now, you have the chance to seize opportunities and create value, to become a more flexible, nimble, and successful operation, capable of being more effective and productive with potentially fewer staffing resources. Show that even in these moments, your team is still capable of meeting or exceeding the needs of your agency.
The one thing that I’ve learned during my career is that leadership always acknowledges and rewards those that step up with a “can-do attitude.”
And you aren’t alone. Communities like state and local NIGP chapters, and free tools like Procurated allow you to lean more heavily on the experience and expertise of your Procurement colleagues across the country.
Procurated, for example, is a tool that can be added quickly to your team's arsenal at no cost. It empowers purchasers to access insights on suppliers from trusted peers. Save time by short circuiting a time-consuming and often ineffectual supplier reference requirement. Build lists of small and diverse businesses faster. And use ratings and reviews from your own team to make sure you are getting the most out of your suppliers and nipping service issues in the bud.
In the face of this extremely challenging purchasing environment — being able to leverage the power of the broader purchasing community at no cost can be an absolute game-changer.
If you’re interested in finding out more about Procurated, or if you simply want to talk about strategies for weathering the storm — let’s set up a 15 to 30-meeting to talk more (feel free to email mike@procurated.com). And if you’re interested, I would be happy to do an online demo of Procurated for you and any of your agency team members.
This is a community I am so proud of - I hope you will make the most of it!