Securing material to the right cost and quality is the everyday life for many purchasing professionals. But how can you drive your sourcing strategy to improve the result of your purchasing work?

Here are seven points you can consider to work on:

1. Align your sourcing strategy with your internal stakeholders and overall business goals
If your sourcing strategy is not supported neither aligned with the overall business goals it will heavily impact the result of your work. Make sure your sourcing strategy supports your overall company goal and the needs of your stakeholders.

2. Show the result from your purchasing work on the top- and bottom line results
Leading purchasing organisations are not only working with cost, quality and delivery. There is a new important parameter: innovation. Your sourcing organisation can heavily impact both your sales as well as your profit by driving innovation from the supply chain. Such innovations could be: new products or services from your supplier base, shorten the development process by integrating suppliers to it, reduce time to market and strategic partnership with suppliers for best possible support.

3. Take calculated risks
Your owners invested in your company to get a good return on investment, probably their expectations is to get a better return on investment than investing in a bank account. To maximize the return every organization needs to take risks, but calculated risks. Make sure you manage the risks continuously and have mitigation plans in place.

4. Hire and foster talents
It’s all about people. Make sure you recruit and keep the best possible people in your organisation. They don’t necessarily need to be the most experiences purchasing professionals, but they need to have the right attitude and motivation.

5. Build great supplier relations
Make sure you have targets on your suppliers that are continuously followed up. To drive continuous improvements you need to observe all different problems and find the root cause of the problems no matter it is on the supplier side or your side. Make sure you communicate ad drive improvement plans with your suppliers

6. Focus on value and reduce waste
Continuously review your processes to remove and “waste activities” and make sure you focus on activities that are adding value to your customers. Implement tools when needed but make sure you don’t put in extra admin for your buyers

7. Have tailored commodity strategies
Use Kraljic’s matrix to map your purchased goods and services and develop different sourcing strategies for different commodities with Kraljic’s mapping as a guideline. Applying one strategy to all will most probable fail.