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Last week Procurement Leaders launched its first ’Mini MBA for Procurement’ in London, a course designed specifically for executives either working inside or alongside the function. Taking place over five days, the programme delivered master-classes in strategy, marketing, finance and leadership, just like a full-time MBA would, but all in the context of procurement.
However, the real sweet spot lies in equipping participants with the right tools to take the procurement function to the next level.
But what is the next level? And what is the best way to get there?
One of the models introduced during the course suggests that there are four steps on procurement’s journey to maturity:
Step 1: Procurement Focus. At this stage, it is typically about cost and very often price. Procurement will do everything to get the cheapest price, and as a result, miss out on big opportunities.
Step 2: Supply Chain Focus. Procurement is a support function that is looking at both cost and availability. But even if procurement is able to get ‘it’ cheap doesn’t mean that it’s available.
Step 3: Company Focus. Being here means that procurement has progressed to a business function engaging in a more complex sourcing process that not only considers cost and availability, but also quality, product innovation and CSR.
Step 4: Ecosystem Focus. If procurement has stepped up to this level it is in a unique position. In fact, it now is capable of creating sustainable value and demonstrating leadership to the wider organisation.
This may be a bold statement, but most procurement organisations will still find themselves on either step 1 or step 2 of this journey. As one of the Mini MBA participants put it, “This is already hard to achieve.”
The transition to the next level won’t happen overnight. It means taking little steps and securing momentum along the way. Participants of the Mini MBA London learned that they need to “do the right thing first, and then do the thing right.” And doing the right things means mapping out the areas with the organisation that the function should be engaged with and then developing the skills and expertise accordingly.
Procurement Leaders Mini MBA for Procurement is available in a number of key international locations, to find out more click here.
Maggie Slowik is research manager and CSR lead at Procurement Leaders.