1 Always be prepared to change supplier, both mentally and practically

Long supplier relationships can lead to increased costs and prices. A comfortable mind-set is easily developed as well as a supplier cooperation set-up that makes it difficult to switch.

2 Invest time in purchasing improvements

Usually buyers put too much time on administrative and operational work. Yet, challenging current and potential suppliers as well as running improvement projects together with suppliers needs to be prioritized.

3 Divide operational purchasing from strategic purchasing

If these two are not separated or planned well, operational purchasing and the day to day activities will always be prioritized over the strategic work. Hence, valuable time is chewed up. Divide these roles either with assigned employees or through a clear division of work time.

4 Run fact-based follow-ups with your suppliers

A large part of value is added under the control of your suppliers; therefore, it is critical that you support them to always improve their performance. Follow up on KPI’s with your strategic suppliers, give specific feedback and require improvements on a regular basis.

5 Choose your staff wisely and train the purchasing organization

Good purchasing competence as well as recruits with a degree in purchasing can be hard to find. Since purchasing departments are responsible of decisions with large financial impact, consistent training of your purchasing team should be highly prioritized.