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How SMEs benefit from a specialist procurement partner – Reducing project risk

by | May 10, 2022

There are many particularities that differentiate mid-market companies from big enterprises when it comes to needs, challenges, budget and having the right people and skills. Choosing the right solution for your business is not enough. You need a partner with the right methodology, expertise and culture to ensure a smooth implementation.

From the conversations with our customers, based on more than 700 procurement implementation projects, we identified the top 7 reasons why mid-market companies choose a specialist procurement partner such as Xoomworks for their own implementation. The first part of this blog series focuses on building long term relationships that make a difference, and the second part reveals more about building faster and more agile procurement processes. Now it is time to take a dive deep into a subject which is top of mind for many procurement professionals – how to reduce project risk.

Reducing project risk

Procurement is an essential yet sometimes challenging function of any business. There are certain risks that can create significant disruptions. Understanding these as a Leader of Finance or Procurement in your business to support your function is a critical investment. Procurement has now gained a more strategic role in the business, and companies that were able to create a clear procurement strategy have been able to do even more than achieving a strong bottom line. The COVID-19 pandemic has helped elevate the role procurement professionals need to play – from strategic sourcing to risk mitigation. We all benefit at one point in our lives from taking a risk. Risk-taking has its benefits and can be an essential ingredient of success. But it is the opposite when it comes to procurement. Being adaptable, focusing on predictability and avoiding risk are signs of an efficient organisation. If you want to create value and reduce costs, managing procurement risk is essential. However, you need to understand the risks associated with procurement processes and how they can be controlled before you can mitigate them.

Credibility is key

For a specialist procurement consultancy, it is going to be equally as critical that the job they do creates or enhances the references and credibility they have in this space. More than that, if the culture of the specialist consultancy is strong, it is highly likely that the consultants working on your procurement implementation will genuinely care about the success of both the project and the outcomes it achieves for your business. Specialist consultancies can offer less risk by doing what they do well – delivering with expertise. With the right people, tools, governance and engagement, project risks, issues and peculiarities are more likely to have been encountered before, meaning successful strategies to tackle them are more likely to be forthcoming. Risk is further reduced for a specialist consultancy when it has the advantages of operating with the additional support infrastructure of a global system integrator. It ensures access to a wider pool of specialist resources and industry talent, on a global scale if required.

Stronger together

Project risk management is important for every business to not only build a strategy to manage the risk but also to plan for risk response. No matter how good your mitigation strategy, the risks will always exist. As a small or medium-sized business, whether you want to maximise your savings and operational efficiency, achieve outstanding procurement outcomes or only look for new ways to continually improve your procurement processes, managing these together with a specialist procurement partner is a solid starting point. You can find more information about each of the topics described this blog series in our new eBook ‘The best of both worlds’.