Procurement is the understanding and translation of customer needs and requirements to the selection of capable suppliers, to realize the cost-effective acquisition, receipt and payment of vital inputs and raw materials. Factors impacting the Total Cost of Ownership such as quality, efficiencies, delays, stock outs, obsolescence and carrying cost are heavily emphasized in the procurement discipline.
To learn and master the above skill sets takes time and depends one’s learning style. Individuals seeking to learn the science of procurement should do some research of their learning styles.
The following are what we recommend as the best ways to learn procurement:
1. Vision: create one: Design Desired Outcomes for your procurement Career.
2. Body of Knowledge (BOK): get one, spend time reviewing it
3. Determine Knowledge Gaps to the BOK: firstly, ascertain your mental and physical aptitude to learn the Procurement BOK: Then study your knowledge gaps
4. Skills Acquisition: this can be acquired in various ways depending on your availability of time, budget and degree of knowledge gap. Some ways to do this are as follows:
1. LEARN (Learn the most modern procurement best practices and put them to use immediately.)
2. PROVE (Prove your advanced capabilities by passing the SPSM® Exam)
3. APPLY (Apply what you’ve learned to achieve measurable results; save more money, improve performance, and more)
5. Best Practice Mastery: understand and master the most critical best practices such as:
#1 Utilizing an Annual Buying Plan
#2 Utilizing Commodity Teams
#3 Managing Supplier Performance
#4 Optimizing Strategic Supplier Relationships
#6 Qualifying Suppliers
#7 Implementing Risk Management Practices & Policies
#9 Systemizing Operations
#11 Embracing Technology
#12 Measuring Purchasing Performance
#13 Developing Staff Capabilities
#14 Utilizing A Strategic Plan
6. Webinars: this is great way to enhance your procurement knowledge
7. Process Improve Projects: join a team that is conducting projects to improve procurement processes. This will give you a more dynamic understanding of procurement.
8. Blogs: participate in blogs, as this can expose you to dynamic knowledge
9. Purchasing Associations: join one, collaborate, share and learn from other procurement professionals in your network. Next Level Purchasing Association has an awesome platform and network for Procurement Professionals.