In this briefing paper, we look at why it is important for new procurement leaders, in whatever leadership role they hold, to focus on demonstrating some “quick wins” in their relatively early days in the job.

Quick wins must be aligned with longer-term strategic goals, but showing benefits quickly is important for credibility and confidence. That means both the leader’s own confidence, and the confidence that the organization and stakeholders have in the individual.

Five potential areas for quick wins are then explored in more depth. Spend analysis is the first; that can identify opportunities for rapid supplier rationalization, demand aggregation or better compliance. The second suggestion concerns challenging long-term contracts that might have slipped into a less than competitive state over time. Caution is needed, but the results can be good.

Then there are the core tools for any leader; people and technology. Taking action quickly here can deliver rapid benefits and also set up longer-term initiatives and performance. The use of auctions is the fourth and very specific quick win. They can generate significant savings and also be an excellent way of demonstrating internally what benefits procurement can bring. Finally, the seemingly simple idea of talking to suppliers is discussed. Those organizations are often very well placed to provide the new leader some good ideas for improving value and driving improvement.

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