“All grown-ups were once children… But only few of them remember it.”
(Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
Are procurement and creativity really miles away, seen as two incompatible, contradictory concepts? We definitely don’t agree with that. In fact, creativity is one of the essential skills of an individual that separates excellence from mediocrity. Innovation and creativity are extremely important in almost every aspect of a human life. Why are they being put aside in the procurement world then?
In the business world, creativity is often unfairly neglected and cramped up by default procedures and generally accepted business patterns. The task of each procurement professional is to influence the supply market and create competitive advantages for the benefit of its stakeholders. Such a profession requires understanding and analyzing the market, as well as possessing outstanding business skills but also… creativity!
What’s creativity at all?
That’s the ability of creating new ideas in order to solve complex problems effectively. Today’s opinion is that there are two types of people: creative and non-creative ones. On the other hand, psychologists believe creativity is the skill every person has in themselves since birth. It means each one of us has unlimited access to that gift, despite the fact that some people use it less.
“Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way.”
(Edward de Bono)
Nowadays, stress and chronic lack of time leave no room for creative thinking. It’s easier and quicker to accept existing behavior patterns than constantly innovate and search for new solutions. However, lack of creativity is bad – both for an individual and a company.
But… How can creativity be applied to procurement?
As Armand Brevig, Managing Director of the Procurement Cube advises, “listen to stakeholders with an open mind – without any Procurement agendas playing in the background. Think in terms of business solutions – not sourcing projects.” Accept the mentality of their consultant and be involved in finding optimal solutions along with them. The point of procurement is to innovate and improve the process of managing materials, as well as to maintain good relationships with suppliers. Make the Procurement department an added value for your business – not an added weight.
Purchasing professionals are often stressed and overloaded with paperwork, experiencing a chronic lack of time. Such a way of doing business is definitely bad because it leaves no room for finding new solutions and thinking outside the box. One way of achieving significant savings of time and money is the implementation of a software procurement solution, such as Ensolva. The procurement software facilitates creating, exchanging, storing and processing of procurement data. It accelerates communication and analysis, generates time savings and minimizes errors. Using the procurement software leaves procurement professionals time for creative thinking and searching for new solutions, which ultimately brings numerous benefits to the company itself.
“Like anyone else, stakeholders want to succeed. They are looking to Procurement to help them achieve that by leveraging the supply markets”, says Brevig. Procurement professionals are the link between enterprise goals and capacity, opportunities and innovations on the market. Such a profession requires tons of creativity, although sometimes it doesn’t seem so. Creativity encourages the creation of solutions that did not exist before.
“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something.”
Let this quote be the guideline for achieving excellence in your business. Give space to your creative side and look at things from another angle. Let your procurement software do the operational job. This way, you’ll have enough time to think about the goals of your business and, on the other hand, watch the market. Connect these two things and success is guaranteed!