Any business owner who is serious about securing the procurement agent for their company needs to be vigilant during the entire process. A procurement agent is important in several respects, ranging from procuring the suppliers to building healthy relationships between the business and the manufacturers of raw materials. The growth and development of a business are directly related to how well your procurement agent can satisfy your needs.
So, choosing the right person for the job becomes crucial for your business down the line. Here are some considerations worth making while looking for a procurement agent:
1. Know the Kind of Procurement You Want
Procurement agents are available for various services depending on the need of a particular business. It is the responsibility of the business owner to screen the available candidates and find the one right for the job. Mainly, there are three types of procurements that will allow you to choose a suitable agent.
Direct Procurement: Direct procurement is related to buying raw materials for a particular manufacturing process. The supplier will thus have to be chosen based on the needs of a specific business. For direct procurement, the candidate selection will have to be based on organizational skills and a stronghold on interpersonal communication.
Indirect Procurement: Indirect procurement is related to any material service for internal use in the business. This will require being good at management and having prior experience working in a similar role. A procurement agent for indirect procurement will have to take charge of day-to-day operations and respond to the needs accordingly.
Service Procurement: Service procurement is related to human resources and how your workforce will benefit from the consulting services that you employ. Any procurement agent was familiar with software programs, and outsourcing will be a good fit for service procurement needs for a particular company.
Choosing an expert from platforms like maplesourcing.com will be the perfect approach towards creating intelligent procurement solutions.
2. Effectiveness of the Process Flow
In any business domain, there is a particular procurement process flow that will allow the material and services to reach the customer from the supplier by following the designated chain of command. The process flow works on many levels, which includes generating a request for procurement of a particular material of service and then having it sent to the procurement team. If the business already has a designated supplier for said service, the process will continue further. The request can be rejected by the procurement team as well with a valid reason.
In case the request is approved, and there is no supplier for that particular material or service, it is the procurement agent’s our team’s responsibility to look for the right candidate. This process is usually done by asking for quotations from multiple suppliers and choosing one which suits the needs of the business the best. The order is then processed and confirmed on three different levels upon arrival at the company.
3. Evaluation and Negotiation Skills
Both evaluation and negotiation skills are equally important to look for in an agent, no matter the type of procurement project you have in mind. Evaluation skills are important for any agent because they need to choose the best supplier out of a list of potential candidates. While objectively choosing the best supplier is not that difficult of a job, selecting a supplier based on the precise needs of the company is what is required from a procurement agent. There are multiple steps of evaluation which will range from evaluating the needs to analyzing the supplier portfolio and making the final decision.
Negotiation skills, on the other hand, got along with evaluation skills. Negotiation is required while securing the supplier for the business to save money and create a long-term business relationship. After the procurement agent sends out requests for quotations from different suppliers, it is their job to compare and contrast the responses. If the need arises, they also need to negotiate a particular deal as per the business requirement. Without negotiation skills, it will be difficult to cut a deal that benefits the company during procurement.
4. Supplier Network and Record-Keeping
Just like a portfolio of a supplier tells us how much they have worked and their experience in the field, the supplier network of a procurement agent tells us about their management skills. Any experienced procurement agent is likely to have a wide network of connections in every field they have previously worked in. Their contacts are a direct testimony of their communication skills and how well they are able to manage interpersonal relationships in a professional capacity. Hiring for the procurement team will be easier if you judge on the basis of the references the particular application provides.
Apart from having a detailed list of all the related suppliers, testing the record-keeping skills will also come in handy. The procurement team is responsible for auditing the procurement process, processing payments, and keeping records of every purchase. If a team member is not capable of efficient record keeping, they will not be able to assist in the day-to-day operations of your company. Record keeping our stars is equally important as maintaining a good supplier network. As much as you want an agent to be communicative, you also want them to be able to do the desk work whenever necessary.
Securing a procurement agent for your business does not have to be a difficult process if you know what to look for. Just like the procurement agent will look for the right product or service for your company, you are designated to look for the right procurement agent. Judging the applicants by certain set standards will help you to weed out the inexperienced candidates. You do not want to compromise on something as crucial as procurement, so it is better not to take chances. Opting for management skills along with good communication and a strong supplier network is the best way to choose a good procurement agent.