Five ways to get stakeholders on board with change

Change is a constant, but it can be hard to deal with, as speakers at ProcureCon Europe reflected...

Put it simply

Yves Bourdonge, global lead, indirect procurement at food group Pladis, shared how during an integration process his team produced a one-page document explaining their strategy. “It was foundational,” he said. This document was distributed to stakeholders to increase engagement and give clarity.

Build alliances

Business apathy is a major barrier to procurement transformation, said Ciaran Owens, head of procurement excellence at Imperial Brands. So procurement leaders must “build alliances” with other departments. “Ask: ‘What does procurement mean to you?’” said Owens. Identify who you can have meaningful conversations with.

Find the why

Taking an “outside-in perspective” when explaining the purpose of a major software transformation was critical, said Jacob Dahl, global strategic purchasing manager at bearings manufacturer SKF. “Think about what the benefits are for the business, but also think about the negative impacts,” he added. “It’s not just fancy words. It has to be concrete. We have to believe what we are selling.”

Recognise difference

Different stakeholders require different approaches, said SKF’s Dahl. “You can’t apply the same ideals to all categories. What is the value we are delivering in different activities? We should have respect for our colleagues and show we understand they have different priorities.”

Inspire, don’t force

“The solution should be good enough that people want to use it,” said Dahl. Don’t force a new solution on the business. Instead, procurement should lead the way, motivate and inspire. “If we are not good enough leaders, it won’t work.”

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