Buyers urged to 'bang down the door' of stakeholders

Procurement professionals should be proactive to the point that they are “banging the door down” of stakeholders to engage and inform them of advice that will benefit both parties and the wider business.

Speaking during a panel session on stakeholder engagement at the CIPS Australasia Conference, Peter Morichovits, chief procurement officer at the City of Gold Coast, told delegates to be bold and forthright in their approach to colleagues when attempting to communicate the value of the procurement function.

Asked what he would interpret as a sign of a procurement professional taking a positive approach to engagement, he said: “Being proactive to the point of banging the door down.”

Morichovits was later named CIPS Procurement and Supply Chain Management Professional of the Year at the CIPS Australasia Supply Management Awards.

Speaking on the same topic, Jaydeep Solanki, director of global purchasing and supply chain at General Motors Holden, explained that he looked positively on a purchasing professional that would ask questions in stakeholder meetings that had escaped him. Asked what he took as a good sign, he responded: “When I see somebody asking a question I hadn't even thought of.”

Expanding on that perspective, Solanki highlighted the importance of building mutual respect between the buyer and the stakeholder in order to create productive and beneficial working relationships. Asked what the key to good relations is, he said: “Mutual trust and respect.”

Offering his perspective as director of defence commercial services for the New Zealand Defence Force, Paul Howard urged buyers to appreciate that as important as it is to put forward a strong case, it is equally, if not more, important to listen to what the stakeholder is saying.

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