The energy industry is going through an 'unprecedented change' as the world moves to net zero © Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images
The energy industry is going through an 'unprecedented change' as the world moves to net zero © Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

How to take control of your energy procurement

1 August 2022

A new guide aims to help businesses across Australia and Asia navigate current energy procurement challenges from rising costs to net zero targets and changing legislation.

The Energy Procurement Supply Association (EPSA), a not-for-profit association for energy industry procurement and supply professionals, aims to help members optimise supply chain collaboration with stakeholders. 

EPSA’s “Procurement and Supply Chain in a Changing World” white paper features a step-by-step guide to strategic business partnering.

“Delivering value to businesses has always been a top priority for the procurement function, and now more than at any other time in recent years, negotiating price to counter world events is key,” EPSA president Charlie Hollis told Supply Management.

“However, actively pursuing security of supply and sustainability, risk reduction, supplier base diversification and supporting fair work practices throughout the supply chain is also one of the value drivers of the future.”

The report outlines the unprecedented change the energy industry is going through, with a focus on moving towards net zero carbon emissions and relying on a more diverse range of energy inputs while taking into account legislation such as the Modern Slavery Act.

Businesses in Australia and Malaysia in particular are investing heavily in moving towards net zero, including in renewable energy and moving towards decentralised systems, according to the report. 

And with two-thirds of an organisation’s ESG footprint coming from its supply chains, procurement is well placed to lead impactful sustainable initiatives. 

The report advocates adopting strategic business partnering (SBP) to generate more collaboration with internal stakeholders.

“While the concept of business partnering is not new, there is a lack of frameworks and guidance within procurement and supply chain teams on how to design and implement this partnership effectively,” said the association.

The guide recommends teams achieve maturity in areas such as technology and change management before approaching SBP. 

“The ability to talk the language of the internal business and the ability to lead the projects as an equal partner are the most sought-after skills when it comes to strategic business partnering,” the report added.

“For example, some organisations have started running personality profile analysis, which is used to find the perfect match of a business partnering relationship at the individual level.” 

The report also recommends understanding the technique of “tune into WiFM” (what’s in it for me) to learn “to speak the language of your stakeholder”. 

Other suggestions include conducting annual business engagements with the internal business teams to be involved in planning, sharing key initiatives and discussing feedback on supply chain performance.

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