If you’ve shaken the sand from your shoes and got your feet under the desk again, brace yourself! Procurement this year promises some key changes that you and your team should be on top of. Here are the five that we think will affect you most.
- Cost-efficiency is king. Public organisations are more than ever under the waste-detection microscope. This means doing more, with less – and proving your worth at every step. Cut the clutter from procurement processes. Nothing that’s not directly aligned with driving value on the job. No reason for long-winded bureaucratic reports or legacy procurement processes that waste time and money. Cut to the chase and find out which supplier will provide the best value for those limited dollars.
- Broader Outcomes will get broad again. Last year we saw Progressive Procurement increasingly narrow into tighter areas of focus. The National Government will undoubtedly broaden this focus on social, environmental, cultural and economic benefits. We’ll see race-based criteria broaden to include others who have traditionally had little access to government work – SME businesses, new immigrants, people with disabilities, not-for-profits… Environmental focus in procurement will be more than carbon emissions – it will extend to waste reduction, conservation efforts, clean water management and more.2 Watch this space!
- Suppliers are scarce – they’ll pick and choose their clients, not the other way around. Compliance requirements have stifled and stymied kiwi innovation from clever businesses in NZ. Some have given up or gone offshore. The rest are wary of agencies that are difficult to work with, unreasonably demanding or have inefficient, poorly designed procurement practices. To get the best suppliers, you need policies, processes and skills that don’t frustrate them, appear inconsistent or unfair, or waste their time.
- Survival of the fittest: There will undoubtedly be staff cuts in publicly funded organisations. The most qualified and productive people will be best placed to retain their jobs. Those who have not kept up with professional development; are marking time in caretaking roles need to think about how they will show their worth. There is no more gravy train. What skills do you need to survive?
- Procurement Expertise will be more valuable than ever before. We’re talking about practical roll-up-your-sleeves input here, not lofty theoretical types who borrow your watch to tell you the time! Councils and other government agencies will have to cut back on external consultants, replacing their inputs with internal expertise – unless they can offer proven, leading-edge ways to cut time and costs from procurement processes.