The world has been going through a fast development. Technologies that emerged during the last 5 years are outdated already, or used only to support new discoveries. These constant updates and the current moment we are experiencing require a new pace and behavior from the market.

We already know that several segments had to relearn to work. This includes mainly those jobs that require relationship and strategy practices to ensure success.

This is the case with buyers. The profile of the procurement professional has been adapted over the years and, currently, it’s no longer enough to get the lowest price: it’s now required to add value and help in innovation.

In this post, we address the key qualities to be developed by the modern buyer, in order to have a successful career.

Are you ready? Keep on reading!

5 skills every successful buyer must have

1. Knowledge of strategic sourcing

Strategic sourcing is a method used to evaluate the complexity of finding certain products, consumer goods or services in the market, versus the impact of that choice on the business. In other words, it’s the practice of continuously improving the purchases of a company.

Through this analysis, you can check internal and external costs, supply network and levels of provided services, for a given product group, and then plan specific and strategic actions that can meet the organization’s needs.

Strategic sourcing can be the key technique to minimize supply issues and delivery delays during this international crisis, for instance.

2. Adaptation to new technologies applied to the procurement area

Any buyer who accepts technology as an ally in procurement processes can be very successful throughout his/her career. Digital platforms optimize processes, which were previously slow and bureaucratic, helping the buyer to be more strategic and important to the company’s business.

According to a study by the Hackett Group, an international consultancy firm, procurement areas that use 4.0 technologies are able to achieve a cost reduction of up to 17%. However, when they truly accept digital transformation – that is, a change in the mindset, and not only the use of a given technology, in a specific manner – they are able to reduce expenses by 45% or more.

Professionals who know how to use each one of them, in their daily life, will certainly be one step ahead of their competitors, and ready to serve the market in the best possible way.

3. Knowing how to relate with suppliers

Technology is the rule for business, but relationship is just as important. Buyers are unable to keep good deals without a proper communication and customization of the service of their suppliers. Most organizations survived the recession period thanks to their knowledge of how to relate to others.

Knowing how to treat suppliers as partners can bring a host of benefits. Companies can get better prices, better delivery times and also stimulate collaboration between the parties – which also favors innovation.

Many companies have already understood that collaboration between companies, in a supply chain, helps to promote long-term and promising coexistence. Such interaction, when supported by technology, eventually creates a closer relationship and leverages it further, thus promoting governance and compliance for businesses.

4. Risk management in the supply chain

No business is untouchable. Threats are inherent to everyone and, when come to risks, there are those that we can predict and avoid, and those that just happen and force us to act quickly, so the impacts are minimal on business and society. Therefore, the successful buyer must always have a contingency plan, in case something unexpected happens.

A buyer who doesn’t manage risks can hardly stay in evidence in the company. For those who aren’t very familiar with the term yet, Risk Management is a set of activities with the purpose of managing and controlling a company against potential threats.

Planning should include alternative supply sources and stock levels, considering also a possible drop in demand of products or services.

5. Governance and compliance in the supplier matrix

Compliance is a hot topic among buyers, within their very companies. Most of them are familiar with it, but few appreciate the bureaucracy that involves the subject. After all, it’s often seen as an obstacle, something related to simply obeying, adapting and placing oneself within an established rule format.

Organizations are looking more and more for transparency, regarding their internal / external processes and negotiations. Successful buyers understand the importance of compliance within the procurement processes, and know how to take advantage of it, using it as a competitive edge in everyday work.

A relationship with suppliers that abides by new regulations and legal obligations (such as SPED and Anticorruption Law, among others) adds much more value to the supply chain, decreasing risks and assuring a win-win relationship.

However, assuring compliance within processes isn’t enough; governance must be also in place, to ensure that the partners will follow a series of rules to preserve negotiation integrity.

Do you agree with the 5 skills to be a successful buyer? Have you some more to add? Tell us in the comments field!

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