“What’s customer experience got to do with procurement”?
No doubt that will be the question on the lips of many procurement professionals seeing the “Improving Customer Experience” theme that drives the programme at the PASA NZ procurement conference.
“Everything” is my reply. Allow me to explain.
Every time we have asked NZ procurement practitioners about the biggest challenges they face, the leading answer has had something to do with stakeholder engagement or management. Always in the negative ie: They (stakeholders) don’t appreciate us, they don’t recognize the value we bring, they don’t bring us in early enough, they don’t bring us in at all, they actively avoid us etc etc.
Some four years ago PASA’s theme for the year encouraged procurement to change how it viewed its stakeholders, suggesting that we might make greater progress if we regarded them as customers. After all, we do provide a service to them.
Furthermore, we encouraged the idea that how we relate to suppliers should fall into a similar category, particularly if we want to develop genuine partnerships with suppliers and work with them to foster innovation and eliminate waste.
But changing our mindset to think of our stakeholders and suppliers as customers of our services is not in itself enough. It is only effective if we act on that new mindset by ‘Improving our Customers Experience’ of how they deal with us in procurement.
Getting the customer experience right is not a problem unique to procurement. I believe that any area of business that does not adopt strategies to better understand its customers, to map their journeys and understand how, where, why, when and what impact they have on them will soon be history.
The old paradigm of procurement being all about savings targets and managing risk will soon be history. For the procurement function to thrive it needs to be an enabler and adviser to the business, understanding and delivering on the what, where, when, how and whys of its customers.
By attending the PASA NZ Confex you will hear from a number of practitioners who have outstanding stories to tell in relation to customer experience. You will also learn lessons from customer experience experts from other fields that you can apply to improve how your customers experience dealing with you. In addition to the keynote presentations, day one will also include round-table and interactive discussions designed to provide you with insights and actions that you can use back in your business.
Day two features two half day workshops, one focussed on how you deal with your internal customers/stakeholders entitled ‘Influencing for Results’, the other from the leading SRM consultancy in the world on “How you become a customer of choice’.
At PASA, we believe in driving the future agenda for procurement. If you want to be part of that future, you should attend the NZ Confex.
I look forward to seeing you in Auckland,
Managing Director, PASA
PASA Conferences attract a broad spectrum of procurement professionals, from Chief Procurement Officers to category and contracts managers. The programme for the NZ Confex should have wide appeal, with content that should be vital to: