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This is How You Build a Procurement Center of Excellence

What could you accomplish in 100 days? Today’s high-performing leaders put a 100-day plan in place to close the loop on sourcing, procurement, and supply-chain management. The result? A procurement Center of Excellence that yields greater business impact and enterprise success.

In fact, Gartner’s 2018 Center of Excellence research report shares a step by step process that outlines how to attain and sustain world-class performance. This includes defining your current state, setting a vision, and ensuring alignment with organizational goals.

Why Create a Center of Excellence?

According to Gartner, Centers of Excellence (COEs) are an effective organizational design for governing business processes, category management alignment, and cost optimization across the organization. The COE balances resources and competing projects and demands, and as such the sourcing and procurement COE leader has an opportunity to drive discipline across the organization as a whole to impact different business needs.

To make an immediate impact, consider outlining a 100-day plan that helps you:

  • Understand goals and how those goals align with enterprise objectives
  • Execute repeatable planning, logistics, and reporting
  • Establish a scalable process through automation and transparent dashboarding

Your 100-Day Plan to Build A Procurement Center of Excellence

A successful agenda for a high-performing 100-day plan should:

  • Determine the current state
    • Establish a baseline that becomes a foundation for continuous improvement
    • Identify areas of strengths and opportunities
    • Focus on a subset of priorities for near-term improvement
  • Build relationships
    • Forge solid relationships with all key stakeholders (for example, COE staff, internal and external stakeholders in procurement and sourcing initiatives, including the broader supply chain, partners in the IT organization, finance, operations, R&D, program management office)
    • Meet stakeholders in person if possible to grow trust, understand risks and opportunities, along with operational capabilities firsthand
  • Communicate the vision and strategy for the future
    • Define realistic and measurable, time-bound goals for the COE, and review current tracking systems and reporting to ensure metrics are manageable and tell the story of a value-driven sourcing and procurement COE
    • Review and refine (or draft) the COE’s charter and business processes. Communicate a future vision beyond the first 100 days for how the COE will support the goals of the organization
    • Start to deliver on this vision, with business process improvements and communicating value to stakeholders and leadership alike

Assess Your Communication Approach 

Before embarking on a 100-day plan, set the stage for success by interviewing, listening, and learning from stakeholders about their historical challenges and future needs. Gartner outlines the following best practices:

  • Use business language wherever possible, but be careful not to overuse buzz words
  • Avoid generic or aspirational statements, and focus on what is specific to your COE’s performance
  • Prepare introductory material about yourself, your background, and your initial thoughts on driving the initiative forward. Make this content fact-based and neutral

100 Days Starts Now

Are you ready to get started? Let Gartner be your guide to understanding the current maturity level and building a full-time team of experts focused on attaining and sustaining world-class performance. Unprecedented business impact is within your reach.

Build a Procurement Center of Excellence

To learn more about how other enterprise executives are surmounting this challenge and getting to the next level, read Gartner’s latest report.

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