A CPO's first 100 days

By: Greg Tennyson

You're hired! After the jubilation of accepting a job wears off and you're successfully on-boarded to your new company, you learn that you have 100 days to develop a procurement transformation plan. This plan will begin a journey of transformation that surpasses the expectations you shared during the hiring process. The opportunity is 'greenfield': building a procurement function where one didn't previously exist, or where the function never took hold for one reason or another.

You have 100 days to develop a plan. What's first?

There are various approaches to transformation, and the key is to find the right one for your project. The approach I will share, is based on my personal experiences building the procurement function (source-to-settle) at a Fortune 500 company, at a hyper-growth entrepreneurial company, and - most recently - at an established, well-diversified healthcare company.

The first course of business is to assess the current business status, if you didn't do so during the interview process. Have a conversation with anyone willing to engage - beginning with your new team, executive leadership and cross-functional stakeholders. You need to understand your inherited brand firsthand - including the perspectives, and opinions of your inherited procurement function. These discussions are important on several fronts, because they:

  1. Provide a baseline for the present-day function, and capture a snapshot of where you started your journey. This will be key as you look in the rearview mirror to see how far you've come.

  1. Identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats across the categories of people, process and technology.

  1. Provide key insights on brand perceptions and their history.

  1. Help identify advocates, influencers and distractors.

  1. Provide insights into what 'should' be next and offer an indication of preferred timing.

To articulate the business requirements that will form your vision, I recommend partnering with a change-management guru and a project manager, define the criteria for success and develop a communication strategy and cadence. Do not underestimate the impact of change and the new behaviors required to effect better business outcomes.

Different approach to transformation

Based on my current company's unique combination of vision, culture and employee demographics, we took a slightly different approach to transformation. Early on, we reached out to the marketing department to create a 'drip campaign' comprising video vignettes, campus signage and a direct outreach.

The whole effort centered on our mascot "Moolah", a big, furry, purple creature that was accompanied by a tag line 'Spend It Like Its Yours' (loosely based on the acronym 'SILIY', and pronounced silly). The objective was to have fun with the initiative, fun being one of our company values.

The result was celebrity status for Moolah and greater acceptance of the initiative. Frankly, it was fun to see employees taking selfies of Moolah at 'all-hands-on-deck' meetings.

Procurement transformation checklist

To help develop your plan, I have included a checklist below, based on my experiences. Again, model or pivot based on what you observe and the expectations of procurement. There is no absolute right answer.

Microsoft Word - PROCUREMENT TRANSFORMATION CHECK LIST.jpg

Microsoft Word - PROCUREMENT TRANSFORMATION CHECK LIST2.jpg

Microsoft Word - PROCUREMENT TRANSFORMATION CHECK LIST3.jpg

Capture.JPG

SP REVIEW ENQUIRY
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
ENQUIRE NOW