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How to Improve Stakeholder Relations & Overcome Resistance

Have you been faced with some resistance from stakeholders or end users? Do you find they may have difficulty understanding the value you, as a procurement leader, can provide? You strive for teamwork and collaboration but your colleagues may be hesitant to take your advice or allow you to assist in purchasing for their departments. The solution to their reservations could be a matter of education and awareness of the procurement and sourcing functions and the strategic tools you possess.  

While you source supplier programs that’ll add value and help streamline your business’ operations, you regularly engage and connect with key stakeholders and end users throughout your organization. Think about all the people connected to suppliers and their products/services—engineering, manufacturing, health and safety, directors, managers and VPs, etc. These departments drive onboarding and implementing of the supplier programs so it’s crucial to ensure you understand their needs as you purchase.     

Through a group purchasing organization (GPO), you can leverage the knowledge of subject matter experts in a variety of spend categories that'll help you explain the benefits of the types of programs you’re working to adopt for your company. These industry insiders understand complex categories in your spend cube, such as facilities and MRO, HR and freight and logistics, or other areas of the business you may not be well-versed in at the moment. With the GPO team’s market insight and strong supplier relationships, group purchasing can be a connector creating improved relationships between you, stakeholders and end user department leaders.  

Let’s explore how to improve and strengthen stakeholder relations and overcome resistance through the help of a GPO.

How to Improve Stakeholder Relations & Overcome ResistanceChallenge: Overcoming Resistance

Though they’re not in a position to buy, your stakeholders and end users are in the ideal position to recommend products and solutions to help solve their problems. Therefore, asking questions, allowing them to feel heard and understood, while pivoting when needed, can be a step in the direction of creating trust between you and the colleagues you serve.   

Perhaps, your VP of Engineering or Product Development has been at the company a decade longer than you and your procurement colleagues and feels he/she knows what works and what hasn’t. Maybe it’s the first time that VP isn’t managing negotiations, which can be personal, and therefore, has a hard time letting go of that part of their role.

The awareness opportunity here is impactful. This VP may not understand that you have new, innovative and more cost-effective solutions that you’re bringing to the table with the help of your GPO partner. As this colleague resists procurement’s help, you have an opportunity to demonstrate how group purchasing and the vendors introduced not only meet and exceed the needs of company operations but can also get undermanaged spend under control while reducing maverick and tail spend.

Of course, each company is different, each department has different needs, and it’s certainly not a quick fix. This ongoing process toward building trust and credibility for the procurement team can be streamlined with the help of group purchasing, allowing you to expedite better alignment with stakeholders and end users. Let's take a closer look at how you can put this idea into action. 

Solution: Alignment through Group Purchasing

To help manage and improve relationships, we're taking a look at how procurement professionals are leveraging the assistance of a group purchasing organization.  

Facilities & MRO Challenge  

Products and services in the MRO and facilities category keep operations running, and purchasing to maintain safe and productive facilities remains a company priority. This category can become especially complicated when you factor in that organizations may have 10 to 100 facilities across the country. Achieving better data visibility across those facilities is a common challenge for manufacturing companies, and the lack of visibility across multiple locations can cause liabilities. Many of you can relate to the way your company is pressed to obtain clean and clear data with visibility to products, services and people at each of your locations.  

You're getting your arms around solutions to improving visibility along with identifying which products and services are needed at each location. Now just because you find a cheaper price for some of those items doesn’t mean you’ll be able to influence engineering, supply chain or  manufacturing departments to use the products. This is your chance to show that not only are you delivering cost savings but you're looping in key stakeholders/end users giving them visibility into the program scope and soliciting their feedback.

How Can a GPO Help Strengthen Stakeholder Relationships?

The GPO can step in as your teammate with support from a subject matter expert in facilities to help educate stakeholders/end users on the advantages of using this new program’s products and services. This opens up a dialogue with end users, allowing them to give their perspectives and opinions while empowering these departments to leverage a GPO as the company’s strategic partner. The group purchasing organization provides immediate access to a diverse contract portfolio with improved service levels so your facilities will get superior service if a need comes up. 

Especially valuable during the current labor shortage and effects of the Great Resignation, OMNIA Partners GPO team members with HR expertise have helped several companies attract and retain talent while navigating related issues with market volatility. As transportation challenges like supply chain delays and shortages continue, GPO team experts in freight and logistics have also positioned companies to be successful despite rising shipping costs or capacity constraints. Group purchasing’s competitive prices and your ability to bypass the lengthy RFP process puts more time and money into your business at a time when that those extra dollars and resources have never more critical.  

Take Advantage of GPO Benefits Today

Relationship, spend and category management at its finest. Your procurement team can achieve these goals with your group purchasing partner. 

GPOs streamline your procurement process and increase your purchasing power resulting in access to GPO contracts with deeper discounts and improved supplier terms and conditions.