Most businesses use mission and vision statements to guide their actions, decisions, and culture. However, mission statements can also be used in the functional teams and business units of a company. These can give new purpose and identity to groups that may be undervalued or seen as a bureaucratic necessity rather than an advantage. Purchasing Managers, Ask Yourself: Do I Need a Mission Statement?
In the case of procurement, the realignment from reactive and transactional to strategic and intentional requires a common vision to be communicated and strategic goals to be aligned across the group. This is where the mission statement comes in.
Mission statements can be very helpful in rallying all team members, as well as those they support, around the unified vision and goals. In any process of developing a mission statement, it is essential to communicate and build buy-in within the affected group and with external stakeholders who may be affected. Understanding how change affects various groups such as finance, human resources, operations, and IT is critical to establishing alignment between the mission of purchasing and that of business units and the enterprise as a whole.
How can mission statements be made actionable and integrated into the team mindset?
Savings, diversity spend, and other quantitative factors will always be key metrics on the purchasing dashboard, but what about qualitative factors? And what about those “intangibles” that are often overlooked but often central to a procurement team’s mission?
Answers to the following questions will help define a procurement team’s mission statement, as well as identify needed improvements:
- Does an organization go beyond purchasing and achieve successful collaboration with strategic partners?
- Is the team sufficiently integrated into business decisions to identify opportunities that reduce demand or merge spending between business units to generate volume incentives?
- Are TCO reductions factored into the working knowledge of the business operations team?
- What does success look like and why?
- What indicators will be clear once the organization has achieved its objectives?
- What new functions has the organization adopted in an ideal future state?
- What are the current challenges to overcome?
- Do we measure success in dollars saved or in social responsibility? Or do we measure success by something quite different?
Once a roadmap is established to address the gaps highlighted by the previous questions, the end state goals can be used to create the team’s mission and vision – which not only serve as a guide. towards the ideal state, but also a source of inspiration and focus when the team inevitably struggles to move forward.
These concepts can be applied to procurement teams ranging from 2 to 200 employees. Regardless of the size of the team, a common understanding of the team’s purpose and identity, as articulated in a mission statement, provides the motivation and focus necessary to enable the team achieve its goals and continue to grow.
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Author Jordan Dailey is a procurement consultant for ProcureAbility.
He joined ProcureAbility in 2019 and has been able to apply his organizational development and supply chain management expertise to help his Fortune 500 clients.
Prior to joining ProcureAbility, Jordan worked in international trade and logistics.
He holds a BS in Organizational Development and an MBA specializing in Supply Chain Management from the University of Houston.