How to Build an Effective Procurement Training Program
The skill sets required for a procurement professional often differ from those of colleagues - here's how to develop your own in-house procurement training program.
As procurement professionals, the skill sets we need to be effective in our roles differ from those of our colleagues. With this in mind, standard organizational training programs are not always sufficient for our needs.
While the training typically offered by organizations is effective, they do not always touch upon the skills needed for procurement professionals; supplemental materials are needed to support and grow the teams’ capabilities.
There are numerous third-party training programs and webinars available that procurement practitioners can attend, but how can you ensure that those programs are addressing the concepts your team needs or applying the processes that your organization uses?
Developing an internal training program or creating custom training materials ensures that your team is being trained following company processes and in the most needed areas.
When developing a procurement training program, it is important to begin with an assessment of the team to understand where the strengths and weaknesses exist in their current skill sets. There are many ways that the skills assessment can be conducted, either with an external evaluation or a custom-developed survey process.
While surveys are helpful in collecting data in a consistent and concise format, it should be noted that survey responses do not always show the full picture. Therefore, it is important to supplement those results with existing performance evaluations, experience from day-to-day interactions, or in-person follow-up interviews to the survey responses.
Whether the assessment will be conducted by internal team members or a third party, it is important that the content is tailored to the requirements of your business. Should the team have a heavy focus on category management? Is data analysis a core component of their job responsibilities?
Some key areas to consider when evaluating procurement staff include, but are not limited to:
- Category management
- Sourcing experience
- Analytical skills
- Communication (verbal and written)
- Strategic thinking