I’m not talking about your golf handicap or your credit score. I’m thinking about where you score yourself against your peers in the workplace. Have you ever retrospectively and honestly looked in the mirror and taken a personal accounting of your skills in the workplace? Sure, we annually have that one-on-one with our bosses, and we hear them talk to us, but are we listening? Listening for those improvements, that make our contributions standout and be recognized.
In this very competitive work environment for procurement professionals, your skills are a much sought-after vocation. If you consider in a recent Bureau of Labor Statistics Report issued March of 2018, unemployment of College Graduates is only about 2.3%. This is a prime opportunity for hitting the competency scale and moving your career along. While we don’t want to demean the annual salary increases, it’s really the promotions and bonuses that move your wage and benefits meaningfully as you advance your career.
I recently had the opportunity to be on a college campus recruiting trip, and had the pleasure to meet soon to be new grads, seeking a procurement career. I was truly impressed with the skills, education, and eagerness to join the ranks of the profession. The new generation of leaders are ready to challenge the status quo in ways that will make veteran professionals uneasy.
Preparing Yourself for an Ever-Evolving Industry
The Institute for Supply Management has developed a program called, ISM Mastery Model®. As you consider the procurement profession, this model provides a guide to the craft. It focuses on core competencies and allows you to seek and aspire to greater levels along your professional development. If you’re like me, this provides a structured guide to development.
Procurement professionals can never get enough data, and when you do an environmental scan of the market, as you would prior to any supplier negotiations – information for the ISM is helpful to self-assess your knowledge base. You can begin a negotiation with yourself. Today’s work environment is requiring broad skills, flexibility, and a real sense of business acumen.
Applying that Same Commitment to your Business Model
While I suggest an inward retrospective of your skill level, it’s important to also be aware of your capabilities in regard to those of the market in your area of specialization. You need to keep abreast of your specific industry trends, global economics, and market indicators. Competition is all around us, and with technology advances, the speed of change can come quickly, even if your company culture may not be ready for it. The business landscape is littered with those like Toys R Us, Radio Shack, Blockbuster, Polaroid and Pan Am who failed to see the future and adapt. Business trends change quickly, one day we centralize services, and two years later we de-centralize as management changes dictate. Assessing your skills on a regular basis will help prepare you to be agile and adaptable with the market.
If you are considering the need for information to stay ahead in the market and are looking critically at your career, suppliers can help in the quest for market intelligence. Suppliers that are constantly tested against the market have an incentive to stay ahead of market trends and new technology. They are challenged on a regular basis to innovate and think outside the box. And they’re a part of your ecosystem. You should think of your suppliers as partners. As your partners, your suppliers have a vested interest in your success. They understand that your success – both as a part of an organization and as an individual – means their success. The more they can make you shine, the more they can help you deliver results, the more you’ll be a mobilizer for their services – no matter where you go. SDI has a variety of supply chain and services solutions to support business initiatives in the indirect supply, MRO and facilities management arenas. All our solutions are designed collaboratively with our clients’ needs and constraints in mind. And we are with our clients throughout the entire change management process. So, our clients can identify savings opportunities, consider recommendations, and have a partner to execute action plans that successfully deliver immediate results.
Just as with your professional journey, the time could be right for a cultural shift at your organization, one that welcomes new ideas and innovations. Please contact us if you would like to discuss capabilities and support initiatives within your organization. Be bold; create the change in you and your business!