The purchasing professional’s role is very complex and successful purchases require competent employees. Companies who are leaders within purchasing are continuously investing in increased purchasing competence as a strategic differentiator.
Many companies enter standardized education programs within purchasing to create a common knowledge ground to start from. This is a good start and world class sourcing organizations do competence strategy including:
1. Which competences do we need within our sourcing organization?
2. How well do each person in our organization live up to that competence (individual competence mapping and gap analysis)
3. In which competence areas do we need development
4. Which employee should attend which training session to close their individual competence gap?
5. Develop and execute training sessions
We propose to assess the sourcing employees in the following areas:
1. Cost analysis and finance
3. Risk management
4. Supply Chain management
5. Business negotiations
6. Strategic sourcing
8. Project management
9. Supplier relationship management
Within each area each company should decide a wanted competence level for each position and do a gap analysis of the employees versus the wanted competence level.
By using this methodology a company can create a personal learning and development plan to maximize the investment of a sourcing competence development initiative.
It’s also getting more common to use suppliers for training purpose. One example is to let key individuals join supplier visits to get a better understanding around your own business as well as the supplier market and specific sourcing categories.
- Companies does not develop in any competence development activities which could lead to lost employee motivation and performance
- Companies just send all employees to the same training sessions without having done a gap analysis of the current situation. This could lead to bad investments since the training could be too easy or too difficult for the employee
- Companies must see the competence development initiative long term and a forum for new ideas and discussions. It should also be followed up continuously to make the change sustainable, otherwise the newly acquired knowledge risk to be of no use