Consulting careers in procurement offer some of the most interesting and well remunerated roles in the procurement world. But what does it take to become a "Rockstar Procurement Consultant"?
It's a demanding role - one suited to someone who is inquisitive, a fast learner, both detailed and creative in their approach and loves dealing with people.
Procurement rockstars spend time understanding businesses - the business they buy for, the supply chain they are working within and the whole wide world of business around them.
They are people of the world - understanding and working within the boundaries presented by cultural differences in order to get mutual agreement and the best possible results.
They are admired for the way they look at problems from different angles - looking at the purpose to be fulfilled, not just the requirement itself.
They look for the obvious, of course, but always seek out unusual solutions to any logistics or supply chain issue.
They harness innovation in the supply chain and are up to date with the latest technology that could bring competitive edge to the business they are working with.
Rockstar procurement consultants are chameleon-like in their approach to working in different industries. They take learning from one sector and apply it to others with amazing impact.
At the same time, they gather real in depth knowledge in particular categories along the way, knowing what things should cost, who the key suppliers and their corporate and personal motivations - well before any negotiations come into play.
They have a seat at the table of top corporations at the most strategic level - influencing direction and fuelling growth through their deep and broad understand of the business they are in and the possibilities available from outside.
So how do you become a "Rockstar" in a Procurement Consultancy?
- Get proven experience in an operating business first. Why would any sensible business take advice from someone who doesn’t understand what life is like in a real trading business? Text book ideas/solutions often fail when they meet reality.
- Prove you're not a "one trick pony" by repeating your success in more than one type of business, showing you can adapt to culture, industry etc
- Focus on your ability to accelerate research and analysis. Clients value speedy solutions to supply chain problems. You'll need to diagnose things quickly for clients and call out the issues with conviction.
- Read widely about general business issues so that you can empathise with functional leaders in other departments and the c-suite.
- Cultivate an “expert” subject – something you are better at than most people. Or find a niche area that is valued by a focused set of clients.
- Get to the core of what the real issues are and be honest with the client about what needs to happen – help them resolve the underlying issues in order to be seen as a trusted adviser in the business.
- Look for wins for the business beyond cost savings. Find out the business goals and leverage your skills and knowledge to actively participate in their success.
- Promote yourself and what you have achieved.
And on that note, we invite you to meet some of our Rockstar Procurement Consultants as we discuss the 7 key ingredients of disruptive procurement.
Think you're already a rockstar procurement consultant? Consider joining our ever-growing pool of talent! Find out more here.