What are the biggest obstacles for procurement to get a more prominent role at the business strategy table?
Top aspects I've seen: ingrained processes, predominantly 'guardian' MBTI personality, lack of technology aptitude.
Lack of truly great procurement practice and a genuine lack of ‘business strategy’ calibre people in the profession, evidenced by too much debate amongst ourselves and not enough championing of our profession.
And, we still seem to be waiting for a seat. Just go and sit down and get on with it!
It always seems to be a tricky balance. The seat at the table is earned, but that can be difficult because of the rules based nature of procurement. If we as procurement professionals focus exclusively on the enforcement of rules without trying to provide excellent customer service to our internal clients, we will have a harder time getting a meaningful seat at the table. If, on the other hand, we focus on helping our internal clients to reduce cost and solve other pressing problems, and if we demonstrate a knowledge of the business, we can get to the table a lot faster. There is often an issue for the procurement professional in serving 'two masters'. One is the client and the other is their own procurement management and I suppose the third is the 'rule book'. I don't advocate for breaking rules, but I do advocate for being customer oriented, being a problem solver and in finding ways to reduce administrative complexity for clients who do not understand or accept the procurement rule book.
I would also add the culture of the organisation. You can arm yourself with the best from any industry, but bad culture can negate procurement's influence no matter how great the practice is. Agree with Chris. Just get in and get on with it. The proof is always in the pudding!