Agile procurement

Agile procurement: optimise your international purchasing!

Agile procurement offers key benefits for the purchasing department. It improves efficiency in procurement processes and adapts to market changes. Moreover, its implementation requires changes in the organisational structure and the use of technological tools.

When a company also procures through international purchasing, the challenges and opportunities multiply. As usual in our blog, our focus is on importing products from China or other Asian countries, so we are going to try to analyse how agile purchasing strategies can improve the supply chain of any company.

Benefits of agile procurement in the purchasing department

Agile procurement offers a number of significant benefits for the purchasing department, being key to optimising and streamlining the processes involved in product procurement. Below, we will look at two fundamental aspects in which agile procurement makes a difference: the improvement in the efficiency of purchasing processes and adaptability to market changes.

Improved efficiency of procurement processes.

One of the main benefits of agile procurement lies in the ability to improve the efficiency of procurement processes. Traditionally, procurement procedures can be slow and bureaucratic, leading to delays in delivery and less agile decision-making.

By implementing agile methodologies in the procurement process, it is possible to streamline supplier selection, proposal evaluation and contract negotiation. This reduces response times, optimising the efficiency of the supply chain and increasing internal and external customer satisfaction.

Adaptability to market changes.

Today’s market is highly volatile and conditions change in the blink of an eye. The purchasing department must be prepared to respond quickly and effectively to these fluctuations, and this is where agile procurement comes into play.

The flexibility and adaptability provided by this approach allows to anticipate and deal with market changes in an agile manner. This is achieved through increased collaboration with suppliers, the implementation of technological tools to track and analyse data, and the ability to constantly re-evaluate sourcing strategies.

Agile procurement provides a broader and more up-to-date view of the procurement environment, enabling you to make the right decisions and stay competitive in an ever-changing marketplace.

Implementing agile procurement in procurement management

The implementation of agile procurement requires significant changes in the organisational structure and the adoption of appropriate technological tools. These two aspects are key to ensuring agile and efficient procurement management.

Necessary changes in the organizational structure.

In order to adopt agile procurement, it is essential that the purchasing department reorganises its internal structure. The traditional hierarchy must be re-evaluated and cross-functional, autonomous teams that work collaboratively must be established.

These teams, known as ‘squads’ or ‘agile cells’, are made up of professionals from different areas such as purchasing, logistics, finance and suppliers. The aim of this structure is to foster fluid communication and agile decision-making, avoiding bureaucratic bottlenecks.

In addition, it is crucial that there is clear and committed leadership for change. Managers must act as facilitators and promote a culture of innovation and adaptability in the purchasing department.

Technological tools for agile procurement management.

Agile procurement requires the use of technological tools that facilitate the efficient management of purchasing processes. Thanks to them, tasks such as the search for and selection of suppliers, contract negotiation and order tracking are streamlined.

One example of a technological tool is the supply chain management software, which allows real-time monitoring of purchases, inventory management and control of delivery times.

Another key tool is data analytics, now stronger than ever thanks to big data. By collecting and analysing data, it is possible to identify trends, forecast demand and evaluate supplier performance. This facilitates informed decision making and enables purchasing strategies to be adjusted quickly.

We help you to implement agile procurement!

As we have seen throughout this article, implementing agile procurement can be tremendously useful, but it is not always easy. Successful implementation requires solid advice from procurement experts, either from a specialised internal department or from a sourcing partner, like us.

Our team of professionals has extensive experience and knowledge in this methodology. We will analyse your import process and provide you with the appropriate sourcing strategy to adapt it to the agile approach and, thus, maximise the results of your international purchases.