You have probably read about the changes that have taken place in the world, I've just read an article about how German Banks are ditching the offices and allowing their staff to work from home.

This would have been unheard of 18 months ago, before the pandemic.

In February 2020 a friend of mine turned down a job as a senior sales VP because the company insisted he come to the office to work.  It's a 6 hour round trip.  I'm sure that company didn't know that the pandemic was about to hit them in March 2020 and only 4 weeks later we would all be working from home.

A friend of mine runs a small marketing agency, he's just cancelled his office, saving $130,000 (£100,000)  a year.

This isn't an article about the whys and wherefores of working remotely, this is an article about how things have changed and what that means for business today.

Social media has eaten the world of business 

In this research by Simon Kemp (sponsored by Hootsuite and We are social) he shows the advancement that social media has come. From a destination, a place where we go, to a place where we now spend our time.

55.1% of the world's population is on social media.  

So what?  As a businessperson and a business leader social media gives you credibility by posting your insight and educating your audience.  I found the above article about German banks on social; social media gives us all a broader business perspective and worldview.

What's this got to do with procurement?

In a recent conversation with Helen Mackenzie, she outlined the changes that has taken place with social in procurement and what you can do in your business to keep up with this change.

A number of you as procurement professionals, you will be reading this and thinking, the last thing I want it to put my head above the parapet on social as I will be inundated with sales people.  Yes, that maybe the case, but things have changed. 

Helen talks about social procurement is about "pulling people (the people you want) towards you".

Just think about the lost opportunities there are in procurement.  We live in a global marketplace, where suppliers are just a click away and those suppliers maybe be cheaper and higher quality than your current supplier.

I totally get there are the time wasters, but with a few clicks we can qualify new suppliers in as we can make a few clicks and qualify suppliers out.

Getting to know suppliers online

By being active on social media, you can get to know suppliers better and they can get to know you better. You can be very specific about your needs and requirements.

Take a look at Mario Bruggmann who is very clear about what he is buying.

I interview him on my podcast here it's only 20 minutes, well worth the investment if you are interested in more.

He talks about turning the objection "I will get inundated with sales people" objection on its head.  He is very clear what he is buying.

Innovation in procurement

We have talked about innovation in procurement for 20 years and we are seeing a step change take place, because of social media.

Social allows us to move away from our current supplier echo chamber and gives us diversity of thinking.  We can engage with and have conversations suppliers from all over the world.

The more you know about the suppliers and the more they know about you, your requirements, culture, the better it is for everybody.

Make yourself a niche

Follow Mario's lead by making yourself a niche, make it clear what you are buying.  Pull suppliers towards you for the products you want to source. 

Let's start a movement

In your business, let's start with a pilot, something low value and low risk.  

Experiment with buying on social media.

This isn't a revolution that starts at the CPO, this is a evolution that starts with the category manager

Pull suppliers towards you on social, use your network to find out more. 

If you want to know more, contact me on social here.