Knowing Your Stakeholder: Procurement

Your procurement department holds the key to the paperwork that will make your maintenance software a reality. They want you to “follow the process” when purchasing CMMS software.

While your stakeholders in the procurement process won’t use your maintenance software, they offer instrumental guidance in how to purchase it. You need to understand the processes and lead times required by procurement early in the stakeholder management process.

Company standards dictate procurement and contract management for software, usually with processes set by the accounts payable section of your accounting department. The procurement process includes the preparation and processing of a demand as well as the end receipt and approval of payment. The rules also define spending limits.

Let’s talk about the relationship between procurement and maintenance managers.

How Do I Follow the Process?

A common concern for procurement managers in the software buying process is whether or not you know the administrative steps to follow. Familiarizing yourself with how the purchasing process works will avoid delays and bureaucratic roadblocks.

You want to take “red tape” and turn it into “processed paperwork.”

Start by identifying the right person or persons to talk to. Ask direct questions like…

  • What are the key things you need to understand?
  • Which forms do you need to fill out?
  • What “gotchas” do you need to avoid when filling out the forms?
  • How does procurement issue a purchase order from your company to the software vendor?
  • What’s the lead-time from purchasing decision to issued order?

Take notes and make sure you understand the details of the process. And if they took the time to explain it to you, take the time to follow the steps.

What Else Can I Do to Help with Procurement?

It doesn’t hurt to get to know the people in this department early in your search for software. An established relationship and a proactive approach may save you weeks when it’s time to actually make the purchase. Get on procurement’s bad side, and you may wait a year before seeing your purchase order.

It’s highly likely that your maintenance team already has a relationship with your procurement people. Maintenance and procurement go hand in hand, given the costs of maintaining equipment and purchasing parts and inventory. Sometimes procurement also runs the request for proposal (RFP) or request for bid (RFB) process, which is another area where your two departments might work closely together.

Like all stakeholders in the CMMS buying process, a thorough understanding of your procurement department’s needs will make it easier to turn your maintenance software dreams into reality.

Have questions? Need help understanding the stakeholders involved? Contact us. We’re here to help.