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How to Execute as Young Procurement Professionals, Ep #66

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What does it take for young procurement professionals to hit the ground running and execute as soon as they’re hired? Many young professionals don’t know how to pick up the slack, make a good impression, and immediately add value when joining an organization. In this episode of Negotiations Ninja, Roy Anderson shares his wealth of experience and what it takes to start executing upon being hired.


Outline of This Episode

  • [2:27] Learn all about Roy Anderson
  • [11:56] The easiest way to drive value
  • ]13:49] Master change management skills
  • [16:53] Learn to listen to understand
  • [24:34] Other skills you need to develop
  • [31:18] How to navigate your career path
  • [35:14] How to encourage growth within teams
  • [39:17] Don’t be afraid to think big and fail
  • [45:52] Find someone innovative to learn from
  • [46:52] How to connect with Roy Anderson

How young procurement professionals can drive value from day one

Roy wants everyone to understand that if you are an engineer, you can provide better value in the supply chain program working with internal customer engineers and suppliers than as an entry-level engineer. The key is to do what you’re passionate about. If you’re passionate about advertising, marketing, inventory management, or transportation, hit the ground running within your passion.

You’ll have fun learning and share that enthusiasm with your internal customer and the senior leadership. And because you understand the language, knowledge, and what they want to accomplish, you can bring holistic cost management and innovation to that structure within the supply chain. That’s how the best and the brightest young procurement professionals can make a difference on day one.

Master change management skills

One of Roy’s recommendations is to find a training program that can help you see the differences between the worlds you operate in. You’ll be exposed to different mindsets, ideas, thoughts, senses of urgency, etc. You can create value in radically different ways in these areas. The best and the brightest come out of these schools.

But no matter what school you go to, you need to have change management skills. There’s always a negotiation between what you’re trying to accomplish and what your internal customers, administration, etc., are trying to accomplish. Change management is a critical success factor in any business. It requires you to think from the other person’s point of view.

Why don’t they want to change? What workload do they have? What are they trying to accomplish? You have to determine what’s in the best interest of their career path to move in this direction.

Learn to listen to understand

Roy’s wife employs a strategy that he also embraces: Ask a simple question that allows the person to tell their story. Then, listen intently. You need to get your internal customer to talk about their problems so you can provide them with the resources, services, and products they need to get their job done. Then you need to present a solution that works for them.

You can learn what drives them internally, and change becomes far easier. Seeing the bigger picture leads to conversations above and beyond today’s price point. It leads to a holistic revenue, margin play, and value proposition to you as the buyer in this structure. What are the other skills that young procurement professionals need to develop? Listen to hear Roy’s thoughts.

How to navigate your career path

As young procurement professionals in a new role, there’s a variation in skills and approaches that are required. You have to fit your current environment. Don’t put yourself in a situation where you’re going to fail. However, you want to be somewhere where you’re challenged and constantly learning but in a structure where you can excel. You need to ask questions from the senior members so they can give you feedback and understanding.

Can you grow and develop within your company or across companies? Can you move between companies to extend your grasp? Roy points out that his average tenure at a company is 4.5 years. Each time he moved, he moved where he would expand his capabilities. You can’t jump way beyond your skill set, or you will fail. You have to be able to provide value quickly. But don’t forget about the skills that you bring to the table.

If you haven’t failed—have you challenged yourself? Roy shares why he’s supportive of aggressively challenging the status quo—even if it ends in failure. Don’t miss his unique perspective!

Connect with Roy Anderson

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