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First 100 days of the Chief Procurement Officer


First 100 days of the Chief Procurement Officer

Team Enabling Procurement has had the opportunity to work with a number of CPOs in their first 100 days (and many times 100 days before their day 0) as we are often involved with Investors and Boards looking to transform their supply chains. Here, we reflect on the common steps that we have seen the successful CPOs take in their early days to set their department up for success:

  1. Building relationships and capturing business priorities: Successful CPOs know very well that building relationships is critical to their role. They take the time to meet with stakeholders across the organization, including finance, operations, and other business units, to make a good first impression, and to understand their priorities and how procurement can support them.
  2. Understanding the current supply chain: They put active efforts in the first month to understand the current state of their supply chain. This includes understanding the spend, the supplier relationships, contracts, and the category strategies.
  3. Articulating procurement strategy: Once they have developed a basic understanding of the current state and stakeholder priorities, they develop a procurement strategy that aligns with the broader business strategy. This strategy often includes vision, objectives, and key performance indicators (KPIs).
  4. Getting the quick wins: Quick wins can come in form of renegotiating contracts, identifying cost savings opportunities, or streamlining procurement processes. Delivering quick wins help develop the credibility of the department with the key stakeholders. Especially, when it’s a case of building a new procurement function, CPOs have only 1 chance to get things right and prove value – otherwise business stakeholders often go back to doing things the way they have always done.
  5. Building the team: Winning CPOs know that their success ultimately depends on whether they have a credible team around them. So in the early days, they take time to assess the skills and capabilities of their team and identify any gaps. Based on that, they develop a plan to build the skills and capabilities of the team and consider whether any staffing changes may be necessary to support their procurement strategy.
  6. Building the technology muscle: High performance procurement teams today have a big reliance on technology. Securing budget for new technology requires some upfront planning and gaining stakeholders buy-in. Seasoned CPOs therefore take active interest in forming an early point of view on the current technology state, understanding the gaps that need to be addressed, and the readiness of the business to embrace the change.

While there is no single formula to be successful in the role of a CPO, as a combination of variables come together to ultimately decide the overall fate of the journey, we think that having a playbook to implement in the first 100 days always helps in maximising the chance of a successful journey ahead.

If you would like to know more about how Team EP partners up with the CPOs in their first 100 days to deliver success, please contact