Why work with a procurement advisory and consulting firm

procurement advisory and consulting

As pressures grow on organisations to access better outcomes from their supply chain, business leaders face multiple dilemmas. Whether they have the skills and resources within their organisation to conduct significant procurement events is one of them, and if they decide to work with an external procurement advisory and consulting firm, who should they trust? The following article unveils some of the key considerations business leaders face when making the important decision of where to leverage procurement support services and how to ensure success.


What do procurement advisory and consulting firms offer?

Knowledge and expertise

As an alternative to relying on internal procurement teams, procurement advisory and consulting firms can offer a whole host of benefits to the buying organisation. These firms possess specialist knowledge across many procurement categories, including professional services, IT and HR. In comparison with internal teams, who may have a broader range of responsibilities, procurement consultants are experts in particular fields of spend, like customer management, and can often achieve better outcomes given that this is their main area of focus. This focus allows them to monitor industry trends, best practices, and emerging technologies. Their intimate knowledge and insights enable them to identify untapped opportunities, mitigate risks, and optimise procurement processes, which ultimately can lead to better buying for their client.

Efficiency and effectiveness

Engaging external procurement advisors can significantly enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of sourcing projects. These consulting and advisory firms streamline the procurement lifecycle by leveraging specialised tools and methodologies, from supplier identification to contract negotiation and performance management. Structured approaches and the use of proven frameworks enable faster decision-making, reduced cycle times, and improved outcomes, contributing to driving cost savings, operational excellence and better outcomes. The relatively low cost of external advice is usually recovered multiple times over through incremental savings and improved performance that would have been unobtainable using internal teams.

Objectivity and independence

External procurement experts can also offer clients ways to ensure their sourcing projects are objective and unbiased. Freed from the internal dynamics of an organisation, without the history and preconceptions, these advisors can assess suppliers objectively, challenge conventional thinking, and propose solutions tailored to the unique needs of a client. They may have networks of suppliers that the client has not been exposed to before or they may be able to offer solutions that are more cost-effective and have different commercial terms. By leveraging the experience of the procurement advisory and consulting firm, clients are able to ensure that they have a whole of market view and are able to explore all possible avenues available to them.

Industry insights, best practice and benchmarking

These specialist firms often also offer access to up-to-date industry insights, best practice and benchmarking. They may have rich datasets on current suppliers within the market, allowing businesses to benchmark their procurement practices, prices and outcomes against industry peers, identify areas for improvement, and adopt proven methodologies that drive competitive advantage. Small niche procurement advisory firms are often at the forefront of industry best practices and benchmarking standards. Clients can therefore gain valuable insights into leading edge strategies, performance metrics, and market trends through advisors’ experience and associations.

Knowledge transfer

Working with these organisations can have lasting impacts on internal teams through knowledge transfer. Advisors may be able to identify opportunities for improvement in internal processes and support clients to obtain more efficiency and efficacy. This in turn may help to build self-sustaining teams able to take on future projects with their newly acquired skills, with less reliance on external support. It should be noted here that the role a procurement and advisory consultancy can be tailored to the organisation’s requirements. Therefore, they can help you to understand the length of time and level of support that may be required, and whether having them there on an ongoing retainer may be the best way to ensure internal teams are supported or help them focus on other tasks.

Making your decision

In conclusion, the decision to enlist the support of external procurement advisory firms is a strategic imperative for firms seeking to enhance their competitive advantage and drive sustainable growth. Positioning external support isn’t always easy, but the ability to access certain benefits can be unattainable without specialist advice. While internal resistance to obtaining external support may pose challenges, these can be overcome through effective communication, collaboration, empowerment, and a results-oriented approach. By embracing the specialised expertise, objectivity, and innovation of niche procurement advisory consultancies, businesses can unlock new opportunities, optimise procurement processes, and achieve procurement excellence.

At tkg, we understand the challenges and concerns that organisations may have prior to working with an external firm to support with services procurement. This may include resistance from internal procurement teams, outdated processes and difficulty to understand the financial benefits. However, we are committed to taking the time to understand our clients’ needs and priorities and are able to tailor our services to meet the level of support that is required. With our in-depth knowledge of running procurement processes for clients and our up-to-date dataset and industry insights, we believe that we can remove the burden and strain from our clients and deliver them long-lasting and successful partnerships and results. We aren’t afraid to challenge organisations to dare to think beyond conventional boundaries, seek out experts and harness the power that procurement advisory and consulting firms and niche advisors can bring.

Talk to us directly.


Share this article