Spend Management Blogs by SAP
Stay current on SAP Ariba for direct and indirect spend, SAP Fieldglass for workforce management, and SAP Concur for travel and expense with blog posts by SAP.
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This is the month when we celebrate what we accomplished last year and ponder what we did not.

I like this time of year and view it as a gift. Automatically, annually, we are presented with the opportunity to assess the past and strive to improve the future.

When thinking recently about what 2019 holds, I found myself reflecting on certain core values of my company. One such core belief is that people and organizations that focus on purpose not only find their work and lives to be more meaningful, but also contribute more fully within the organization and the global community.

In seeking a purposeful focus for 2019, I’ve settled on elevating my approach by thinking like a fiduciary.

We may view the role of a fiduciary somewhat differently, but almost always one is thought of and is expected to be a role built on trust. A fiduciary is someone who carries a significant obligation if not a burden to serve others with purpose. Such as a duty to do what’s in the best interest of shareholders.

In many ways, this is very analogous to the role of the procurement professional. But too often, we may find ourselves approaching our function within the tight confines of a specific job description.

Many procurement professionals, regardless of industry, are responsible for managing spend that is a considerable percentage of their organization’s total revenue. If you are in a sourcing or procurement role, the business decisions that you make on a nearly daily basis do ultimately affect the P&L and share price. And in turn, this seems like a fiduciary function to me.

So perhaps the roles of a fiduciary and procurement professional are closely coupled. Therefore, with immediate effect, choose to unilaterally promote yourself into this mindset.

Many procurement professionals serve in organizations that have invested in technology including sourcing, purchasing and payables solutions. Such investment decisions are typically supported by extensive analyses that identify value levers, cost savings, process efficiencies, and other business benefits.

Few organizations however have realized all these benefits. Often, other corporate priorities arise during the lifecycle of system implementations which perhaps necessarily results in a diversion of resources and focus, nonetheless preventing the full realization of benefits when promised.

Commonly at stake is a significant portion of the expected return on investment. I ask, how do you now as your organization’s newest fiduciary approach this situation? 

Start this year by taking a fresh, invigorated look at finding new ways to approach value realization within your organization. As all too soon, it will be January 2020. And then, like now, we’ll celebrate what we accomplished in 2019 and ponder what we did not.