Most businesses that outsource their procurement services do so to try and get the same expert level of services that they get when they outsource legal and IT functions. This is different from cases where businesses outsource services such as human resources just to cut costs. While there will be a cost-reduction benefit by reducing the headcount, outsourcing procurement helps the business get highly skilled professionals to handle their acquisition. This is great when companies want result-driven work and need specific KPIs met. Businesses of all sizes could be interested in outsourcing, and it could work well for them depending on how well they incorporate professionalism in the process.
The benefits which come from outsourcing include getting value for your money, integrity, professional conduct, improved contract management and early detection of procurement fraud. However, you will only get these benefits when you get qualified procurement experts to outsource your processes. In addition to being highly qualified, they should also be enrolled in ongoing professional development courses to keep their skills up to date. If the procurement outsourcing service is working with non-procurement personnel in your office, make sure that they also learn about procurement processes.
Take code of ethics seriously
Procurement mistakes can land your business into huge problems with the government. Ethics go beyond merely complying with a set of guidelines, policies, rules, and regulations. When procurement officers have a code of ethics which they follow seriously, they are open, have integrity, and their behaviour is transparent at all times. They will not sweep small errors under the carpet because they are afraid of the implications. They always put the reputation and value of your business first. If the staff you are outsourcing your business to does not meet these standards, you will not achieve much by outsourcing.
Deal with conflicts of interest
When hiring professionals from outside to handle procurement for you, you have to make sure that they align with your business values. Ensure that issues such as conflicts of interest and confidentiality declarations are made on all projects and aren't a one-time thing. It is also good to let everyone participate in probity and procurement fraud training, especially if the non-procurement staff is part of the outsourced projects.
Outsourcing procurement processes will only be as valuable as the amount of investment and education that you put into the process. As long as you insist on quality over cutting costs, the venture will bring you value in the end.