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5 Steps to Establish a Winning Annual Procurement Plan 


By Sean Harley - 20-year procurement consultant - LUPR CEO and Co-founder

The value of an annual plan was emphasized to me the other day when my wife and I took our five-year-old son, Daniel, to his first day of kindergarten. We were part of a somewhat amazed group of parents watching intently as the teacher explained her annual curriculum and related school requirements. She then painted a picture for us of the learning arc our kids would experience over the course of the year. How they would move from being somewhat rusty at letters and numbers after summer distractions to become basic readers and mathematicians by next spring. She was able to communicate with both audiences, parents and students. Most of us were mesmerized by her foresight and attention to detail. How exciting and how sensible to start with a vision and a plan!


In my case, I left there with a new energy to apply sound insightful procurement planning to my work with clients. Many companies have an opportunity to take a similarly proactive approach to annual procurement objective-setting and planning. By undertaking a formal process, we can identify the projects that will deliver the following year’s worth of savings and other desired benefits.


Here are the 5 key elements I employ with clients to develop annual plans that yield 3 - 10% annual reductions on total procured costs.

Step 1

Refresh Spend Analysis – Some of you may already have an established process with a monthly or quarterly refresh cycle. If not, this is a great time to start an ongoing spend analysis program.


Step 2

Engage Stakeholders in the Process – This is the natural time of year to meet with colleagues who have a stake in supplier outcomes and get their input on needs for the upcoming year, performance improvements, and other objectives that can be supported by procurement.

Suggested approach: Interviews with individuals or small groups of stakeholders


Step 3

Reassess Strategies – Look for at least a few major changes in strategy across your entire spend portfolio. Different results usually require a different approach. Look for areas to bring an enhanced level of competition (e.g., from globally competitive suppliers) or opportunities to establish strategic partnerships where relationships have traditionally been transactional in nature.

Suggested tool: Kraljic Purchasing Strategy Model


Step 4

Prioritize Opportunities – Use a prioritization matrix to assess each opportunity by impact and feasibility. Here is where we can further engage stakeholders in a workshop-style meeting to assess each opportunity by likely savings yield, risk, other strategic benefits, effort, and timing of benefits.

Suggested tool: Procurement Prioritization Matrix and Chart

Step 5

Formalize your Plan - Document a plan with clear work streams, milestones, and resource requirements. Publish the plan to management and other relevant departments. This is where we get clear about our intentions and convince the organization we will deliver the anticipated results.

Suggested tool: LUPR – Salesforce-based Supplier Management Platform that enables you to enhance supplier value through collaboration among buyers, suppliers, and internal stakeholders.


While this takes some effort, the payoff in readiness and results are tangible. The right set of tools and templates make this process easier and more effective.


Again, we wish all of you, a successful year ahead and happy holidays! Feel free to contact me for more information.

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