How to use networking strategically in public procurement
Whilst this may sound obvious, it’s important not to overlook the value which networking can bring to the public procurement process.
Networking offers procurement professionals and organisations the chance to interact with their peers and industry leaders to find out how real value can be created through the public procurement process.
Here are four ways to use networking strategically in public procurement:
Put yourself out there by attending events
Top of the list is making sure that you’re putting yourself out there regularly and attending good old-fashioned networking events. They exist in every industry – including procurement – for good reason: because they provide enormous value when it comes to building your network.
Moreover, networking events give you the chance to engage with the wider industry by interacting with like-minded individuals, peers and market leaders. They also present an excellent opportunity to gain specific insights that you can use in the future. At these events, everyone is on the same page and chances are that your fellow delegates will be just as eager to discuss and analyse the ideas presented throughout the day as you are.
Keep an eye on our events diary for any procurement networking opportunities.
Utilise social media to grow your network
Social media is also a great networking source. Platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn can expand your network by bringing together contacts from around the world that share a common interest or are involved in the same field.
Twitter is a great way to participate in these industry-wide discussions and to follow the pulse of public procurement by connecting with others who are asking the same questions and have similar priorities.
LinkedIn is also a great platform to expand your knowledge on public procurement by joining relevant groups. There are a number of showcase pages on LinkedIn, including our own, which feature commentary and analysis on the latest developments in the industry and which will put you in much closer contact with those who are discussing procurement in greater detail.
Build a network which covers your blind spots
Networking events and social networking also give you a valuable opportunity to significantly expand your knowledge of the procurement industry, which will have a number of benefits in the long run.
It’s important to build strategic relationships with those in your network who can fill the gaps in your own knowledge and whose experience you can draw on to help you make better decisions in the future. Additionally, expanding on your core area of expertise will allow you to become more commercially aware and help put you in the best position to take advantage of relevant opportunities when they arise.
Mix it up with the market leaders
Just as networking events give you the chance to showcase best procurement practice, so do procurement competitions and they afford an excellent opportunity to network with the procurement industry’s leaders.
There are a number of procurement competitions taking place regularly throughout the year including national competitions such as the GO Awards as well as industry-specific ones such as ADS’ Supply Chain 21 programme.
Participating in these competitions is not only an excellent way to network with those who are in the procurement industry who have the same objectives, but it also gives your organisation the chance to increase visibility whilst measuring yourself against the market leaders in procurement.