If you can’t track it, don’t measure it
Procurement Network interviewed Kristopher Wozniak, a seasoned Procurement Executive and Managing Director of Procurement and Contracts Division. A firm believer of data driven decision making, Kris has applied his 12 years Procurement career in developing a number of software packages, including a spend analytics platform that is widely used in the Australian Local Government Sector. Kris is no stranger in delivering excellent outcomes, in 2011, Kris led a multi – billion Procurement for the Parramatta Square, which the Prime Minister of Australia named the project as Sydney’s second CBD. Over his career, Kris has ran over 181 tenders equalling to $23.2 billion worth of spend and has trained over 1600 staff in Procurement and Contract Management.
What excites you the most in procurement profession?
Our profession constantly evolving and for the right reasons. There is a new shift in many organisations across Australia who are now realizing the importance of Procurement and the efficiencies it can bring, you just need the right Procurement folks to drive a transformational change.
What criteria, apart from those commonly used, would you recommend for suppliers' performance evaluation?
I will start off with a quick tip. If you can’t track it, don’t measure it. Too many times have I seen performance indicators that just don’t make sense. A good KPI should be complete, clear, measurable and focus on the outputs/specifications.
Within the Australian Government sector, there is a large push to report on benefits realization, but not many Procurement folks understand how to apply it. My performance indicator of choice is tracking benefits to the local community in the form of jobs creation, economic value and community programs. For every $1 dollar spent within your local community, you see a direct benefit of $3 dollars in return and that is why I track this within most contracts.
In our everyday routine work, how to stay constantly aware of market's changes? Any hints you would recommend?
I stay up to date and current by Googling “Procurement News”. This search brings up the many challenges that are faced within our Profession on a global scale. A tip to monitor market conditions is to talk to your top 20 suppliers and form a strong relationship. Many times have I walked into an organisation and there is the standard “supplier” vs “buyer” mentality. Form relationships and reap the benefits.
When you negotiate a deal, how important it is to study the supplier and the product/service it offers in advance? How does that contribute to the final result?
I don’t study the supplier’s product or service at all. The rationale behind that is so what is on the table (either in the form of a tendered offer or proposal) is discussed. I learn about the offer then and there, as I get the supplier to explain the offer in a way that makes sense to me and the team. By doing so allows me to understand the supply chain in full and identify areas we can reduce the cost through the value chain. I do study our business need before going into the negotiation, so I know where to draw the line and walk away. By taking this approach allows me to form strategic partnerships with key suppliers from the outset. Supplier’s walk away feeling like we are trying to work with them to reduce the cost and not against their profit margins. 70% of the time, we discover a new and efficient way of doing things or the cost is reduced by more than a BAFO would have achieved.
What would you advise to junior procurement professionals?
IWhen I served in the military, I got deployed to Afghanistan for a six month rotation. When I got off the aircraft, the first thing I remembered was a Warrant Officer telling us “get comfortable, being uncomfortable”. I have lived my life every day through this little pearl of wisdom. In the early stages of my Procurement career, I had an excellent mentor and boss that gave me many opportunities. I could have sat back and just did my job, but I was motivated to do more. Have a great attitude and take on as much as you can and you will reap the career benefits.