Kronos

Fostering customer confidence through a procurement maturity assessment

Summary 

Customer confidence is an advantage that few companies get to enjoy in the volatile business landscape created by COVID-19 and a host of other contemporary and lasting challenges. 

Having customer confidence on your side, however, can lead to greater resilience in the face of a crisis, a reputation that garners you a competitive edge, and a greater share of the global market.

It is in pursuit of these benefits that companies are turning their attention to fostering customer confidence, cutting out operations that create user uncertainty, and leveraging tools that purposefully boost user confidence. 

Where to begin? Fostering long-term customer confidence requires the optimisation of critical business functions that affect the final quality of the product or service a company offers. Procurement is one such function, and the most effective way to optimise the function is by starting with a maturity assessment.  
The link between procurement maturity and customer confidence: A company that achieves procurement maturity is an industry-leading innovator. Through the insights of a maturity assessment, they are able to operate more transparently, cost-efficiently, and with more effective resource allocation. This will, in turn, become more reliable quality standards, higher value addition, price stability, and a more ethical, conscious, and competitive business model. Factors that help capture and retain customer confidence.


Procurement maturity and the path to achieving this optimal operational model differs between companies. 

Naturally, a well-established company with several years of experience under its belt will have a very different trajectory to a company operating in the digital marketplace. But in the current landscape, with its global reach and many intricacies—companies are facing stiff competition, and regardless of what their procurement methodology may be, fostering customer confidence is a priority across the board. 

Confidence is a feeling that consumers are drawn to and crave from their purchases. This is true for both B2C and B2B companies, and the reasons why are clear. The market is in flux, the economy is uncertain, and in a global landscape that has now faced the rolling and unprecedented impacts of a pandemic, customer confidence is in short supply. 

Moving forward, the confidence a company is capable of inspiring in its audience is a vital step to dissipating the concerns consumers will have about the businesses they choose to interact with. 

Companies must rise to the occasion by turning their focus to creating customer confidence, eliminating processes and functions that exacerbate user uncertainty, and implementing tools that boost user confidence actively.  

Where to begin?

While every company has lofty end goals and benchmarks they want to hit, knowing where to begin—especially in a volatile landscape—is often half the battle.

This is especially true for the critical functions that drive a company’s strategic goals and innovation targets. Procurement is one such function that extends to most business processes and has a defining role to play in the bottom-line success of a company. 

How can procurement, a function that is critical but whose impact exists largely behind the scenes of a company’s final product or service output, affect consumer confidence?   

With a procurement maturity assessment, a company gains a comprehensive understanding of its procurement processes. This reveals which components of the function require further support and need to be optimised and augmented to reach the industry-leading expertise that will guarantee a competitive advantage against competitors. 

This, in turn, means that factors that can either boost or take away from customer confidence can also be recognised and manipulated for a company to reach its desired results.

How do you begin? With a procurement maturity assessment.  

The link between procurement maturity and customer confidence

Although a procurement maturity assessment is an analysis and does not create procurement transformation by itself, it is still a vital tool for a company to have in its arsenal to deliver strategic value. 

Procurement and the supply chain are internal operations that involve many moving parts and external players; from suppliers to procurement teams and the many functions of a company that rely on the smooth functioning of the procurement process. 

The global health crisis threw issues in the global supply chain into sharp focus when the effects of the pandemic led to breakdowns in supply chains everywhere. For many companies, this meant a drop in productivity and quality, and often, a complete halting of production—outcomes that will have a decisive impact on customer confidence. 

When companies leverage a procurement maturity assessment to identify risk factors, mitigate threats to their procurement operations, and create future-focused strategies, they benefit from more resilient business plans. These plans help a company move closer to procurement maturity, and closer to reaping the benefits of being an industry-leading innovator, on a more informed trajectory. 

With insights from an in-depth purchasing maturity assessment guiding the future of a company’s procurement function, organisations pave the way for business functions that are more prepared for challenges, are able to predict risks and mitigate them, and are more aware of the strengths and weaknesses of their operations. 

These value-added capabilities have short and long-term advantages for any organisation. 

In the short term, the insights gleaned from a maturity assessment will allow a company to operate with more transparency, cost efficiency, and allocate resources more effectively. In the long term, these advantages will turn into more reliable quality standards, opportunities to create higher value addition, more stable prices, and a more ethical and competitive business model. These are factors that capture customer confidence and are the values that contemporary consumers will recognise and look for in the companies they remain loyal to. 

Using a procurement maturity assessment as a strategic tool

The business landscape post-COVID-19 will only grow more uncertain and competitive in the new normal. 

Loyal customers will help organisations steady the course of their processes with their repeat purchases and trust in the quality of the product or service they receive. 
Companies can benefit from the advantages of improved customer confidence in an uncertain landscape by employing tools such as maturity assessments to support their procurement transformation.

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