Procurement: Looking Ahead


Author: Margaret Gilbert

Previous articles have looked at the need to plan, to prepare and implement a procurement strategy.  The question is: what then?

Implementation is key and has to be planned for just as much – if not more  than the plan itself.  It is easy to think that the time should be put into the short term requirements rather than long term. After all short term means now. However, more attention might need to be given to long term requirements as the issues might be bigger and require more lead in, budgeting and research.

So, are you ready or have you ‘won’ and have not looked ahead sufficiently to be able to best implement.

Useful checklist:

  1. Do you have the resources?
  2. Do you have the budget?
  3. Do you have the staffing?
  4. Do you have the research skills?

Equally, having awareness of risks is essential and having a plan to mitigate such risks has to be a part of the planning process.

If the answer is no, then work is required to be put in. Communicating to staff frequently is key.  As a procurement practitioner do you need input before implementing? If so obtain before starting.

Throughout an eye should be kept on progress and regular reviews undertaken. This will give you the opportunity to assess progress – or otherwise – and to be able to make relevant changes.

Useful timeframe – short term:

  1. Start date
  2. Regular progress dates
  3. Completion date
  4. Contract close out

Useful timeframe – long term:

  1. Research
  2. Budget over multiple years
  3. Site visits
  4. Report and recommendations
  5. Changes and updates
  6. Training
  7. Testing
  8. Review
  9. Completion
  10. Contract close out

A question: Is there a Plan B? There should be for both product/service and people. It is unlikely that the long term strategy will remain the same. Circumstances change so the ability to adapt is essential.

For high risk it may well be that time has to be put aside if the risk is too high and to plan for later once the risk has been reduced.

By completion, adapting of yourself as well as adapting of the strategy will be required. In turn this shows the need to again look ahead. This is the life of a procurement practitioner.

There will always be the next procurement which will require a plan and implementing this is applicable for both procurement and procurement practitioner.

By the time the short, medium and long term strategy is completed a new strategy will be required. Being prepared is key to achieve outcomes. You will then be asking yourself what then?

The implementation can be more difficult than the preparation of a strategy – but doing one without the other is a waste of time and resource.


Margaret’s book ‘Contract Matters: A Future for Procurement’ is available through or , $30 book, $15.00 for e-book.


About Author

Procurement and Supply Australasia (PASA) is the leading provider of information and education to procurement and supply professionals throughout Australia and New Zealand. PASA supports the largest community of engaged procurement stakeholders in the region, through its renowned series of events, publications, awards, plus various community and network building activities. PASA is a trading name of BTTB Marketing, for many years recognised as the leading producer of conferences and events for the procurement profession in Australia and New Zealand. Whether producing under the BTTB, CIPSA Conferences or now PASA brands over the last ten years, our events have consistently led the market in terms of both educational and networking opportunities.

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