You have set up a new Procurement Engineering organization or you have identified some smart and engaged engineers / buyers and they will work in the future as Procurement Engineers. What are the first things you need to to in order to bring the organization up to speed and to create value. We have put together the most relevant things to do in the first 100 days.
Introduce PE to the R&D project leads
Invite all R&D Project Managers to a session where you introduce Procurement Engineering to them. Focus on how PE will help them to meet the project objectives as cost target, schedule etc. From my experience the single point of contact for all procurement relevant topic is advantage which should be highlighted. Share examples from your own experience where a kind of PE set up already resulted in good achievements.
Gather a list of projects and R&D projects leads
After you had your session with the Project Leads, reach out to them individually and ask them for their project forecast.
- How many projects are in the pipeline?
- What is the scope and the objective the single projects?
- How many parts will be part of a re- or new design which will be procured or manufactured by external companies?
- What is driving the new design – design to cost? Performance improvement?
- How time critical is the new development?
Identify the PE supporting each project
After you have gathered together all the information regarding the single projects; sit down with your team and define which kind of support for the project is necessary. You need to answer following questions:
- When is the right point in time to bring in the PE to the project?
- What are the focus topics for the PE? (Time to market, cost-out, find latest technology to support the required performance increase)
- How many PE‘s are necessary to cover the scope of the project?
- Who is the right PE to support the single projects? Which skill set is necessary?
- Which kind of support from the home organization is necessary?
Once you have compiled a list where you have assigned the single PE‘s to the project you need to introduce the PE(s) to the R&D project managers. Develop together with the R&D Manger and PE a common understanding what is the exact role of the PE in the project and what is the expectation on both sides. This is a very critical point. If you don‘t talk at this stage about each others expectation it could end up in a big disappointment if targets are missed.
Furthermore there should be a clear understanding / alignment between you, the PE, and the R&D Manager about
- Who are the key interfaces for the PE in the project
- Which are the meetings / sub-projects the PE should attend
- What are the first deliverables the PE should achieve
- What is the reporting line and who is managing the day-to-day work
- How shall the PE introduced to the project
In future articles I will talk about first PE tasks and deliverables in a R&D project.
Key take-away: If you have just set up a new PE organization ensure that the relevant R&D managers understand the value of your organization and make your self familiar with the upcoming projects which need PE support and carefully assign the right people. Ensure that there is no mismatch regarding each other expectations (Engineering vs. Procurement).