It's not uncommon for CEOs, investors, and owners to see managers in procurement, HR, finance, and other departments that aren't directly tied to revenue as an overhead cost instead of an asset. Especially with the advancement of ERP and CRM software which has made it easier to track and manage data, these managers are often seen as a hindrance to the company's bottom line.
However, they couldn't be more wrong. What many of these CEOs, investors, and owners don't realize is that the data these managers produce can be incredibly powerful. With the right strategies in place, managers and the like can easily prove their value and show just how important they are to the company. Below are a few tips on how to do just that.
Use ERP and CRM software to your advantage
The first step to take is to focus on producing quality data. While advanced ERP and CRM software makes it easier to track and manage data, not all companies are taking advantage of this or using it to its fullest potential. Focus on using that data to improve margins, make strategic decisions, and increase profits.
Once you have your data, it's important to use it in a way that will actually benefit the company. Even if you have the most amazing data in the world, it won't do any good if no one knows about it or understands it. This is where many managers fall short – they produce quality data but don't turn that data into actionable insights.
Finally, make sure you are communicating your findings effectively. This information can then be used to increase a company's margins, affect strategic decisions, and improve profits so make sure the company understands it. In other words, use data to prove that you are absolutely essential to the success of your company.
Boost positive morale among employees
It's no secret that employees are more productive when they're happy. And what makes them happy? Feeling like their work is valuable and that they're appreciated. When your team feels appreciated, they will be more likely to go the extra mile and do whatever it takes to help the company succeed. As a manager, it's an often overlooked part of your job to help boost morale among your team and show them just how important they are to the company. Not only will this make them happier, but it will also make them more productive.
Focus on TCO
When evaluating projects, it's important to focus on the TCO (total cost of ownership) instead of just the initial cost. This will help you to make better decisions that take into account all of the costs associated with a project. For example, there is little point in hiring a low-salary employee if their productivity is low and they cause long-term loss. Another example would be a deal that is initially low in price but will cost more long term.
As a manager, it's your job to focus on the big picture and what's best for the company. Focusing on TCO will help you to make better decisions for the company as a whole.
Start thinking long term
Rather than making reactive decisions with only short-term gain in mind, start thinking about long-term strategies and planning ahead. Understanding the market of your sector and planning decisions based on what will happen in six months to a year will prepare you to meet demands or slowdowns. This will help you to improve processes and make decisions that will benefit the company for years to come.
Communicate with upper management
Finally, it's important to communicate with upper management and ensure they understand your value and what you bring to the company. CEOs and business managers are often in charge of making decisions that are independent of procurement managers. By reaching out to your CEO or upper management, you can provide the insight to help better align the company towards its goals. Additionally, this can bring transparency to the system, especially when you come armed with data that shows a better strategy.
The data that managers in procurement, HR, and finance produce can be incredibly powerful when used correctly. With the right strategies in place, this data can easily be converted into insights showing just how important these individuals are to the company. By using ERP and CRM software to your advantage, focusing on positive morale among employees, and thinking long term, you too can start proving your value as a manager!
So there you have it! A few new strategies to implement to position yourself as an asset instead of an overhead cost. Another thing to consider is that to be a successful manager, it's important to understand and focus on the total cost of ownership (TCO) when making decisions. This will help you to make better choices for the company in the long run. In our next blog post, we'll go into more detail about what TCO is and how you can use it to your advantage.