By Paul Ellis, Managing Director, Wax Digital
Procurement and finance teams have a lot in common. In fact, procurement can trace its origins in finance. However, as the process for buying goods and services has matured, the relationship between these two functions can often become strained, and this is something with the potential to affect businesses across the world.
A popular theory about the tension between the two functions stems from finance’s continued insistence that procurement should be under its control. Indeed, as procurement is there to ensure money is spent well, surely that must be finance’s jurisdiction?
In this article, we’ll be looking at ways to stop any bad blood between the two departments, using data from a recent Wax Digital survey to support our findings.
Finance and procurement spending in summary
Finance has an important role to play when considering its relationship with procurement and a healthy business. They set spending limits for departments, business units and so on, and then, procurement finds ways of saving money through cost savings and cost avoidance measures.
Procurement typically manages this by leveraging purchase-to-pay systems, to link together ERP and purchasing systems – from purchase requisition, all the way through to invoice processing. This helps to centralise and automate many elements of purchasing, delivering the spend visibility needed to spot potential efficiencies (to the adage of you can’t control what you can’t see).
Once purchasing is complete, finance pays for the contracts that procurement has negotiated using a process called three-way matching. This is used to make sure the items ordered are what they received, and what the company needs to pay for.
What do finance and procurement think of one another?
In our recent CPO Viewpoint study, we surveyed finance, procurement and marketing professionals in over 200 companies about their relationships with one another.
The survey found that 66% of finance professionals believe that procurement teams are a hindrance to the overall objectives of their business. In fact, further data from the study showed that only a third of finance respondents feel that procurement actually helps with cost-saving – the vast majority seeing it as a support function to finance-led initiatives.
Conversely, procurement thought better of finance. 46% of procurement respondents said they had a ‘very close’ relationship with finance, compared to 22% of finance personnel saying the same about procurement.
How to fix the relationship between finance and procurement
Improving the relationship between the two departments is not a quick fix, and requires time, effort and a commitment from both parties. Here, we list some of our top relationship building tips that can bring finance and procurement teams together:
#1 – Use better awareness tactics
Adopting a proactive approach to sharing the positive impact procurement is having on the business is something purchasing departments should do. Not only will this approach get procurement in the minds of employees from elsewhere in the business, but it will also help demonstrate to finance the impact procurement is having on the bottom line.
You should take advantage of the wealth of data eProcurement tools available by leveraging the wealth of metrics they provide. Tools such as e-sourcing, analytics, SRM and savings trackers can be priceless in helping to automate, illustrate and ratify achievements for comparatively small investments.
#2 – Make sure you know who owns what
To prevent procurement and finance clashing over certain matters, it’s important to set out clear guidelines on who is responsible for what. That way you will avoid employees stepping on one another’s toes and duplicating efforts.
Furthermore, greater clarity regarding the two departments’ responsibilities ensures there is less chance that something will be missed – an unfortunate by-product of poor inter-departmental communication.
#3 – Improve communications
Establishing clear lines of communication between procurement and finance is a sure-fire way to prevent any tense situations between both teams. You should arrange regular meetings between departments to ensure that any concerns are voiced, and that resolutions are discussed. It’s easy to ignore alternate viewpoints and arguments if both teams remain in their separate echo chambers, but opening both departments up to each other’s philosophies and strategies could challenge the status quo and improve performance.
In addition, getting senior stakeholders to work collaboratively and to emphasise the need for cooperation is a great strategy, ensuring that key interdepartmental changes cascade down the business.
#4 – Collaborate on tech measures
Procurement and finance teams often have a silo mentality towards technology, failing to see the bigger picture or neglecting to share the benefits of new tools and services with other departments. By ensuring finance is involved in implementing new tools alongside procurement, both teams will realise their benefits and are more likely to use them collaboratively.
Utilising the same technology will also improve the chance that results and reporting are consistent and cohesive. Not only will this make the lives of senior management and stakeholders easier, it will reduce the possibility of conflict between finance and procurement if any discrepancies occur.
Choosing and implementing technology is also an opportunity to better integrate the two departments. By electing members of the finance and procurement teams as part of a committee to select and launch new technologies for the business, this will promote greater collaboration.
#5 – Review regularly
Implementing deep-rooted change in business is one thing, but maintaining it is another thing entirely. Regular reviews of the relationship between the two departments is key to ensuring that harmony becomes a core cultural trait within the business.
Conducting training days in which departments gather together to discuss their responsibilities and processes will give them a platform from which to demonstrate their importance and relevance within the wider business, so teams like finance and procurement can recognise one another’s value.
Finally, the actual members of the two departments should be asked about their views of their own practices and performance, and that of the other departments. By understanding the actual feelings of employees at all levels of the business, senior management will be better placed to make the improvements required to ensure a stronger relationship between finance and procurement.
With greater interdepartmental cohesion, both finance and procurement will be better placed to truly benefit the business.
The internet has set up brands at every corner of the street and getting people to visit yours is a mix of skill and art. The attempts to layout customer roadmaps to your brand which aren’t abandoned are not new and the struggles are the same as before. In fact, the struggle to have your brand heard has piled up as competition keeps emerging and viewer attention span keeps getting fragmented. This has led to a surge in brands using conventional advertisements to highly compress their message to the audience.
This is not the best gameplan to bet on. Ads are perceived by many as intrusive, insincere and housing an ulterior motive. The audience is bombarded with ads from every angle and making it shorter does not really help. Most people don’t react the same way to guest posting.
A guest post is a piece of brand journalism which lives on a publisher’s website. Sponsored posts are an advertorial piece of long-form writing that is created to be highly engaging. They avoid the intrusive and abrupt conventional-approach of ads and indulge in a more respectful and subtle modern-approach for recommending your services or products.
Choosing the right platforms to publish your guest post is crucial as the platform is seen as your partner and representative. Your chosen platform must balance between writing a blog post and a traditional advertisement, stray away from being intrusive and stick with being subtle and respectful. At Global Banking and Finance (GBAF), we offer the opportunity to bank on our decade-long experience and expertise in writing balanced content like this.
How Can Guest Posts on GBAF Help You?
Constantly investing time and effort into writing and publishing on your blog is great for fostering and strengthening your already existing audience relationship but this doesn’t help you reach a new audience.
Guest posting opportunities on our platform gives you access to an untapped audience base. This is a significant advantage in two ways:
- Familiarity: We have built our audience through our authentic, thought-provoking and storytelling writing nature. Our audience is familiar and receptive to this writing style. When we adapt your content in the same format, it allows your content to have better reception compared to traditional ads. Also, your content will adapt to the environment of content which makes it feel natural and less abrupt or intrusive.
- Trust: When a consumer learns about your brand through someone they trust (someone like a renowned brand, friend, some industry authority, etc), they are more likely to trust you, too. Our audience’s trust means a chance for your brand’s voice to be heard. It also means having customers who have completed their journey of brand choice. When they choose you, it will be an additional choice of transition from our platform rather than a new choice of approaching you. They only have to go half-way.
With amplified brand reach and redefined trust, your brand visibility and credibility will be boosted. We also help you boost visibility by leveraging our social media channels which currently have 135k followers and keep growing every day.
Another major area of impact when doing guest posts with GBAF is the focus, delivery and expertise of writing. The audience members will engage with your content much more than they do with your traditional ads. This will increase the chances of convincing the customers who doubt, skepticize and speculate becoming customers of your brand from afar. Writing to deliver your promotion with value-driven content also allows you to plug in a recommendation at a crucial point of the problem with your brand as the solution.
Lastly, value-driven content avoids the intrusive BUY THIS! style of writing. Here, the focus is on communicating your knowledge and therefore allows you to establish yourself as a thought-leader in your niche.
All of these combined benefits act as a catalyst to boost your brand reach, funnel attention to your brand, gain a competitive advantage and knock down all other challenges presented in separating yourself from your competition.
Brand adoption is slow. Abandoning an old familiar brand route for a new one is difficult. People rarely reach out to brands and they sprint the other way if they see brands reach out to them through conventional and dull ads. In such a deadlock scenario guest posts can provide the perfect strategy to bet on.
Why Guest Posting is Your Best Bet
In a scenario where new businesses are popping up everyday, one of the major challenges brands face is that of devising an organic and effective way to get the attention of their target audience. And one of the first solutions that comes to mind is the internet and consecutively, digital marketing. Even though its all-pervasive nature has made it both super-easy to reach people across the globe, the internet also comes with its own set of challenges. In this article, we will discuss the tough-to-crack parts of digital marketing, things that almost every brand representative or marketing executive has to face in the present date.
The oversimplification of digital communication has deceived many brands into believing that it’s the only way to reach their audience. However, the reality is hardly so. Today, there are more platforms and media formats than there have ever been before and newer ones keep emerging everyday. As a result, the netizens have developed a rapidly decreasing attention span. As a result, brands are wrestling to fit their message into as tiny a space as possible in what can only be called conventional methods of advertising.
For many brands, digital marketing proves to be an ordeal that takes years to crack, all the while draining the brand’s potential for more business and/or larger reach. It is worth noting that one of the major challenges that most businesses face is that of people avoiding ads altogether; no matter how good your ad is, chances are that people don’t want to see it, resulting in zero engagement. The second and bigger challenge is that short messages don’t convert those who are unaware of your brand, to brand loyalists. Instead, these ads are likely to affect only those who are already considering buying into what your brand is offering, which might be a small share.
This is where Global Banking & Finance Review (GBAF) comes in. We offer you the opportunity to overcome both the challenges (and more) in one go through our guest post services.
Guest Posts Have An Edge Over Normative Advertisements
Guest posts are advertorial pieces of long-form writing, created with an aim to engage the audience by taking away the impression of normative ads. How? Sponsored posting articles are so designed that they address the audience’s demands or queries, and also offer your brand as a solution instead of point-blank marketing. Consequently, this makes the audience spend a longer time engaging with your brand than they would do with, say, a pop-up ad. Through a guest blog post, your brand has the space to engage in a fair exchange because the article delivers value to your audience rather than being a conventional sales-driven advertisement.
To sum it up, sponsored posts fall right on the sweet spot between a blog post and a traditional advertisement on the spectrum of advertising.
Here’s Why You Should Run Guest Posts on GBAF
At GBAF, our team understands the importance of the environment in which your brand is introduced to an audience, something that leaves a lasting impact on their minds. It goes without saying that this very impression will influence and drive their future decisions on whether they want to engage with your brand and buy what you’re selling. Hence, it is our staff that is usually responsible for writing the posts that go up for your brand on our website. This allows for the sponsored post to merge in seamlessly with the existing content in our website instead of sticking out like a sore thumb. The aim in doing so is to create these posts in a way that does not distract or seem abrupt as guest posts are meant to be adaptive to an existing environment. So, even though it is essentially promoting your brand, a sponsored post is more of a brand journalism piece than an ad.
On our platform, we understand the importance readers attach to authenticity and value. This also allows GBAF to have a firm grip on introducing your brand effectively while simultaneously catering to the audience’s needs. Our team works around the clock to gain our audience’s trust by continually delivering authentic and value-driven content to our readers for more than a decade. When you partner with us, that resource pool is easy to tp into. When a consumer learns about your brand through a reliable source (for instance, someone like a renowned brand, friend, some industry authority, etc), they are more likely to trust you, too.
Why You Need to Take Guest Posting Seriously
When customers are largely in control of marketing conversations, traditional advertisement has lost its touch. How you educate your prospects and out-educate your competitors now win the battle and generate leads.
If you’re the spokesperson of a brand or if it is your job to tell a story that your customers care about, you know how important it is to be generous, to share your ideas on a platform that promotes storytelling, and to position your brand as the most trusted partner for your customers.
The challenge with quick, easy micro-copy is that it fails to make an impact. It’s like a quick-fix that we try to use in everything we do. However, quick-fixes don’t heal a burning pain-point. A thoughtful, easy-to-read, user-friendly guide does.
At Global Banking & Finance Review (GBAF), we help you help your customers. Here’s how.
Guest Posting: How it Works
Guest posting is the art of telling your story to your audience without shoving it down their throats. It’s not an advertisement, but a thought-leadership content piece that educates & promotes your brand to your target audience without interrupting them.
- Our editorial team works your content piece to present your brand on our website
- The sponsored articles adhere to the context, the tone, the voice of your brand and represent it in the way you’d like to portray to your audience
- The content piece is lucidly written and only does one job, i.e. educating your audience
- The piece is long-form of content that allows your target audience to engage with your brand longer (much more than an advertisement)
- It doesn’t distract, interrupt, or intrude the audience
- Sponsored posts are designed and articulated to solve the audience’s pain-point and showcase your brand as a solution-provider
Why Should You Run Guest Posts on GBAF?
GBAF is a platform that garners a community of over 135,000. Here are four reasons for which you should run guest posts on GBAF:
- We help you increase the engagement with your audience: We don’t depend on surveys to understand what your target audience wants. For the last ten years, we have been serving various kinds of readers. And we know them personally. Thus, we know how to place your content to increase engagement.
- We put your audience ahead of the marketing funnel: When you run an ad, you start from scratch. And as a result, the first step is always to start with the beginning of the marketing funnel. When you publish a guest post on our platform, your target audience already begins to trust you since we’ve put years of work in building the community.
- We help you generate leads: An ad is interruptive. When you submit a guest post on GBAF, it teaches instead. And directs the audience to take action. As a result, you generate more leads. In this era of marketing, the brand that educates better, profits more.
- We offer you cost-effective solutions: When you run sponsored articles on GBAF, you’re in charge of your budget. You decide how much you’d like to spend per month. And we support you with cost-effective solutions backed up with the results so that you can calculate your ROI upfront.
How to Submit a Guest Post on GBAF
- Check categories:
- B2B: CSR, Green Tech, AI & Big Data, Ongoing Training for Employees, Manufacturing
- B2C: Travel Destinations, Trends on Buying a Home, Working Remotely, Electronics
- Follow guidelines:
- Format: Word format
- Send at: [email protected] (or use this page to submit a guest post)
- Length: 750 – 1000 words
- Image: We need an image of the author (specifications: width – 800 px. & heigh – 600 px.) with original credits
- Additional requirements:
- Author Bio: Provide an author bio (name, title, affiliation, bio, and contact). You can add a link
- Profile: Give a brief overview of the company, key information about the company, major projects, certifications, and company logo. Please submit the profile in word format
We review your submission and if it adheres to our submission guidelines and quality standards, we will connect with you before publishing the article.
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