Perk Up Your Procurement Chats

How to Discuss Procurement with Non-Procurement Pros

14 November 2023


Hello! Coffee Chats about procurement with non-procurement professionals can be an excellent opportunity to build understanding, collaboration, and alignment within your organization. If you’re thinking of meeting up for coffee to discuss procurement with colleagues or individuals who aren’t in procurement, we have some practical tips for you!

Simplify the Language:

Keep it simple when talking about procurement with non-procurement pros. Skip the fancy jargon and complicated terms that might confuse them.

Instead, use plain language to explain procurement concepts, like saying “We’re looking for the best suppliers to save money and work more efficiently” instead of “We need to optimize our supplier portfolio to achieve cost synergies.”

Understand Their Perspective:

To engage in meaningful discussions about procurement, it is important to actively listen and understand the perspective of your audience. Display a genuine interest in their experiences, challenges, and objectives. By showing that you care about their concerns and requirements, you can customize conversations to address their interests and align procurement with their goals.

Ask questions like, “How do you currently handle purchasing for your department? Are there any pain points or areas where you think we could improve?”

Provide Context:

Non-procurement professionals may not have a deep understanding of procurement processes and strategies. So, give them the context they need. Explain why procurement matters, how it helps the organization, and how it fits into the bigger picture.

Share an overview of the procurement process, highlighting key stages such as sourcing, contract negotiation, and supplier management. Explain how effective procurement practices can contribute to cost savings, quality improvements, and risk mitigation.

Use Real-Life Examples:

Make your discussions relatable and engaging by using real-life examples and case studies. Illustrate how procurement initiatives have positively impacted other departments or the organization. This can help non-procurement professionals see the practical relevance of procurement in their own work.

For instance, you can share success stories of how strategic sourcing initiatives have led to significant cost savings or how supplier relationship management has improved product quality and customer satisfaction.

Find Common Ground:

Identify areas where procurement intersects with the work of non-procurement professionals and highlight the shared goals and benefits. Emphasize how collaboration and alignment between departments can lead to better outcomes, such as improved efficiency, reduced risks, and increased value for the organization.


By simplifying the language, understanding their perspective, providing context, using real-life examples, and finding common ground, you can navigate these conversations smoothly and make them productive for all involved. Remember, effective communication is key to successfully discussing procurement with non-procurement pros. So, grab a cup of coffee, engage in meaningful conversations, and unlock the potential of procurement collaboration!