Breaking Silos to Deliver Maximum Enterprise Benefit
As an organization grows and become more complex, new teams are created to focus on specific objectives. Teams grow and turn into an elaborate network, with multiple layers of workers doing very particular tasks.
These departments develop into specific skills team and eventually retain very low visibility of the organization’s operations beyond their own silos. At this point it becomes very challenging for the company to attain the maximum enterprise benefit.
- Coordination must be strong at the very top and objectives are aligned. Cascade of objectives down to the last layer in the workforce must reflect those aligned objectives.
- Leaders must agree on a mechanism to determine the right balance of conflicting objectives, and employees’ performance must be assessed based on optimizing this balance.
- Equip employees with the right tools to provide visibility of other areas’ operational status, and the ultimate enabler is having a network of systems that talk to each other.
So what can Purchasing do to support this?
- When sourcing for a particular service, spend some time to understand and identify what other departments would require the same services and leverage on the consolidated volume.
- Understand the objectives of each stakeholder, note differences if there are any. If maximizing the benefit of one, degrades that of the other, bring them together and align on the right balance. Use total cost of ownership to demonstrate the total cost, risk or benefit to the company.
- For Multi-site organizations, increase coordination and collaboration with other teams of the same functions.
Achieving the maximum enterprise benefit must be a top-down approach that is embedded in the overall objective of the organization. As it gets cascaded down to the grassroots, care must be taken to ensure that the fundamental goal is clear and is understood well by the ones who implement the actions required to meet these goals.