Purchasing Managers: How To Plan And Meet Your Goals In 2018

Posted by Hannah Broaddus

Setting goals is an important step to improving.

There are, of course, a number of different kinds of goals. You have personal goals for your life, and you have professional goals for your job. But they’re always entangled, some taking priority over others depending on the day.

The best way to achieve all of them is to lay them out separately, prioritize them, and then make a plan for how you can achieve every one.

Here’s a smart framework for purchasing managers to complete your goal setting for 2018-- not just for your job but also for your life.


Goal Planning: Start With Yourself And Work Outwards

Before you can plan your purchasing and procurement goals for your business, it’s helpful to have a look at the bigger picture of what you want in general. You are, of course, the person that’s going to have to accomplish these business goals, and it’s helpful to see how your professional development and personal goals will tie in on a day-to-day basis.

The best way to do this is to first plan your own goals, and then approach your business goals second. It will help you keep a positive perspective through the whole process.

The key is to start with yourself-- your inner most goals and work outwards towards your professional life. This structure was coined by Chris Brogran, which he discusses in The Owner's Life series. He implores that your goal setting process should look like a bullseye, moving from the inner most circle to the outermost.

1st Circle - Goals related to you and your higher power

2nd Circle - Goals that connect to you and the people you love the most

3rd Circle - Goals that relate to mentors -both your mentors and people you mentor who you’d work with for free

4th Circle - Goals that relate to your job, improving your performance, and doing better in your professional role.


Step 1: Make Goals Related To You And Your Higher Power.

What are you hoping to improve in yourself in 2018? Examples of these goals would be:

  • Improve my public speaking abilities
  • Loose 20 pounds
  • Run a half marathon
  • Meditate 20 minutes per week

What do you want to do that’s just for you? What makes you intrinsically happy or improves the quality of your daily life? Plan these things first.


Step 2: Make Goals Related To The People You Love The Most

These goals have to do with you, your family, your friends and how you’re spending your quality time.  Examples would be:

  • Take one vacation without my phone
  • Spend 2 hours every weekend with my kids
  • Call mom every Sunday just to check in
  • Plan a date night every month with my spouse

These goals are what keeps you happy long term-- satisfying those you love brings satisfaction to your own life. It also helps you keep your priorities straight.


Step 3: Make Goals Related To Your Mentors Or Mentoring

These goals are all about professional development. They’re a way for you to strategically plan how you will improve and select the teachers you want to learn from. These don’t have to be people immediate to you or in person-- they can also be people that you don’t know or may not see very often. These goals can also be a way to plan how you will give back to those who come after you too. Examples would be:

  • Follow successful purchasing professionals on LinkedIn and read one article per day
  • Ask someone in your organization to be your mentor
  • Offer to be a mentor for a younger purchasing professional
  • Read 2-3 books to improve on purchasing skills
  • Attend a procurement conference with educational session


Step 4: Make Goals Related To Your Business And Your Role

These goals have to do with business that you work for, so you will need to work with others to first understand the business’s overall goals and then make a plan for what you will need to do to help them succeed.

Sit down and brainstorm all of the goals you have for both yourself in your role, and your department as a whole. Examples of these goals would be:

  • Decrease the cost of our most expensive ingredient by 5%
  • Improve the efficiency of my sourcing process
  • Invest in a fork lift to increase efficiency
  • Provide training to my purchasing team on XYZ
  • Implement strategy meetings (including all new hires) in the purchasing department once a month to increase innovative and cost saving ideas.
  • Cut out all unnecessary meetings and instead, allow for 15 minute unscheduled small group planning talks throughout the week.
  • Work with R&D to see which ingredients we may be able to swap out to save money.
  • Implement a new inventory/purchasing system


Create A List Of Your Own Professional Goals

Go through this list after you’ve compiled it. Determine which ones relate to just you alone, which you can implement without any one else’s approval or involvement.

Looking at only these goals, prioritize and finalize them.

  1. Write your goals down.
  2. Put them somewhere you will see them everyday, like your wall or a desk drawer.
  3. Don’t purposefully share them with anyone.

Studies show that if you share your goals, you’ll actually be less likely to achieve them. Contrary to popular opinion, sharing your goals makes you feel like you’re “one step closer” to achieving them, even if you haven’t really done anything, which makes you less proactive. Keep them to yourself and you’ll be more likely to have success.


Create A List Of The Purchasing/Production Goals You Have

After that, create a list of the goals that are outside of your jurisdiction.

In your goal brainstorming, did you come up with any good ideas that would require a company investment or involvement from an executive to bring them into play? If you have any that you think are worthwhile, bring them to your boss or a company executive to discuss how you can achieve them as a department.


Create A Master List Of Tasks

blog20-checklist.jpgFrom the professional goal list above that you created, you now have an outline of what you want to accomplish at work. The best next step is to flush out that outline into a full fledged plan.

Under each goal (as if a sub-goal) write out the tasks that you'll have to do to complete them. These can be easy tasks or they can be big projects, with or without the rest of your team.

I have created yearly "task lists" from my original goals that have kept me on track year long. Each month I review these long task lists to see what I want to add to my list that month. Then a couple of times each week, I'm reviewing my monthly list.

Keeping yourself on track with your goals is the key. The easiest way to do that is to break it down into bite sized pieces and keep picking away at it, bit by bit!

Writing it down also keeps it out of your brain. The best thing to do when you're overwhelmed is to get it all out of your head and down onto paper. This helps.


Choosing The Right Time To Build Out Your Goals

This may sound odd, but it's going to be the most helpful piece of advice I can give today. Go on vacation -- by yourself -- before writing your goals. BY YOURSELF. Even if it's just a few days.

Then write your goals afterwards.

Having the downtime to decompress, re-group from stress, and be away from family and friends (and even well-meaning demands) is the perfect time to write these goals. It will help you center and decide what's really important to accomplish. You will find new insights you might never have otherwise.

The key is downtime. If you take your vacation in the summer, then swap your year around and do this goal planning in the summer. The "new year" means nothing to people who are good goal setters and consistently checking in with them. It's always a good time for goals, and the best time to set goals is after your brain has had the chance to have a time-out.

Trust me on this piece.


Happy New Year!


This article was originally written by me and published in 2015. It has been updated for the new year. I can tell you that personally, writing goals has only become more and more important for me -- both in my personal life and in my role at Centra Foods.

Topics: Business & Leadership



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