Procurement is the process where management identifies and buys products, software, services, or outsourced help to fill company gaps. Generally, these ‘gaps’ usually relate to a shortage of resources, lack of expertise, or compliance requirements. Additionally, because of the competitive landscape, most gaps will have multiple solutions on the market—hence the need for process-driven evaluation and procurement.
Within a company’s IT department, procurement works like any other. It involves recognizing the necessity for certain resources and then evaluating potential options against their associated costs.
To that end, let’s break down the benefits an organization can enjoy by outsourcing these services.
In its simplest form, procurement refers to the process by which businesses purchase products or services. Although this might appear different across industries, the underlying principle driving procurement is the same, even in IT.
So, what is IT procurement specifically?
IT procurement typically involves identifying and installing a company’s software stack, obtaining the necessary hardware for the team, and ensuring the company has the appropriate security and hosting measures necessary to operate efficiently.
The procurement process is typically broken down into four steps:
For many businesses, in-house procurement is a demanding task that requires substantial resources to manage these processes accurately. With multiple moving parts and disparate processes to keep track of, businesses often uncover gaps in their internal procurement pipelines, which minimizes the efficacy.
Smaller companies especially often lack the expertise needed to handle these processes effectively. For instance, procuring the appropriate number and type of routers to establish a WiFi connection at a 50-person company in a single building will look different than at a 1,000-person company spread across multiple sites.
Such challenges push businesses to outsource IT procurement services to streamline the entire process and minimize the strain on their internal staff.
Until recently, businesses limited their outsourced budget to handle rote tasks (like repetitive data entry or customer service) or to provide highly specialized services (such as tax accounting). Today, however, companies recognize the value of outsourcing most business processes outside of their core competencies.
By outsourcing to hyper-specialized partners, not only do businesses gain the expertise needed, but they also save on operational costs. Unlike an internal hire, an outsourced partner won’t mean additional payroll tax, HR bandwidth and more hardware.
Outsourcing procurement services also means tapping into teams that have a more focused skill set, experience and exposure, enabling them to implement faster and smarter processes that streamline the entire pipeline.
Noted above are a few high-level benefits of outsourcing. Let’s dive a little deeper into the top five advantages:
Rather than spending on additional staff to complete procurement tasks, businesses can outsource them to a specialist. From an operational perspective, a team of procurement experts can complete task-based processes faster, follow up on delays with greater efficiency and oversee the process from start to finish—saving significant resources in the long term.
Furthermore, it’s much easier for a company to scale up and down its procurement operations when they’re outsourced. A business can circumvent the risk of employee turnover and loss of institutional knowledge by outsourcing to a company with a proven track record of success in implementing these processes.
External expertise enables companies to achieve better procurement outcomes, whether that’s through finding alternatives for suppliers who run out of products or identifying cheaper, scalable solutions for long-term efficiency. This expertise goes beyond the sourcing process, too. When you invest in procurement service providers, you leverage pre-built systems that track the many moving parts and measure success after implementation.
When procuring items in the IT space, speed and efficiency matter. For a company looking to install a large-scale, secure network in its new site, any delays could impact the anticipated move-in date and delay plans.
Working with the right provider can minimize these delays, allowing the business to focus on its objectives, such as releasing new products, meeting quarterly goals, or scaling operations.
Similarly, it’s much easier to mitigate risks when procuring products or services through an external specialist. In many cases, these procurement specialists are knowledgeable and well-versed in regulatory compliance requirements.
Additionally, procurement service specialists are more proficient at safeguarding the privacy and integrity of sensitive company data in compliance with regulations like the PCI DSS or SOC 2.
IT procurement is an essential component of scaling business operations. From purchasing hardware (laptops, servers, or workstations) to licenses for software tools and antivirus or anti-malware programs, there’s a need to meet the IT demands of a growing employee base.
However, it’s not just about purchasing these items as the need arises. Understanding how to acquire these items efficiently—and at scale—will help streamline the company’s expansion. Outsourcing these services during periods of growth or contraction increases the flexibility with which the company can scale its operations.
So, how can you choose the right provider for outsourced procurement services? Key considerations include:
Your preferred procurement outsourcing provider should align with your organization-specific objectives and goals to minimize misunderstandings that could hinder the effectiveness and success of acquiring products or services.
Any business can develop a robust procurement pipeline by finding a reliable outsourcing partner like Helixstorm. With Helixstorm’s IT procurement services, you can confidently anticipate well-researched and sourced equipment or services to meet your growing needs.
Besides improving operational efficiency by saving precious time and reducing unseen costs, partnering with Helixstorm will help you strategically scale your business for long-term success.
Contact us to learn more about our services.