Each Head of Procurement is one of a kind, and their DIY centre is their world.

In other words, each Head of Procurement of a DIY centre has a personal operating code, their own key, and that is what gives them such exclusiveness, which sets them apart from the rest and proves their professional worth above others’.

Indeed, we could call this their business instinct, an ability to lead and strategically manage material procurement, while handling large sums of capital.

Piece of cake.

That is all quite true and desirable.

And now that we know what the magical touch is, let’s venture into the rational and highly competitive terrain of the generic keys that define, according to training and performance, the recipe to be a good procurement professional in a DIY chain.

Because, even when you have a gift, you may find it impossible to hold to the position setting the pace and rhythm in a DIY centre, if that gift is not cultivated.

A good DIY Head of Procurement proves their instincts while working.

A good Head knows that they need allies with impeccable professionalism, so that their department works at full capacity and goes in the right direction. For the Head of a DIY Procurement Department, those allies are the suppliers.

The best ones are not found precisely by chance, you have to sniff them out, put them to the test, and keep standards very high. The Head of Sales is willing to do their best, and their team has to follow at the same pace.

The first key to the success of a DIY Head of Procurement is efficiency in their search for suppliers who, in turn, must prove their efficiency to be selected. Instinct may guide you in this quest, but facts will be decisive.

When a Head of Procurement is looking for the best suppliers, the field would lead them to an unstable scenario that, while offering the best possibilities, may bring down the greatest enthusiasm, the most entrenched criteria, and the keenest instincts, if they keep searching for too long. More precisely, this is called the supplier plantation, in which suppliers keep sprouting everywhere.

The danger is real, and the ability to keep and discard is a real struggle for professional survival. This will be dealt with later on, but it would be best to take note of the idea: it is better to manage a few well-chosen suppliers than a lot of them ‘just in case’. Success or chaos, your choice.

How do you know if a supplier is worthy of making it to the agenda of the Head of Procurement?

Plain and simple, if they proved to be worthy: meeting delivery deadlines, being proactive in introducing new products, and providing material in stock for that target that comes to the centre to buy handles and ends up getting all the sets necessary to assemble their whole wardrobe. It is true every time that the proof of the pudding is in the eating.

Let’s go back to the second key to success for the Head of Procurement of a DIY chain: efficient supplier management.

If you consider only the above, it looks quite simple, doesn’t it?

It turns out that it is often not the case. Many Heads of Procurement go into the supplier search and selection with the best intentions, and end up being overwhelmed by an absolutely unmanageable agenda.

Knowing how to search and doing it efficiently is a must. Otherwise, one of the allies with the greatest weight in sales management strategy ends up becoming a burden, when their role is actually the opposite: they represent the first step in the process that ends in actual sales.

Field work is necessary, filters are essential, and standards are imperative. Only through these three steps, will it be possible to make up a balanced supplier agenda, that is, an exclusive list for the Head of Sales to be in direct contact with each and every one of the suppliers, and to have a deeper professional knowledge that will produce better results for both. In simple terms, efficiency.

The fourth key to success for a Head of Sales is also focused on efficiency, but in this case, in the logistics chain. It is another of the heavyweights in sales management strategy and, in many cases, a major player.

The logistics chain is responsible for managing product flow from the suppliers, to storage and distribution, to the DIY chain shelves, and finally, to the customers. This includes many sensitive points that must be managed with a single criterion and a comprehensive vision, so that the organic structure of sales management is efficient and effective.

And that’s not the end of it, it is not enough yet. In addition, logistics must be dynamic and innovative. It must offer an exclusive experience to its direct client, the Head of Sales, which will end up in a better experience for the end consumer.

By this way, logistics companies, as an association of transporters, have been left behind − far, far behind; trust me − now, the logistics professional offers an exclusive service, like a tailored suit. Product flow management remains the same but has nothing to do with transport any more. Now, the product can arrive at the DIY chain already assembled, like a display window, for the consumer to see. The closest thing to pulling it off at the first attempt.

Customers know they are being taken into account, they are the star. Keeping that in mind is another key to the success of a Head of Sales, who will strive to offer accurate, direct and customised information.

For the technological-era customer, DIY chain shelves are no longer wild territory, and the Head of Procurement is aware of it. They know they stand before a generation of highly-informed customers, where omnichannelity does its job and can benefit us all.

And this is where the fifth key to the success of the Head of Procurement of a DIY chain comes in: sustainability.

That informed customer is not a newcomer, and they know what they want, and why. As in other aspects of life, customers of the third decade of the 21st century seek products of excellent quality, both in materials and design; preferably, of national manufacture, and with transparent resource and waste management.

The Head of Procurement of a DIY chain in the third decade of the 21st century also knows what they want and how to get it. They know how to trust their instincts and update them constantly. It is the spirit of the times, and it probably never was so exciting to take part in the product flow from the supplier to the customer; and the future looks promising.