Key Responsibilities of a Sourcing Project Manager

POSTED ON September 9, 2021

Like any other business function, procurement has to deliver value. When it comes to procurement or sourcing, it is important for any organization to plan and execute effectively, engage with all stakeholders and ensure that the chosen suppliers provide value to the company. Due to these reasons, project management is a crucial part of sourcing. The bigger the size and more complex the nature of your sourcing project, the more you need a professional project manager. Having an experienced procurement project manager on board will ensure on-time delivery, quality compliance and overall success.

If you are sourcing from China, you definitely need on-the-ground project management support to overcome all the challenges you face when sourcing from a foreign country with major language and cultural differences. The key responsibilities of a procurement project manager include:

Initiate the procurement project: When there is a new sourcing project, you assign a project manager so that they can initiate the sourcing project. The sourcing manager would get all the stakeholders together and define the scope and objectives of the sourcing project. They will also outline the key expectations and set timelines for the project.

Develop an efficient sourcing plan: One of the most important things a sourcing project manager do is to develop a comprehensive sourcing plan. This plan aligns all stakeholders and sets expectations at the very onset. The plan should outline each and every process involved in procurement and post-procurement as well. It must include every step right from supplier selection, to shipping and delivery. The plan would act as a single point of reference for everyone involved in the procurement process.

Coordinating internal stakeholders: When you are undertaking a complex procurement project, it would normally involve multiple parties that someone has to ensure complete coordination between all of them for smooth running of project.  The internal stakeholders include the business owner who initiates procurement and the personnel within their organization such as from compliance, finance, and other departments. The project manager identifies all the internal stakeholders and engage them at the right stage during the procurement process.

Vendor management: Some large and complex procurement projects, there a multiple vendors involved. So, it becomes extremely important to ensure complete coordination between the vendors too. The project manager will identify one person within each supplier’s organization and coordinate with each of them to ensure that the project is completely in sync. They will constantly communicate with them to receive proposals, undertake contracting process, hold meetings and keep a track to ensure deadlines are being adhered to.

Tracking the sourcing project and sharing updates: The success of the project depends essentially on how well everyone involved in the process is communicating. Quite often, communication barrier is the biggest reason why China sourcing projects fail. The project manager would be the single point of contact for communication between all stakeholders. They will ensure that the right information is available to the right person at the right time so that the project runs without any impediments. They will prepare reports and share it with the stakeholders throughout the sourcing project, till its successful completion.

Project closure: During the phase the sourcing project has been completed, it is the responsibility of the project manager to verify if the work has done to the satisfaction or not. This must be done before contract closure. They must verify if the deadlines are met and if they have any cost overruns. Once everything has been verified to be satisfactory, the contract can be closed.

A sourcing project manager has many responsibilities and performs many duties throughout the sourcing process. Right from creating the request for proposal to creating a procurement plan, deciding milestones and verifying the receipt of products, a project manager shoulders many responsibilities. They have to maintain regular communication with all stakeholders including vendors, supervisors, shipping companies and if required, regulatory agencies as well. So, it is important that your project manager is based in the country you are sourcing your products from. They know the market well and can communicate efficiently. They are also available on-the-ground for factory visits, inspections, meetings and other activities.

If you are looking to set up a virtual project management office in China, our team can help. Our sourcing team is headed by a PMP qualified and highly experienced project manager, and you can trust us with all your sourcing and project management needs.

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