How to Establish Cross-Functional Collaboration Between Engineering and Procurement Teams

Factory Meeting Room with Team of Engineers

As the global electronics industry continues to grow and evolve, today’s organizations are always seeking new ways to enhance efficiency and embrace the spirit of digital transformation. A key reason for strong manufacturing growth in the electronics sector this year will be an increase in collaboration between product design, procurement, and manufacturing.

Join us as explore the benefits of a collaborative approach to design and sourcing, and how today’s organizations can leverage this approach.

The Benefits of Cross-Functional Collaboration Between Teams

In decades past, modern organizations were composed of independent siloes. Design engineers and procurement professionals rarely collaborated. Instead, they focused exclusively on their own department’s requirements, which were neither efficient nor profitable for the company overall.

Today, most major electronics manufacturers are actively promoting a collaborative structure. The advantages of breaking down departmental walls include stimulating new ideas with coworkers in other departments, simplifying processe,  and reducing time-to-market. Here are five benefits organizations can focus on to create collaborative relationships between engineering, procurement, and manufacturing teams:

1. Cost Savings. Collaboration encourages teams to be aware of more than just one department’s operations, such as procurement. Engaging early on with peers in other departments provides important intelligence about the total cost of a new product. Managers are encouraged to research options and make choices that don’t result in a costly product redesign after the fact.

2. Better Supplier Engagement. The collaboration includes engaging with key suppliers such as semiconductor and subsystem manufacturers that become important voices in the conversation. Working more closely with key component suppliers opens up opportunities for constructive communication to avert potential disruptions, which benefits all parties

3. Enterprise-wide visibility. Provide visibility and input from all internal departments including product design, procurement, engineering, and manufacturing, plus key supply chain partners to ensure decisions are strategically aligned and consider the input of all stakeholders.

4. Risk Management. Collaborative teams are well suited to identify various forms of risk given their unique perspectives. For example, engineering can advise procurement on which components to use when creating the bill-of-materials, and if procurement judges any parts too risky.

5. Improved Efficiency. Collaboration streamlines the entire procurement process, reduces unnecessary backtracking due to mismatched component choices or end-of-life status on existing parts, and allows for optimized decision-making across the product development process.

The primary objective of each cross-functional team leader should be to invite managers who complement each other and have a deep understanding of their business unit’s relationships with the other departments.

For instance, the design team representative should be close to the component sourcing representatives. The procurement representative needs to be aligned with professionals at the same level in other departments and across the supply chain.

5 Steps to Foster Collaboration Across Teams

1. Create and communicate clear and identifiable goals.

2. Develop an enterprise structure that mandates cross-functional interaction.

3. Engage with key stakeholders. Specify what the appropriate titles. Establish the number of stakeholders and their disciplines.

4. Identify performance metrics surrounding profit, time, and risk.

5. Leverage the best technology to stay in touch with the market and across teams using our real-time intelligence.

Findchips is a Supplyframe platform that helps procurement teams source the right electronic components and semiconductors at the right price. This search engine offers a single place to view up-to-the-minute pricing and inventory from the world’s largest distributors.

Findchips lets you set alerts for inventory and pricing changes for a specific manufacturer’s part number to receive email notifications of available parts.

Findchips also provides part details and alternative parts. The parametric search function helps narrow down your part options and the part comparison option lets you see a detailed breakdown of the similarities and differences between any two products.

To start smartly sourcing, visit Findchips today!