Advanced Courses

Masterclass – Operational Excellence for Procurement

The aim of the workshop is to introduce practical operational excellence tools, concepts and methodologies to improve the efficiency of procurement resources and maximise the effectiveness of the procurement process. Also to provide a guide as to how operational excellence and procurement may merge.


This practical workshop explores how Lean, Theory of Constraints and Six Sigma tools and concepts can be applied to the procurement process. While the methodologies have traditionally been applied to production, any process can benefit from the application.

This course is designed for:

This workshop is designed for managers responsible for procurement who need to achieve ‘more with less’. This may include senior managers, or staff with capability and excellence responsibilities, as well as managers interested in applying contemporary continuous improvement methodologies to improve areas of work.

Course structure

A practical two-day workshop consisting of nine session involving exercises, case studies, presentations and trainer-facilitated discussions. Each of the sessions will be led by an experienced facilitator and will feature the key principles and practical methods which may be used in the procurement process, together with practical case study sessions to maximise the transfer from the workshop to the workplace.

Benefits of attending

Participants will benefit from an increased awareness of lean methods and their applications to review procurement processes, leading to more efficient outcomes. Delegates will identify constraints and how to maximise throughput (e.g. more projects per annum with the same resources).

Delegates will also gain three key benefits from attending:

  • Capability in applying lean tools to the procurement process as well as the supply chain, to identify opportunities to accelerate outcomes by reducing impact of bottlenecks
  • More efficient procurement processes from limiting delays from bottlenecks and also from challenging waste throughout the process
  • Less likelihood that procurement projects will be delayed due to constraints or resource shortages

Key learning outcomes

  • Describe and apply a selection of lean tools and techniques to a given situation and identify opportunities for improvement
  • Critically review the procurement process and identify opportunities to remove constraints and reduce delays and accelerate throughput
  • How and why operational excellence may merge with procurement in the future and the benefits to an organisation taking a holistic approach
  • Support others in applying lean methodologies and be capable of demonstrating selected tools to others to highlight the contribution of lean tools to operational excellence


Course Content


Limitations of modern day procurement

  • The journey over time
  • Why the measurement of success drives unsustainable behaviours
  • Why change is needed

What is Operational Excellence for Procurement?

  • What does Operational Excellence entail?
  • How does Operational Excellence work in procurement?

Overview LEAN, Theory of Constraints, SixSigma

  • Selected lean tools and methodologies
  • What is LEAN?
  • What is Theory of Constraints?
  • What is Six Sigma?
  • Applying lean procurement
  • Applying operational excellence principles to drive efficiency

Breaking Constraints

  • How to identify constraints
  • How does complexity impact upon the efficiency of the procurement process?
  • “Decomplexifying’ the procurement process
  • Scaling the opportunity and building support for re-engineering processes to release benefits

Cycle Time Improvement

  • Determining and measuring cycles
  • Identifying the critical path
  • Applying improvements
  • Optimising the cycle time to deliver more with less

The DMAIC cycle

  • The DMAIC cycle and how to use it
  • Define, Measure, Analyse, Improve, Control

Practical Problem Solving

  • Learning and applying the 5 whys
  • Using root cause analysis (RCA)

Application in Procurement

  • How the improvement tools can be applied within procurement

How we move toward an integrated operational excellence & procurement model

  • What mindsets need to change
  • What the focus needs to be
  • What procurement professionals need to do


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