Long-term program success is driven by a program manager or administrator (PM/PA) who possesses a wide range of skills, qualities, and experience. Following are tips on what to look for.
If your organization would like assistance with developing the P-Card PM/PA role, contact Recharged Education.
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Hire an Expert to Manage Your Commercial Card Program
Who manages your organization’s Commercial Card/P-Card program? Was the role assigned randomly? John, we see you have some extra time on your hands, so we’re assigning you P-Card program management… Unfortunately, this approach is all too common or, worse, an organization never explicitly assigns the program manager or administrator (PM/PA) role to anyone.
About the PM/PA Role
Organizations need to recognize that P-Card program management is a bona fide profession, requiring the ability to:
- garner program buy-in
- develop clear policies and procedures
- effectively train program participants
- resolve transaction declines and related card usage issues
- articulate and establish P-Card best practices
- identify and remedy gaps in controls
- quantify and communicate relevant metrics
- implement technology solutions
- suggest and pursue growth opportunities
Based on these bullet points, the PM/PA position should be salaried versus hourly, categorized at a “professional” job level. Give the position the respect and authority it deserves. Depending on the size and complexity of your program, you might need less than one full-time equivalent (FTE), one dedicated FTE, or more than one. See seven program staffing factors to consider.Some organizations divide the tasks between two people, assigning strategic tasks to a PM and operational tasks to a PA.
Experience, Qualities and Skills
Create a comprehensive job description and hire the right person. Look for the Certified Purchasing Card Professional (CPCP) credential in addition to the following:
For sample interview questions plus an often-overlooked piece of the hiring process, access the related blog post.
A good PM/PA can drive positive outcomes. Conversely, one lacking the necessary expertise can contribute to program stagnation. However, the PM/PA cannot achieve success alone; management support is critical. Even if they do not spend 100% of their time on the program, they must be directed to make it a priority. The success of your program depends on it.