Business & Technology Nexus

Dave Stephens on technology and business trends

Center-Led Procurement

with 3 comments

In February of 2005, I wrote an opinion piece for Purchasing magazine defining a term we had created out of Marketing ether called “Center-Led Procurement.” It turns out the term had been around for quite awhile, as Mike points out in this post’s 1st comment. Nevertheless, the article was the only piece I ever wrote that generated unsolicited email from Purchasing executives saying that I had described exactly their problem. So what is Center-Led? Well, it’s the approach Procurement departments need to take to gain control over spend while dealing with a reluctant LOB. It attempts to balance centralized management and decentralized empowerment. I mean, after all, CPO or VP of Procurement is a political position, isn’t it? Check it out and tell me what you think!

In November of 2005, Tim Minahan, the amazing Aberdeen analyst who appears headed for Procuri, ran with the topic and produced a great report, available courtesy of SAP here.

Author’s sidebar: Much of the credit for my article goes to David Hope-Ross, a former Gartner analyst so good we stole him and placed him in Oracle Marketing purgatory :), and Jeffrey Pease, a marketing “message man” whose unique talent for bringing people together occasionally overcomes Oracle politics :).


Written by Dave Stephens

02/19/06 4:48 PM at 4:48 pm

Posted in Opinion

3 Responses

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  1. I think F. Nikolaus Soellner and Carlo Mackrodt with A.T. Kearney might disagree that “center-led procurement” was a new term invented in 2005. They described it in a paper in 1999 titled “Leadership Practices in Procurement Management Procurement—Creator of Value, Driver of Business Strategy”. It may be described somewhere else prior to then.


    02/19/06 7:49 PM at 7:49 pm

  2. Wow! Now I feel like Al Gore :) I stand corrected. If someone can find a link to that paper I’d love to read it and see if the concepts match. Thanks Mike!

    Dave Stephens

    02/19/06 10:25 PM at 10:25 pm

  3. A smart friend of mine found the paper Mike mentioned above. Here it is:$File/practices.pdf

    Dave Stephens

    02/20/06 11:46 PM at 11:46 pm

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