Business & Technology Nexus

Dave Stephens on technology and business trends

Procurement’s “Long Tail” – Teaser

with one comment

People talking about Web 2.0, consumer internet, and emerging, disruptive technology often speak of a "long tail". While definitions seem to vary from reference to reference, long tail at its core is a statistical concept that attempts to describe how one-sided normal distributions still have an awful lot of their area in the "outlier" space. See long tail applied to the music industry here, and a more geek-friendly version here. Here's a picture behind the concept, from idfuel:

So, for retail, designing products for the long tail means making choices that will turn off some but really turn on others (instead of the designing bland products that have the broadest appeal). So how does this concept apply to Procurement? Stay tuned…


Written by Dave Stephens

04/6/06 10:21 AM at 10:21 am

Posted in Opinion

One Response

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  1. That is a teaser… The Long Tail is one of my favourite concepts from the past couple of years, but I haven’t yet seen a connection with corporate procurement. Most corporates have worked hard over the past decade to reduce their tail (number of suppliers / contracts) so that the tail, whilst still long in some cases, comprises a minority of their total spend. The distinguishing feature between corp procurement and retail is that the corporate tail is too finite. I’m looking forward to your take – SMEs rather than corporates perhaps?


    04/6/06 3:39 PM at 3:39 pm

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