Business & Technology Nexus

Dave Stephens on technology and business trends

Striking a Different Tune

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When you are pitching Sourcing solutions dozens of times in a corporate visit center, you get to a point where the routine becomes so practiced you might as well be an actor. But one morning, a Procurement manager for a consumer products company forced me to break character.

I asked what their savings objectives were for the year. "We don't have a savings objective," he said.

"Well, then what are your goals?" (I stuttered)

"To buy at least 60% of our stuff from suppliers who are small businesses."

"Why?" (Incredulous)

"It fits in with our corporate goal of building goodwill and our brand."

Even now, I'm still not sure if I buy into the strategy the firm was pursuing. But they believed by directing their business to small businesses more consumers would look favorably on their brand & buy their products.

The lesson, of course, is that Procurement can execute a variety of business strategies to serve the larger needs of your enterprise. Sure, it can be about lowering prices paid & increasing profits through lowering costs. But sometimes Procurement strategy can strike a different tune and pursue other objectives as well.

As another example, here's a link to an executive order put in place in 1998 regarding "Greening" Federal Government purchasing. Nice to see!

(Happy Cinco de Mayo everyone!)

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Written by Dave Stephens

05/5/06 6:55 AM at 6:55 am

Posted in Opinion

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