Purchasing – Procurement – Sourcing – Supply – Spend – Management – Smorgasboard

Earlier in the year, Tim and Jason had the great supply management vs spend management debate where they tried to promote the value of the relative terms and why one should win out over the other. This prompted a number of bloggers to try and determine the best term for our space based on public recognition. Many of us tried using Google to count the number of pages or Google trends to gauge the search history, but the net result was that depending on how you approached it, one term appeared to be slightly better than the other, but both significantly trailed sourcing, procurement, and purchasing in common acceptance and usage. (In fact, if you try to plot supply management and spend management simultaneously in Google trends, you get a message that “the terms do not have enough search volume for Google to display graphs“. Ouch!)

Then, last month, Doug pointed out Technorati and the new Blog Value Calculator based on Technorati’s API that computes and displays your blog’s worth using the same link to dollar ratio as the AOL-Weblogs Inc deal. The Technorati angle, which lets you search blog entries for terms, gives us yet another point of reference to test supply management vs spend management popularity in terms of blog posts and the relative blog value of Tim and Jason’s blogs. However, the results are again inconclusive as even though there are more “supply management” blog entries, SpendMatters is valued higher than Supply Excellence.

The results for sourcing vs procurement are not much better. Although roughly twenty to thirty times as popular as supply management or spend management, whereas one term is more popular in Google, another is more popular in Technorati. The only clear winner across the board is purchasing, which is roughly five times more popular than sourcing or procurement, or one hundred to one hundred and fifty times as popular as supply management or spend management.

Which begs the question, should we take a nomenclative step back and just use purchasing, continue to fight the hard fight and push for broader use of these better, more descriptive terms of today’s purchasing/procurement/sourcing organization, or develop a whole new term entirely, one that will catch on like wildfire. Something in line with the next craze. For example, if the wild, wild west became cool again, maybe we could call it Wrangling. Or maybe we could just co-opt a more popular term, like politics (which is roughly two to four times as popular as purchasing). At least then your sourcing blogs would be valued at what they’re worth. (A recent Technorati valuation of seven sourcerors put our combined blog value at under 90K. On the flipside, political and media centric blogs such as BuzzMachine have valuations over $1M. Commentary might make great reading, but does it help you do your job? Hmmm.)

Blog Valuation Links
Spend Matters
eSourcing Forum
Procurement Central
Sourcing Innovation
Supply Excellence
Vendor Management
Purchasing Certification Blog