A Procurement “Metric of the Month” is a Bad Idea

As a prominent blogger, I get a lot of e-mail (or should I say spam?). One of them had “Procurement Metric of the Month” in the title. I was about to trash it, as this is one of the worst ideas I’ve ever heard (as I’ll explain shortly), but then I noticed it was from Hackett. Needless to say, this got my attention. Why would one of the leading research firms in the space, which produces the very useful and relevant Book of Numbers, be touting a “metric of the month”?

It turns out they weren’t promoting a “metric of the month”, which would be an incredibly bad idea because a metric is only useful if you benchmark against it month after month after month for an extended period of time to measure your progress (and changing metrics too often gets you absolutely nowhere), but a new free research offering as part of their Hackett Performance Network (where, if you qualify, you can get access to selected research reports, performance studies, and webcasts). Designed for Finance, HR, IT, and Procurement, this new offering is apparently going to showcase an important metric in each area each month, starting with Tax Book Entries Requiring Correction Percentage, Outsourcing Utilization by HR Process Category, IT Business Value Contribution through Portfolio Optimization, and Level of Supply Risk Management Adoption.

With respect to the latter metric, which focusses on procurement, Hackett points out how 67% of world-class organizations implement supply risk management consistently across the business as compared to only 13% of their peers, indicating that top performers are 5 times as likely to have a comprehensive supply risk management strategy. Considering that effective supply risk management is a way for procurement to elevate its value proposition and help the business protect its brand, cost leadership, and stability, this makes sense. It’s free, so check it out. Just don’t take “metric of the month” literally.