Is Purchasing Magazine trying to give me a heart attack? Isn’t it enough that they refuse to acknowledge the presence of Sourcing Innovation (which, as you know, is one of the few blogs that brings you real supply management content you can use day-in, day-out six days a week, every week) which they dropped from their “News from the Web” feed years ago (when I first ripped apart one of their sloppy articles)? After reading a few of their recent articles, my blood is boiling!
That’s right! That bullcr@p that Spend Analysis is expensive (see last Thursday’s post) is just the tip of the iceberg. And even though many of the quoted individuals had good advice to share, in the end, Purchasing’s recent article on Purchasing 3.0 is just as bad and filled with absurdities … which start on the first line! (If Purchasing had their way, we’d regress to Purchasing 0.3!)
Have you used Social Networking to build supplier relationships?
I Hope Not! Since all Facebook is good for is Facebook parties that result in Million dollar homes being trashed …
If you want to build drinking buddies relationships, yes, Facebook will work great … but what you want is productive and professional relationships where you can work together to make each of your businesses better.
Are you sure you’re using Excel effectively?
You can’t use Excel to manage your supply chain! How many fracking times do I have to say it? Spreadsheets are bad strategy, prevent innovation, and cost you billions! You’re better off using an etch-a-sketch like the dork in It’s All About the Pentiums (2:54 mark). (And just because it’s still all about the pentiums, baby, that doesn’t mean it should be!)
Do you, uh, Tweet?
Are you kidding me? Hasn’t Twitter Turned Too Many Into Twits already? It appears that Twitter has already made twits out of at least 3 in 10 students! The only things that should go “tweet” are Tweety Bird bird and Rockin’ Robin (Muppet Version).
With the prevalence of ERP systems in large companies, more purchasing professionals … should be focusing on developing advanced database skills.
Uhhm, no. Purchasing professionals should be focussed on learning advanced data analysis skills. This is not quite the same as learning advanced database skills. Purchasing managers don’t need to know how to configure, manage, scale, back-up, restore, and replicate databases … that’s what DBAs are for. Purchasing managers know how to use today’s spend analysis tools, which require them to learn how to build and manipulate cubes through dimension-driven UIs, not how to optimize 4 level nested SQL statements … that’s what the tools do! (And frankly, even your average CS graduate would have a hard time optimizing 4-level nested SQL statements across multiple tables, if they could even write them in the first place!)
The article also promotes the new Microsoft Online Services
which will only work if everyone on the team is using a supported version of Windows. And even then, it might not work. (Furthermore, even though they claim that LiveMeeting works on Safari and Firefox on Mac, even if your system meets all the requirements listed, it often doesn’t.) Mac is around 15% of the market and growing, Linux is on the rise (especially in Netbooks), and a number of organizations still use AIX and UNIX based platforms (which could become popular again if thin-client desktops [e.g. SunRays] take off). Not everyone is in the Microsoft eco-system anymore. (And the majority of supply management systems are NOT built on .NET.)
And then the last paragraph indicates that mobile devices are the answer to requisition approval (to keep projects moving), commodity price updates, and procurement communication!
This is probably the most dangerous message of all, because now we’re in Yes, … but territory. Not all requisitions can be approved on a 3×5 screen. What if there are 20 (or more) line items? What if your system flagged 5 as off-contract? What if it’s an unusual request for a significant amount? You’re going to need more data to make the right decision than you’re ever going to fit on that itsy bitsy teeny weeny tiny Blackberry Storm or Curve. It’s one thing to approve a new laptop or mobile phone for an employee that needs it right away to continue working, but another to approve an order of 10,000 units of SKU XYZ123, when the contract is for ZYX321! Why is the order off contract? Oversight? Have requirements changed? Or is your supplier out of ZYX321 and you need an acceptable substitution right away? And what good is a commodity price update if you can’t see the history and the trend graphs. Unless you’ve already done the analysis and figured out that you should buy when it hits 75 or sell if it hits 100, because you’re hedging risk on the commodities markets, that update is useless. And communicating in 140 byte tweets? That would just make you a Twit!
Let me finish by saying that I’m so glad that you, dear reader, are an educated, informed, and intelligent individual who would drop this blog from your feeds faster than a hot potato if I ever published anything as ridiculous as what Purchasing and other publications are getting away with these days!