Procurement Has a Long Way To Go if Being a Doorstop is a Measure of Success

A few months ago, the CPO Agenda published the transcript for its roundtable in London in May 2010 on budgeting for a wider influence. While this post is not going to summarize the transcript as it really doesn’t say anything that this blog hasn’t been telling you for years, buried within the transcript is a very interesting quote by David Noble, the Chief Executive of CIPS.

If we do not have the ability to get in there and hold the door, we will lose it and be back to where we were 10 years ago.

In other words, a current measure of success is your ability to hold a door, i.e. your ability to act as a doorstop!

It’s sad, but at many companies, it’s still true. Just like there are at least five companies that haven’t tried e-Sourcing or e-Procurement for every one that has, for every best-in-class company where Supply Management has influence and/or control over the majority of the organizational spend, there are five companies where Supply Management doesn’t have influence or control over the majority of organizational spend.

So how do you get more spend under your control and move up from door-stop to door-person? You kick-ass on some major projects and get more and more support from the C-Suite. So how do you get those big projects? You start by speaking the language of finance, because once you get the CFO on your side, the CEO will follow and then you’ll have the credibility you’ll need. Start with Bob’s great posts on Speaking Like a CFO (Part I and Part II). Then review the quick introduction to finance posts (Part I, Part II, and Part III). Make sure you understand what the Z-Score really is. Then bookmark Investopedia. It will be your best friend. Its dictionary on finance more than rivals Wikipedia’s.

Share This on Linked In